Saturday, May 28, 2016

Fashion as a Tool that Unlocks the Subconscious



How can a piece of fashion clothing raised so many questions?

Indeed, fashion can be appealing even to the boring intellectuals. It helps to unlock the hidden perceived answers lying deep in our dormant subconscious. One question often leads to another. That's why one needs to be have an open mind and be adventurous enough to take on a journey with a piece of clothing that doesn't seem to make any sense! Firstly, it looks like a robe, coat or outerwear made by Yohji Yamamoto or Anya Hindmarch. But it feels just too light and simple to qualify as a coat. Then you have the unconventional aspect to this piece - it just doesn't fit in anyway that would allows one to stroll on a street unnoticed. You walk around the street today and everyone seems to be wearing the same thing and conforming to the same idea of casual wear. T-shirt. Jeans. Tight dress. Tank tops. I mean, it's fine for me. I love the basics, because they do serve a function. It's easy to put on and take off. And it fulfills the need to conform to society, though not everyone could come to terms with that. Suddenly, this puzling piece of clothing doesn't sound that awkward anymore and can actually be the stand-out piece I've always dreamed of.

The future is bright
But what sets one apart from the rest? It all started when I get tired seeing the same old jeans. That's why I love shorts. People may look at me and feel puzzled. Or perhaps even stoke fire to embers of old memories in their heads. Yes, I was famous in my yellow shorts when I first started in the entertainment industry. But the shorts I wear serves a very perfunctory objective - it's simply more cooling in shorts when you have to move around a lot. That makes perfect sense right? Yet, why so many men still wear jeans and long pants in hot weather? So move around I did, and stumbled upon a place with displays of pieces of expensive clothing that's discounted. It must be the lighting in the showroom. All clothes seems to pop out and looked amazing! And one piece of clothing on the rack simply screamed expensive to me. And now it's off 50%. There's only 2 left, each with different sizes - M and S. So I quickly took both and headed for the changing room.


Fashionable Enough on a Fantasy Scale?
My first impression of the clothing was it fits the label of a fashionable raining coat. It looked simply too big to be a coat to be worn casually. My mind suddenly found a good reason to purchase because it looked fashionable. It's the raining season anyway, and I've never gotten myself a raining coat before. I could very well get a cheap one from a convenience store, but this piece looked simply too epic to be just a boring, perfunctory raining coat. It could doubles up as a fantasy statement piece too! First off is the happy cheerful colour - bright summery white, if you could even call it a colour. It looked almost like white, but due to the lighting in the changing room - it really "shines". Then my doubts began to creep in - what if there was a stain? So I quickly checked the fabrics to find out any label to describe it. It's a kind of nylon. There's no double layer inside the coat like a trench coat, so it's actually one layer. This could mean I can wear it outside in a hot weather and still feel pretty airy because of it being oversized. It's actually lighter than a trench coat.

I tried on both sizes the S and M. Of course both fits me, but in a strange oversized way. I know I am in my best body shape now, due to my swimming regiment. First the S size doesn't looked small to me at all. There's still fabric bunching at the sleeves and the shoulder looked loose. When I straightened the sleeves, what can be seen at the end is half of all my fingers. When I tried on the M size, it was just the same. But then in my head, I got the perception that this was a raining coat. So it's fine. I looked down, and there's a zipper that could zip all the way up to the face area. At the top is the hoody. With a hoody that closed up to hide almost half of the face, this coat can do wonders for disguise! I can just camouflage my whole self into the white wall.

My right brain began to process the pros and cons. Firstly, it's on sale. Secondly, it's fashionable on a fantasy scale. Lastly, I can use it to disguise or hide myself from the public. Yes, disguise is the word. If you're someone known in the media, you want to cover yourself up as much as possible from the prying public. I gave kudos to those women who wears the hijab - they know the power and mystery of disguise. With everything enclosed or rather zipped from top to bottom, the wearer is free to wear anything he/she wants on the inside. Or wear nothing at all....tsk, tsk. This is perfect! I could be practically be naked on the street, just wearing this mysterious jacket right now. I got a little confused whether to call this a coat or jacket, because there is a difference. Like a dress, I checked the "hemline". Now, I'm certain this piece of clothing is meant for adult men for it was displayed on the men's floor. I know I can also hide little men inside this giant shirtdress if I want to.


Shirtdress? Coat? Jacket?
I would love if the hemline is just by the knee area or higher. People said if the economy is good, hemlines are always higher. But in this economy? It should be down to the ground! But of course, the hemline for this mystery either-coat-or-jacket piece of clothing falls right just below my kneecap. Knowing this, I wished I was taller. I suspect this clothing is meant for someone taller, but if this was the case, then why is it sold in this region? If fashion can indicate or mirror the current economic climate - then this jacket's hemline is way too long. All men here have medium heights, just like me. Or probably most men nowadays have grown much, much taller than me. Bummer...how the world of men have changed.

Secretly, most creative souls love to dress differently. Having this piece of mystery fashion, it could be safely called a new term - man dress. The shoulders part definitely looked masculine. And then it is covered up to the kneecap to give the appearance of demure. Compare this to its opposite - the tight and naval revealing tank top, this man dress doesn't seem that far fetch or outrageous. I have jealous acquiantances who chastised me for me being too revealing in my clothing - seeing this, now they can finally shut up. In fact, it's quite conventional. The amount of fabric for this piece is a lot, and fashion people know it costs more to have more yardage. So I wonder what will happen if I do wear this man dress out in the public - will I wear the fashion or let the fashion wears me? I don't mind looking a bit different once in a while.


Pockets to replace my bag?
I'm just too tired of seeing pedestrian clothing day in day out. As I explore further, I discover there's 2 sets of strings that pulls at the waist and hoody base. It all feels very summery, which is ideal for a weather condition like Malaysia. The slight problem for me was the waist area, which I hope could have something stronger than just the string to cinch it. I wonder if a belt could do that. Then there were 2 huge pockets, large enough to fit in my 2 10-inch tablets. There'no zippers for the huge pockets but only buttons to held it closed. So I thought, if I choose not to bring my bag along (which I never do), these huge pockets can replace the purpose of a bag. Or if I'm feeling evil, I could slip in a surprise and present it to a friend in a cunning way.

Disguise or perish
This is the interesting thing about fashion that raised questions. When one questions a piece of mystery clothing, the questioning began to transform it into many other forms that have the potential to be other types of clothing. Now, this mandress could become a robe of some sort. I have some grafitti artists friends who loves to create some art on the blank surface. Suddenly, this could become something like Joseph's colorful robe from the Bible, except it's all in grafitti color. It's just a matter of who do I want to become. Or I can become a modern day king from some far off mystical land. All I have to do is just put on a crown. But the truth is more sinister  - my heart is black and needs a white robe.

The last critical factor to buy this mandress-robe-jacket (whatever it is) was simply because it's on the rack. What's on can be off the rack....real soon, too. I'll swallow my disappointment later if I made the wrong purchase. Being an urban poor, doesn't mean I have to look poor! With those huge pockets, maybe I can do some shoplifting with it? And I was right, by the next day - that piece of puzzling fashion was gone, off the rack. So what if the "mandress" is over sized? Balenciaga did it for their Fall Winter line. That line raised many questions. And crossed many lines of conventions. Again, it's the questions that drive us. It's the question that gets us moving forward. It's about not having a set of truths set in stone, but an array of unknown possibilities (and questions again) that could happen. That to me, is fashion. There are no answers. Only pleasure.

The pleasure of imagining what's possible next.

For more articles about FASHION/ART, click below:
Seed Bag for Men Review
Best Fall Winter Fashion Show 2016 (Women)
Jetsetter's Fashionable Guide
HM Fashion Review (Coats Special)
The Ultimate 7 Point Guide to Winning Project Runway
Messenger Bags Special
Tips for Buying Shoes (Sneakers)
Stuff Magazine 9th Anniversary Party
Myanmar Art Review
Student Art Fair




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