Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lessons In Style: Empty Or Not?

I believe it was Yves Saint Laurent who said that 'Fashions fade, style is eternal'. Yet, how often do we really think about style when we go shopping for the latest fashions in clothes? Why do we read about fashion trends with such a zest, as if our lives depended on them? Why are we desperately looking to master the art of wearing our outfits and accessories 'the right way'? More importantly, why do we feel naked in clothes that don't match our style? I was listening to Cyndi Lauper's version of If You Go Away, reading fashion blogs in the meantime, when I suddenly froze at one dreadful thought: We let fashions dictate style to us more often than we like to acknowledge.

What if we were to look at the real us? What if we were to strip ourselves naked and see how much we let material things, like clothes and accessories, define who we are? To make it less painful, what if we were to look at nude mannequins? Not real models, but dummies. If we can't be brave enough to see ourselves for what we are, flawed and all, why not look at objects? They were made to be perfect, right? Do you ever notice the mannequins, when you look at those huge shop windows? Do you sometimes relate to the lifeless models? Could you imagine them without wearing your favorite clothes? How would that make you feel?


















These mannequins, though objects, appear like they have a life of their own. Far from looking perfect, they don't seem to care much about what we think of them, and they certainly don't need clothes to make us realize that they have their own personality, independent of clothes and accessories. What I love about these photos is how strongly they contrast with images of real women who simply like to copy what they see in magazines. Sometimes we, real women, forget we actually have life in us, and look more like lifeless clones of mannequins, which I think is tragic. Forgive me if I just remembered more Yves Saint Laurent quotes, but they illustrate my point perfectly: 'It pains me physically to see a woman victimized, rendered pathetic, by fashion', 'Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress, is the woman who is wearing it'. After all (and you can be certain this is my personal favorite fashion quote), 'Isn't elegance forgetting what one is wearing?' You have got to love Yves!

Next time we crave for that dreamy accessory or reach out for those divine shoes, we'd better pause for a minute and ask ourselves the hard question: Are they good enough for us? Do we have the attitude necessary to wear them? Do we intend to wear them, rather than let them wear us, devour us, make us mere shadows of their shadows...?


If you go away
On this summer day
Then you might as well
Take the sun away
All the birds that flew
In the summer sky
When our love was new
And our hearts were high
When the day was young
And the night was long
And the moon stood still
For the night bird's song

If you go away
If you go away
If you go away
If you go away...

But if you stay
I'll make you a day
Like no day has been
Or will be again
We'll sail on the sun
We'll ride on the rain
And talk to the trees
And worship the wind

But if you go
I'll understand
Leave me just enough love
To hold in my hand

If you go away
If you go away
If you go away
If you go away...

If you go away
As I know you will
You must tell the world
To stop turning
'til you return to me
If you ever do
For what good is love
Without loving you?
I can tell you now
As you turn to go
I'll be dying slow
'til the next hello

If you go away
If you go away
If you go away
If you go away...

But if you stay
I'll make you a night
Like no night has been
Or will be again
I'll sail on your smile
I'll ride on your touch
I'll talk to your eyes
That I love so much

But if you go
I'll understand
Leave me just enough love
To hold in my hand

If you go away
If you go away
If you go away
If you go away...

If you go away
Like I know you must
There'll be nothing left
In the world to trust
Just an empty room
Full of empty space
Like the empty look
I see on your face
And I'd been the shadow
Of your shadow
If I thought it might have kept me
By your side

If you go away
If you go away
If you go away
If you go away...


Many thanks to Eleanor, a truly great artist whose incredible work can be interpreted in so many ways, for allowing me to post images of her work in my blog. Please read her interview in the POE blog, here.

If You Go Away: Song in English, based upon the French song Ne Me Quitte Pas, written by Jacques Brel.


11 comments:

  1. Wow! Fantastic post! I love the feeling these photos have but especially the part of this beloved song... Thank you Demi for sharing!!

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  2. Oops.. that was my favorite song by Terry Jacks ages ago!!!
    Amazing post, the photos are real pieces of art Demi! Great mood!

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  3. The post, the photos, the song...ROCK!!!

    I love cindy's voice on this one!

    Great job Amor!

    Maro

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  4. really great post! And come to think of it, some shoes seem to be wearing me instead of the other way around, as they hurt by each step but look great on my feet... hmm...

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  5. The photos of the mannequins tell a story. What great poses, what great photography. Love the message of the entire blog!
    Really makes you thing.
    Thanks Demi
    Elke

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  6. I seem to be able to post only under anonymous, so ,until I figure out a better way, this is my identity.

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  7. Very inspiring post, and the pictures you have chosen strongly emphasise your ideas! Maybe this is pretty much one of the reasons I´m impressed by these figures. They give us a sense of personal identity and self-awareness we often miss:) As you say, though objects, they appear like they have a live of their own.

    I´m most grateful to you Demi for letting me see these models with a new perspective:)

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  8. Wow, I should be thanking you, Eleanor!
    Elke, you are so sweet!

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