Renouncing the Pursuit
Our body change, forms, grows up and constitutes a viable source of strength – only if we will succeed in providing it with the place it deserves and stop fighting time
Nowadays, as I have become a mother, I understand the meaningful transformation the female body undergoes and the way in which this process is inevitably tied to our own self perception and aspirations. From my own personal perspective, I also see how these changes affect my creations and design process.
Around me, I see women – my age and older – in constant pursuit to preserve the body. This topic is endlessly discussed and I must admit it is a lost cause. At this point, I start to think what do I say as a designer to women surrounding me and how we can relate to our femininity through acceptance and not struggle.
These reflections are also immanent in my collections and are brought to the fore in my playing with the fabric; with the way the fabric touches the body, as well as in constructing figures.
Here also arises my wish to provide every woman with a total look – starting with the shoes, the hat and all the way to the bag on her shoulder – which will respect her body and will give space to her femininity.
My last business trip to Italy and my personal experiences as a woman shed more light about this preoccupation. After launching my new store, I’ve gone from long hair to a short frisky bob hairdo. In Italy, I was asked by one of my colleagues, who hasn’t seen me since I was pregnant, why do women insist on changing their look to bob after they give birth.
This made me realize a hidden statement lies here – conceding the pursuit in the footsteps of womanhood as we are told we need to aspire to. For me, my new hairstyle indicates my exit from this chase. I am attentive to my own desires; committed to the style I’m interested in and by all means – to being adventurous.
Seven years ago, when I became a fashion designer, I took the body issue for granted. At first, I did not recognize the connection between the clothes I design and what I experience as a woman within them. I ventured from an avant-garde approach, which prefers to relate to style over the body.
Now, I pose more questions in regards to these themes and preoccupations. When I now return to the avant-garde, I find it tends to stay in the realms of my own personal style. This also concerns my own self discovery as a woman; realizing my figure is much more stem-like than it is Marilyn Monro-esque.
During my pregnancy and afterwards, I felt very feminine. Now I depict a return to a boyish quality. These transformations make me conceive the garment as a second skin in a different way. Are our clothes, our covers, a deception or an extension of our personal style? How does one create a linkage between the garment and the body who wears it?
Although this may sound like a cliché, every woman’s beauty derives from the person she is – of what she can convey and what she does convey. Today, after having gone through a good part of the way, I grasp my relationships with the world in a whole different way. The changes my body is undergoing give me strength and power and one can only discover these possibilities when tapping in to personal style. If you will know who you are and what your style is, there will be no limits to the way in which you can find the right place for you in the world.