Day 5 of NZFW, I began with a rather charming, resort-style outfit. By about 6pm, I had exchanged floral for monochrome; Kate Spade’s ambassador for Michael Jackson 2003.
Eh, perhaps I’m overselling it.
I got cold. That’s right, it happens. Even at Fashion Week. In fact, especially here. You try promoting Spring in the last month of Winter. That shit is tough. I even got tired of prancing about in cute, leather sandals. #pityme
Although it would be my usual tendency to battle for beauty, this occasion, I was far from in the mood. 5 days in and my ability for withstanding has by all means lessened. What would be the purpose of testing my strength, or so I reasoned, while there offered a solution far more immediately satisfying: a pair of Aida Maeby track pants. Heaven’s pillow may as well have resided in the boot of Tony’s car.
Would you be right to say then, that I wore track pants to the single most prestigious fashion event here in New Zealand, that of which comes around just once a year? Indeed, you would.
Do I regret my decision? Not at all. In fact, so far from, that I’ve even compiled a series of reasons as to why.
They begin where it would only make sense: with Aida Maeby, or rather, with the designer of the label herself, Jess Matthews. If her association with these black beauties doesn’t indicate their being far from ordinary, sluggish and unexplained, then I can’t be sure what does.
These are of few track pants, which, while exuding the comfort of regular sorts, also offer the aestheticism required to vacate the house. Do I or do I not name the single woe with which even Drake couldn’t run? Late February next year and it’ll all be over for you too.
If this weren’t enough, my outfit exuded a sense of authenticity of which you’ll rarely find at Fashion Week. It felt more real than the theatrical scenes which sat beside me. Than certain ostentatious wear of models on the runway.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for high-fashion dress, and even further, for exploiting the occasions in which we may pull it off. A large part of me, however, grows angsty when faced with an insider’s reality: certain attending fashionistas would and could never (given their poor ability to ignore judgement) wear such attire in their everyday life. And yet, in the business of convincing you, they have no qualms.
I don’t look at NZFW for the chance to dress up as someone else, but rather, for the likelihood that I should feel most like myself – confident in her too. I would and do wear all of the following attire I capture. After all, I dress for my mood. It is only fortunate that Fashion Week tends to place me in such an inspired and determined one. Unlike periods of mundane life, it does so in succession.
To cut to the point, does my disinterest in others’ judgement so long as I dress for myself and her only, give me more of a right to do less stately and adorn track pants? I’d argue yes.
I’d also argue that their adornment is far more sophisticated than one would initially presume. Aside from the subject of authenticity, yet another truth would surface in my head that evening as a result of my bottom half. One that I have, in fact, desired to talk of for a while.
I’ve been assured chess can get quite intense. Perhaps I should be offering a similar warning re this conversation.
It has come to my recent realisation, that just in the way I have given up caging clothes. In the way I have lifted a chess piece, regardless of how heavy, and taken out another player. That it is okay, likewise, to relieve ourselves of negative individuals in our lives.
For a long time, I have believed in the fairytale of second chances. I have fought for my own as I have fought for others’. And much as this has perhaps been brave, it has taken yet far more bravery to stop fighting. To see that while second chances can be a gift, this is not to say third, fourth and fifth are quite so characteristic.
I have passed to others, a blank sheet of drawing paper. To myself, the assurance that the favour is worthwhile. If the situation ever did turn, it is this same favour I hoped would be extended to me.
What I failed to recognise: the sacrifice of my own happiness at the hands of someone else’s. My own direction and purpose was deterred for the sake of theirs. That they thrived, at least momentarily, from my forgiveness did for so long seem enough.
There has since come a point. It will sound film-like and embellished. And for this, I am embarrassed. But some truths are embarrassing. And so, let it be said: it was characterised by my own relentless tears; by, my being held and wishing never to be released. All these things of which usually, I would never associate with myself.
Now, this argument does not stem from my mere distaste for vulnerability and its capable servers. I am growing – slowly, yes – to allow them to do their job. To those who have done little else in our time, however, than made me feel vulnerable and weak, so torn and incomplete. To me, they no longer warrant the same allowance.
It is difficult to make such decisions which part. But blood ties and history are not asterisks of which exempt all normal standards and expectations relating to appropriate humanhood. They are far from being gates left open for the freedom of wrongdoing and mistreatment.
That we may one day allow him/her who is well-intentioned back into our lives is all that should rest on such familial or historical bounds. Until then, we should not use nor let them use us, as a reason to be repeatedly kicked to the ground. I have found many to exploit our nature to get back up.
I write this post with a whole heart for I too have worked as an unpaid supplier. She who has offered relentless effort without a dime in return. I have watched others do the same. I have been afraid of the familiar outcome.
I get it, it’s hard. It’s fucking hard to know. To know that an individual, given their influence, is detrimental enough to warrant no place in our lives. But we can’t let difficulty be the thing that encourages our ease. Fear of change be the thing that encourages our falling into old ways.
God gives us just one life, and he offers our inclusion of yet 7.5 billion different people. We should not waste time with those who shall throw away our effort. For someone else, they shall store it in a safe.
Family or friend, an individual’s influence ought to be positive. We forget sometimes that we don’t have to settle for the negative. That we don’t have to accept an individual as “just the way they are”.
Remember this. That by each decision we make, we thereby negotiate our lives. We negotiate our happiness. Our contentment. I ask, that in doing so, you do not settle for poor negotiations. I ask, that you negotiate – just once – for you.
Photos: Two Dark Coffees