- A disguise to hide a weakness or flaw.
- A personal fortress, shielding courage.
- Anticipating or fearing a breach.
- The realization of self.
- A balanced state of being.
- A habit or rut that blocks adventure.
- Sacrificing self to blend into the crowd.
- The path of least resistance; people pleaser.
- Trapped by the norm and tradition.
- Inflated with ones idea of one’s self; disillusioned.
- Playing a role; craving the spot light.
- An intense awareness of one’s relationship with others.
- A symbol of comfort, but bordering damaging.
- Taut, controlled, a snug fit.
- Excessive pressure to perform.
- The fear of the unconventional and unorganized.
- Compulsion for repetitive results.
- Careful precision, maintaining safety.
- Basic elements for survival; necessary for sustainment.
- An efficient and economical approach.
- Set apart; valued higher than wants.
- Aiming for no detection.
- Lacking uniqueness or originality.
- Low emphasis on appearance.
- High emphasis on appearance; making a statement.
- Pioneering; striking a new path; daring difference.
- A need to change and evolve.
- Undefined, vague, elastic identity.
- A forgiving form that promotes non-commitment.
- Freeing, allowing the most flexible mode of being.
- Marked by familiarity.
- Loved, yet misused; not accustomed to maintenance.
- A shabby appearance; seen better days.
The sleeve did not fit into armhole, which was frustrating and was due to the fact that the block sleeve was too large and also because I failed to walk my pattern properly.
The Powerful Bodies exhibit at the Fowler Museum displayed the personal adornments of the Zulu People. This exquisite ornamentation crossed over the lines of dress into art. Each piece in the exhibit was heavily wrapped up in a Zulu’s identity and their ancestry. It was as if, through the lenses of the hairpins, beaded coverings, ear plugs, and staffs, we were learning about specific people, not just the art they created.
Dress is tied deeply into identity, and certainly in the Zulu tribe, adornment conveyed status and essentially become a part of one’s body. Entwistle, in The Dressed Body, discusses how “through our bodies that we come to see and be seen in the world” (44). Dress imbues one “with social meaning (Entwistle, 36). The Zulu people are great examples of how dress is a link between the individual identity and the body, but also with the social belonging (Entwistle, 47).
The extraordinary staffs that were carried by both men and women were used to convey both power and status. They also “extended the body space of the person carrying it” (Fowler). This also demonstrates Entwistle’s theory that “space is grasped actively by individuals through their embodied encounter with it (45). The Zulus were active participants in how they used the space around them.
One of the highlights of the exhibit for me was the intricate beadwork. Beadwork was worn in amounts based on how much a Zulu could make or afford (Fowler). The amount of beads a man wore represented his prestige as a marriage partner (Fowler.) In Efrat Tseëslon’s, How successful is communication through clothing? Thoughts and evidence on an unexamined paradigm, the discussion follows the idea that clothing acts as a kind of language. Certainly one could argue that among the Zulu people, their adornments were a major form of communication about a person.
This was a beautiful exhibit, celebrating the beautiful traditions of the Zulu people.
- The United States is in a legitimization crisis. The American identity is influenced by a wide cultural range and assimilated diversity. With the new generations that are used to this exposure to different cultures, identities will increasingly portray a wide-spread of culture. Identity is discovered by a “process of monitoring their responses to the various styles that are brought to their attention “(Campbell, 19). This affects fashion consumption habits through the fact that Americans are addicted to novelty (Campbell, 11). People are addicted to trying new styles and are willing to pick and choose from different cultures. An example would be the brightly colored woven backpacks that hail from Mexico, but are now available to buy at Forever 21. With the wide diversity in the United States, this adoption of different cultural styles is probably done unconsciously.
- I would characterize myself as a perpetual mentalistic hedonist (Campbell,10). I day-dream about certain desires, however these desires never escalate towards making a purchase. Novelty purchases rarely give me a lasting sense of satisfaction. My purchases nearly 100% of the time stem from need not want. I cannot justify spending money on something that I do not need or would not use on a daily basis. Fabric is the only desire that I indulge. I have an excess of fabric, which I buy based on the countless ideas of projects which I never start. I have every intention of using every scrap I save or yard I buy on sale, yet time is against me. These novelty purchases don’t provide me with the full satisfaction of completed projects, yet they do provide me with inspiration for designs.
- Material goods symbolize status, which is not a modern concept. It is has only escalated over the past few decades, as the rise of consumption has grown to monstrous proportions. With the ease of consuming thanks to the internet, people are now able to experiment with different “identities” rapidly. However, as Campbell points out, consumers don’t necessarily “buy” their identities, they simply expose “their true self” by the choices they make with their consumption (pg 19). We don’t buy everything that commercials and the media throw our way. We gravitate towards the objects that appeal most to our personal aesthetics. Looking around you, these separate identities are visible, by the choices people are wearing, driving, or using. The danger is that we are so programmed to consume that we can’t distinguish our identity outside of our purchases. We don’t acknowledge that we have an active voice in our consumption, rather we’re led to believe it dictates us and it is solely what defines us in society.