See Me Now

hand-painted terry robe,  1987

hand-painted terry robe, 1987

I love watching what people choose to adorn themselves with.

In the 80’s, I worked out of a dirty but cool loft in the South End of Boston, next to the homeless shelter.

My partner was the epitome’ of an ‘IT’ guy.. gay, gorgeous, genius.

I was sort of the tag along doing the grunt work while he styled photographic shoots, oversaw make-up and hair and smoked alot.

I love fashion and hated the industry.

The whole damn thing was about becoming something you’re not but wish to be. It’s very seductive. Like swimming in champagne and when every bubble pops, it whispers in your ear: “You look FABULOUS…”

I loved my part of painting all the great textiles and having them sewn up into things like this robe.

When I moved to New Mexico, I wore black.

I finally figured out that my system is so sensitive that whatever I choose to wear for the day has got to somehow match my state of being. I noticed that if I wore yellow and happened to be having a contemplative day, I’d get really irritated and have to change clothes to a paler color like soft grey or burgundy; something less ‘screaming’.

After my fashion stint in Boston I was so steeped in the theater of attention-getting that I really had no clue who I was, really.

And so, the black. I wore it until fairly recently because for me the color holds no charge. It is a non-color so it let me explore what REALLY suited me. I could live my life, not call attention to myself while I was figuring things out, take a look-and-see stance rather than a life-of -the -party one.

If you go in my closet these days, you’ll see clothes that are very spare and simple. No patterns. Nice fabrics. Mostly black (yes, still..) and bright white and many shades of red.

I don’t have many clothes. I have uniforms I feel beautiful in and don’t have to think about. No buttons and few zippers. Lots of stretch fabric and easy pull-on things. Nothing dry cleanable or that needs ironing. I worry a little that my friends are weary of seeing me wear the same things over and over.

The common thread to each piece I wear seems to be that it supports my love of beauty and elegance but does not overpower me or any tangent I might choose to follow during a day.

In my effort to simplify my life, I chose two words that describe the feel I’m shooting for: SIMPLE and ELEGANT.

If I use those two words as a sort of touchstone for everything from clothes to conversation to filing systems to supplement-taking; things seem to fall nicely into place and help me feel peaceful.

All this clothes talk may seem inane to some but for me, anything I can recognize in my habitual ways of being that keeps be from entering TRUE AUTHENTICITY has gotta go..

I want THE REAL ME, and watch for what ISN’T and do something about it.

Dealing with MS has enough stress producing elements to it. I keep whittling my life down to: NOTHING EXTRA.

My love of fashion is still alive and kicking and I take care of it by looking at a great blog called The Sartorialist

The photographer shoots real people on the street from elegantly dressed men in Harlem to fashionistas with 5″heels.

It’s life out there and since I ain’t gettin’ around too good these days, the looking feels deliciously voyeuristic.


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