I Believe in Fashion

Shian - Germantown, Maryland
Entered on August 6, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in fashion and the mall, and in shopping until your hands are fully occupied by bags and bags of indulgence, until your heals blister from your espadrille sandals, and until your brain, which was enraptured in the hunt and chase of perfection, is reminded by the churning acid in your stomach that eight hours is too long to go without food.

I believe in the whole gamut of shopping, in the rush of finding a great bargain at Penny’s to the absolute indulgence of purchasing that unforgettable, enchanting purse from Neiman Marcus. I believe in name brands, in Burberry, Armani, in Dolce and Gabanna, Prada, and Juicy Couture in all its glorious, gaudy, overpriced extravagance. I believe in the designers who pour their souls into the fashions they create, in the living art that is set forth, and I embrace my role as the curator of the museum that is my closet. I don’t believe in fakes, in fake people, fake smiles, and especially fake purses, it undermines the celebration of the art and perpetuates the meme that high fashion is all superficiality, and that shopping is a meaningless, shallow endeavor. It is the celebration of the human spirit, and an affirmation that yes, you are worth what you don.

I believe that the bonds between females is strengthened in the atmosphere of the mall.

I believe that the mall grows as a girl grows. It starts out at as a maze of clothing racks to hide in from mommy, it’s the promise of getting a blue icee if you behave, and it’s the introduction to your own personal style, because what you put on and how you wear it, affects how other perceive you. It becomes a vector, a way, a mode of expression.

I believe in people watching, that you can learn the most from people by the way they walk, what they buy, who they go with and what they wear; that best friends shop along in twos when searching for the perfect prom dress, that moms and daughters fight and cry over what clothes to buy for back-to-school shopping, that groups of girlfriends float around from store to store browsing with empty clutches, laughing at tacky leather jackets, sprit-zing on sample perfumes, and ogling over gorgeous stilettos; that most boyfriends that are dragged around the mall do it out of love for their girlfriends, and yet it is apparent that for some, it is a cover up to who they really are, as their sneaky little glimpses of longing give away a deeper secret…

In shopping for clothes, I get such a thrill from finding beautiful clothing. And perhaps, narcissistically, I am even more entranced when I find a beautiful piece that I don in the fitting room which makes me beautiful; and I’ll stand there in front of the mirror caught in my own beauty, a beauty I know can not possibly belong to me. It is in those rare, fleeting moments in the mall, that I feel so impossibly divine. When exquisiteness captures you, you exist nowhere else except that point in time adjacent to beauty.

I believe that shopping is the ultimate celebration of prosperity and an indication of human security. What a universal concept that transcends culture! I believe in discovering a country or a city by stepping into the shoes of its citizens, and getting lost in the bustling and excitement of pursuing art. I believe in open air markets, bazaars, boutiques, La Rambla de Catalunya, La Piazza di Spagna, and qu Chengdu shan gai.

I believe that Coco Chanel was a wise woman:

“There are people who have money and people who are rich.”

And I believe in last lines of Keat’s Ode to a Grecian Urn:

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty—that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”