What fuels your fashion finds? What inspires and guides your fashion journey? Some have an actress they emulate or an influencer on Tik Tok, while others still peruse fashion magazines.
Navigating a world of playthings as a child, my mother’s closet was filled with high heels, color, and beauty, and I soon rushed towards it! She was my first fashion role model. Her hope chest was filled with many tantalizing things, but I adored the journals filled with her clothing sketches the most. As a pre-teen, I started doing my own sketches and started contemplating a journey into fashion college. Though I didn’t end up there, fashion became one of the enduring loves of my life. My fashion odyssey always drew inspiration from the women I surveyed every day. Although my mother was at the forefront, I remember telling her how much I appreciated the visions of certain women around me. From very early on, I knew what I liked; what I loved, as well as what I disliked.
As a poor farmgirl, I yearned to embrace elegance, to abandon the everyday boredom of jeans, t-shirts, and boots. I remember a hunger to soak up that other world, the one that fashion magazines presented. Armed with a skeleton budget, I tried to imitate the elegance shown there. Although I didn’t achieve the effect I wanted, at least I tried. People always commented that I “just didn’t dress like anyone else at my school.”
One of my biggest influences has always been the movies. Early on, Aubrey Hepburn became my muse. Who can forget the dresses from Roman Holiday, Sabrina, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s? As a teen, I was even looking for a “little black dress.” These looks were iconic; I still see the influence today. The Amazon original series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel made me sigh with pleasure as it presented many frocks that could have stepped right out of a Hepburn movie.
Movies continued to inspire me to look for different pieces throughout the decades. When I watched Pretty Woman, I remember yearning to be transformed, like Cinderella, albeit not through prostitution. I diligently searched for a matching jacket to wear with my tailored shorts, and even added more polka dots to my wardrobe! I believed someday this “ugly duckling’s” wardrobe would be transformed into a swan’s.
During my college years, Sex in the City gave me weekly doses of wardrobe envy and inspiration. I remember at that time being impressed with the variety of styles reflecting each character’s moods and personalities. I always gravitated toward Charlotte’s style, but as I matured, I learned to appreciate Carrie’s more. She took so many fashion risks that I couldn’t appreciate at the time, but I subconsciously learned from her to make daring new choices.
To this day, I still draw inspiration and soak up all that television and movies have to offer. I noticed, with interest, that Beth from Yellowstone inspired some of the jewelry and clothes appearing in stores these days. I eagerly wait for every new Emily in Paris episode to queue up, just so I can dream about escaping to France, and decide which outfit I like the most this time! Will Wednesday Addams initiate a return to goth fashion? Will it give me a new outfit to add to my closet?
Where do we search for our muses today? Where does your passion for fashion stem from? Is there anyone out there who obsesses like me? Do we challenge ourselves to push the fashion envelope, like Carrie Bradshaw does? Or do we blindly follow whatever passes for office wardrobe etiquette in our small, safe sphere? Maybe you could pause for a second and drink in all the fashion around you. In a world gone mad, fashion still provides art for my eyes and peace for my soul.