On these days following the inauguration, I am filled with hope. Like our new president, I am big dreamer. When publishers and agents sent me rejection letters informing me that women are only interested in celebrity make-over guides, I refused to believe them. I imagine a day when little girls grow up to relish their uniqueness and women celebrate each other instead of judge and find fault.
The current economic fears and realities are making many of us pull back on our spending, cut out extras and focus on essentials. Beyond the clothing you need to stay warm and protected, fashion is certainly a luxury. But fashion is also about self-expression, and the pleasure that comes from that helps fuel your optimism.
Even though I am not shopping for clothes at the moment, as mid-winter is a time for me to enjoy my cozy wardrobe, I am enjoying the process of thinking about fashions for the season ahead. I don’t think of clothes merely as something I wear, but as a way I express myself.
I look at fashion magazines for how they stimulate my imagination. What’s new about me; what is waiting to unfold? I love the look I’ve been seeing of sheer layers in peachy-nude colors. It is rare to see an outfit I would actually want to own, but I notice what I am drawn to. I may not wear those light colors head to toe, but it will remind me not to buy something dark when I crave light.
The message of my new book is arriving when fashion, art and publishing are having their share of challenges. On a recent day filled with disappointments, my dreamtime was still filled with amazing images. A small beige square unfurled into a blouse with a design and pattern unlike anything I had ever seen before. The soft knit was topped with a gold silk charmeuse yolk bordered by a narrow, intricate pattern. The body was cream colored, and the fluttery bell sleeves were light brown. I reached for my markers and did a quick sketch.
Our love of beauty and our sense of optimism are the ways we turn toward the light as the days get longer and the darkest days are behind us.