Dressed to the nines and for what? For my damn self! There is a certain level of attitude that you must take on to be radically authentic in the way you dress. It is equal parts self-loving and a willingness to be open and inspire others. It all comes with the (fabulous) territory.
But what happens when someone random feels it necessary to comment negatively on you? This is a fear that keeps amazing style hidden in the closet. Fear that is hidden amongst layers of silk that never see the light of day and hats that never grace a head. Quelle Horreur!
Over the years I have received many comments on my appearance, both good and bad. What I have learnt is to filter them with selective hearing. I decided that I am in control of my happiness and that negativity would never earn a place in my life. I assume I have had the worst of it, whispered behind my back from people with nothing better to do, however I know I have also had the best of it; shared with me in the moment of passing leaving both parties with a smile and further inspired in their day.
You see, as a living work of art there will be people that like your style and those that don’t. Both opinions are perfectly correct but they are opinions, subjective to the owner. The only valid opinion in terms of how you dress comes from your own mind. You must own it. You must believe in it. You must not allow it to be hampered by someones negativity.
Like water off a ducks back, I do not hear these comments any more, even if they are in earshot. What I do hear is how I am inspiring someone. I hear appreciation for my composition, colour choices and personal style. I hear that I am doing the right thing for myself in my life, in my world and in that – my happiness is all too precious. Far too precious to take in anything negative.
If all artists were told their style was not right, imagine the world. Imagine it without Mucha, without Grayson Perry, without Caravaggio .. without you. The world would see less happiness, less creativity, less thought provoking spectacular visuals.
An artist I had the pleasure of meeting recently, Robert Hannaford, had the perfect quote on his observation of the world:
“My soul is quickened by the exploration of the visual world”
It explains that in observation, we can understand the world. We can translate it back into what we wear and why we wear it. To understand the world we must view it in all its unique facets. These facets that come from individuals, from architecture, from the plant and animal world. Inspiration is everywhere, you just need to pause, take a deep look.
So, dress for your damn self. Thats all that matters. You get one shot at life, you may as well be dressed up for it. Negative comments be gone! Let them disappear into the dark abyss and let the positivity come to light. No matter what you do, wear that smile and know that you are a work of art, opinion is subjective and in the end, yours is the only one that matters.
Photograph by Joseph James Francis at the Mosta Dome, Malta