“Fashion is the science of appearances, and it inspires one with the desire to seem rather than to be.” – Edwin Hubbel Chapin
With the arrival of fall comes the celebration of creativity and boldness in the fashion world. FASHION WEEK involves some of my most favorite events of the year. I absolutely love seeing what some of the hottest designers have cooked up for those of us hungry for whats next in fashion. While LA Fashion week is not seen as important as NYFW or Paris Fashion week, the glamour is still present. Because of my busy schedule I was not able to attend many of the fashion shows and events throughout the week but Saturday night I was finally able to catch a few shows.
For anyone who knows how chaotic a red carpet can be, fashion week carpets take the cake. Between the media hungry artists and undiscovered designers seeking to showcase their designs for the photographers, it was like a zoo. Of course when I walked the carpet everyone was mistaking me for Common (which I am not sure what to do with). After the seemingly endless camera flashes(which I love, I’m a narcissist) I made my way to the fashion gala.
The music, the lights, the beautiful people, the clothes…I am obsessed with it all and I don’t care who knows it.
My favorite part of Fashion week is seeing all the bold designs and color schemes on the runway and in the crowd. I am inspired to find my own personal fashion statements when I see others being true to themselves with their fashion. It is not for the faint of heart that’s for sure. Fashion favors the bold.I intend to be one of the most courageous and help others find their fashion courage as well. I am extremely inspired right now. I think I will go shopping. Wonder what outfit I will find today.
“Style is the perfection of a point of view.” -Richard Eberhart
I had an interesting experience yesterday that solidified for me the belief that people treat you differently when you look like money. I purchased my first custom design ensemble from LA designers Cosmo and Nathalia (they have a shop located on Melrose Ave and are amazing.) I felt like Kanye West as the stylist referred to me as her client and focused all her attention on me. Working with different styles and fabrics to find out what worked best for me. It was a lot of fun and I will definitely be returning. I left feeling like a superstar with a new ensemble that I couldn’t wait to wear out.
Yesterday I decided I wanted to go shopping in Beverly Hills and debut my new digs. At each store the employees would swarm me under the impression there was a nice commission in their future. I would look around to see if there were other customers and the stores were always full. Why were they focused on selling to me? After talking with some of the salespeople they would inquire about my clothing. “Where did you get your shirt? I love your sweater, can you tell me who designed it?” One salesperson kept bringing me pieces to my fitting room that I didn’t ask for and finally said “I just got excited because you look so fashionable and I wanted to dress you.” That’s when I realized it was my outfit that was getting their attention. Either they thought I had a lot of money, which i don’t yet, or they loved my fashion sense and wanted to be a part of my fashion point of view.
Later that evening I went to dinner at this bistro on Sunset Blvd and sat outside. A Star Tour Bus pulls up and stops in the street. The tour guide informs his passengers that the rapper Common was to their right, directing their attention to me. Cameras flashed and girls screeched in excitement. I just waved and let them go on their way. I have been told I look like Common a few times but never I never stopped a Star Tour Bus. I can’t help but believe that once again my ensemble set them off.
The point of me sharing this experience is this…you ARE how you dress. Just like it is said that who your friends are represents who you are viewed as. Your clothes are your closest friend. At first glance how do you recognize a Doctor ? Probably the white coat. A fireman? The fireman’s uniform. I have friends who can pinpoint a music producer by how expensive his shoes and jewelry are. Just the same, if you put time, money, and effort into your personal wardrobe the nonverbal communication between you and the rest of the world drastically changes. A well tailored suit says this man is serious about his endeavors. A custom designed ensemble says this guy takes pride in his appearance and his business. The right outfit can express that you are a man of means or a man of high taste. Tom Ford says “Dressing well is a form of good manners.” So what does your wardrobe say about you? If you don’t like what it says then change the conversation. Personally I like for my clothes to say, “Strong. Confident. Unique. This man is well on his way to greatness.” But that’s my journey. What’s yours?
“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”-Karl Lagerfeld
If sweatpants are a sign of defeat then style, true style, is a sign that there is some fight left in you. When I say style I don’t mean fashion trends or our boring attempts to blend into the masses. No, when I say style I echo Orson Welles definition of the word “Style is knowing who you are, what you want, and not giving a damn.”
As far back as I can remember I have been fascinated by a wardrobe’s ability to express who we are without saying a word. In elementary school we wore uniforms and I spent more time than I am willing to admit tucking my shirt in my pants, making sure my tie lined up with my belt buckle, and shining the nickles in my loafers (maybe I was a bit OCD). But I knew in a world that aggressively attempts to force conformity, my clothes could say what perhaps I was to afraid to say. Now that I am older I have grown undeniably comfortable in my own skin which has allowed me to explore my personal style. On my journey I have been misunderstood, ridiculed, excluded, and mistreated in an attempt to put me in a manageable box. Peers, friends, and family have all sought to define and control my thoughts, actions, and dress at one time or another. But when I put on an ensemble that is inextricably Mykell, I feel like I can take on the world.
My point is this; When you feel bullied by the world or beat down by your circumstance. When your self esteem is low and you feel silenced by the people around you, brush your hair (if you have any) and put on your most favorite ensemble…the clothes that say exactly what you wish you could, and go out. Go to the grocery store. Go to the bank. Go wherever the world is and stand tall. Let your style say what you cannot. It may not fix your problems but you will look good on this ride we call life. It’s definitely a confidence builder.
If you are extra daring once you find your style, get a photographer and do a kickass photo shoot. Any photographer worth their weight will make you feel like the most important, most uniquely beautiful person on the planet. At the end of the day have fun being YOU.