Growing up, I loved watching my mom getting dressed. She paid attention to details when she was dressing. Her jewelry and clothes coordinated, her make-up was on point and her hair was always glamorous, in beautiful updos. Her favourite thing to do was to go to the local Flea Market and find unique jewelry, that were always statement pieces. She loved flipping through magazines for ideas and all of this translated into her designing and sewing beautiful clothes. When I went on a school trip, my mom sewed my entire wardrobe. I did not appreciate how talented she was at the time. However, after taking a sewing course, I realized that my mom had a gift and unfortunately, due to her Parkinson’s, a creative gift, that was taken away from her.
What does Fashion mean to me now? It is a creative outlet for me to express different looks and moods. Working in a professional environment, I never wanted to sacrifice style for utility. For me, looking my best, translates into me being my best.
I always liked to look unique. Growing up in the suburbs, it was easy to all have the same uniform of style – Ralph Lauren, the Gap, Laura Ashley. But we could not afford those clothes and ultimately, that aesthetic was not my look. I was very skinny, and often, those clothes were not made for my size. And even as a pre-teen, I liked incorporating areas of South Asian accents into my look. I used a sari border as a hair band and I loved the look.
Now my aesthetic has evolved, but the influences are still there. My mom’s attention to jewelry has remained an important part of my look. I love incorporating elements of South Asian fashion into my look and wish there were more South Asian fusion pieces using old saris for pants, dresses or suit jackets. If my mom still could sew, I would have had a partner to work with, although saris are very difficult to sew with given the delicate nature of the material. I digress..
I very much love the traditional look of Chanel and incorporate that into my style. My OAC French project was on Coco Chanel and the Chanel influence has always remained. But then sometimes, I like looking a little more urban and that translates to my hair, my clothes – my purse and even the music I am wearing when getting dressed.
And I have to say – I love putting together a look. I still need help with shoes, but other than that, I like creating new looks and feeling my best. I adore getting compliments on my outfits and I love seeing my kids admire my style and hope that I will be a positive style influence to them.
As Maya Angelou so eloquently put it,
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
I agree wholeheartedly. Style gives me a joie de vivre and I always say, take your happiness where you find it!
But that’s just one Diva’s view.