define this... identity.

Andrej Pejic

i have always been fascinated with how people define themselves- that's part of why i love fashion. no matter who you are, how you dress, how you think about clothes, or even if you don't give it much thought- how you dress tells others something about you and what you think about how you should look as the person you are. people define the person they are in different ways which relate back to how they dress- their physical gender, race, religion, areas of interest, political leanings, education, etc. and the clothes you are able to afford and choose to purchase say something about your socioeconomic background, too. Iggy Pop once said that his choice to not wear shirts was as calculated a choice as wearing button down shirts and bowties.

my ideas about style, femininity, youth, color, shape, sexuality- all of this is reflected in how i dress. but they are tied to my ideas about ME and how i myself choose to define them in a way that transfers to others.

identity is fascinating. and your physical presentation is a manifestation of your identity when it comes to choice. my goal is to make that as authentic as possible- but whether or not people get it, at one point, is up to them. because we may know what boundaries others set on how we present ourselves- but if you are being true to yourself, that is what matters.

what i love best is people who push these boundaries. i'm not talking about having loads of plastic surgery to look like a barbie doll because you have no self confidence. or wearing what you think the "cool kids" will like. i'm talking about people who challenge societal ideas about what appearance means in regards to what is usual because it is who they are. it is their identity. consequently, i love the model Andrej Pejic.

i love that he embraces his androgyny- it's part of the physical being he is. i love that, from what i've read and seen of him (having never talked to him directly), he understands that the perception of others as to his appearance says more about them than it does about him. he is comfortable with himself and how he presents himself. he knows what he means. and that is an authentic identity- translated.

people sometimes get in trouble for this idea- the amazingly talented Bill T Jones once caused a firestorm when he said he identified himself as a dancer before a man and before a person of color. DANCER was his identity, and the rest was details. later, he said...

"So authenticity, identity, love, faith- what is the idea of identity? Blackness should take a second level to the concern I have about commonality. Transcendence. In everything that I attempt, is there a level of honesty and rigor that is inflected with all that I am, and what I have gotten from the Western, modernist tradition... what I have gotten from my mother and father who where the conduits for black culture for me, what I've gotten from being a working class person. Is it all there? Is it cooking?"

Bill T Jones

THAT is what i'm talking about. THAT is why i don't care who you are, where you come from, what you like / don't like, what your gender or sexuality are, or what you wear- i care if it's cooking. if it's YOU. and you can define, present, and support it authentically. if you can be present with who you are, how you present that, and how you treat other people. and i am so glad that in writing this blog and reading the blogs and comments of others that i know i am not alone in this ideal. it is a joy to learn about you and who you are.

thank you for sharing with me.


Kallie, Happy Honey and Lark said...

thanks for sharing that, i didnt know so much about him before.

Meri said...

I think it's fun to play with what a different look can do for how you feel about and interact with the world. It's the first thing people often see, and we judge so much based on appearance.
Interesting post!

Brooke said...

I'm not going to lie. I really thought that was a girl until I read it! It's great when people show off their true selves!!

sacramento said...

What a wonderful post you have written my friend. I hope to belong to those people who push the bounderies.
I am so touched.
Mil besos.

Shybiker said...

Wow... I could have written this myself! Identity, self-presentation and fashion are the central issues in my life. I'm impressed that you find them equally interesting.

I was reading just this week about Andrej. I applaud his effort to present an unconventional image.

Leia said...

I think identity is constantly changing so it's so hard to define!


Anonymous said...

wow! you write with such conviction :)

NĂ¡dia said...

AMAZING post!!! Identity is such a marvellous thing, I can't understand how can people shove it away, waste it, for the sake of being equal to everyone else! Everyone can shine, so let's get out of our shells and conquer the world! :)

And Andrej is AMAZING, btw!!!


Ruby And Siel said...

what a beautiful pictures

Camillea said...

Bravo! I'm wholeheartedly with you on this and this is my part of philosophy as a stylist and blogger. Know yourself,find yourself.

Fantastic blog - I'll definately be back to read more.

Thanx CamilleA (Karma-Style)

My Heart Blogged said...

Love it. I really like that saying "Is it cooking?". I hope I never stop cooking.
My Heart Blogged - Fashion Blogging

Alecto said...

oh my gah, i loved this. it was like reading someone's thesis paper. and i mean that in the highest form of a compliment! i have always defined myself as an individual with a strong presence and style is just one layer. but holy hell, i appreciate everyone's version/take of/on their individuality. creativity astounds me and i love it.

Judy said...

Love your words about identity.

Also interesting to learn about Andrej Pejic. I thought he was a girl at first!


Anonymous said...

My heart echoes many of your thoughts almost word for word. When I started a personal style blog, it's not to represent the cultural style of my motherland, not to depict the typical careless college student uniform of a hoodie and denim, it was not even to display how my style has evolved after leaving home for a country oceans apart.

It was to create and exhibit the person I have become and the style I have created from inspired by all that I have experienced in my life.

A wonderful post Mode.

Look forward to hearing from you


Tashrin - A Toronto based personal style blog