The Transformative Power of Clothes

We like you, and you like us, because you all dress for yourselves. What is it to dress for yourself? To feel truly comfortable? I think first you have to know who you really are, and then find out what that inner human likes. It might not be the designer thing you really wanted, or the thing you read about on the nyt style page. It might be something your cool friends hate or your partner thinks is dorky, but you embrace it because it expresses something about you that you want the world to know.

As patti smith cavalierly says of her iconic outfit on the cover of horses (shot by robert mapplethorpe), "i got my favorite ribbon and my favorite jacket, and he took about 12 pictures. By the eighth one he said, 'i got it.'"  I try to think of that every time i get dressed, how clothes are a kind of talisman to the person inside, rather than an external cloak to hide in.




Crystal Moselle considers the characters we inhabit in our everyday looks.

"The relationship we have with clothing is intimate and often difficult to articulate. Our sartorial choices manifest as an extension of ourselves, a reflection of our personalities – whether or not we are wholly aware of this. “I really loved the idea that clothing can be a catalyst to make us feel different and explore the different sides of who we are,” says vanguard director Crystal Moselle of Separating Ourselves, the concluding part of NOWNESS's The Way We Dress series." 

Lenna Petersen