Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Roots

I am a triathlete. Not a very good one but my goal is to become better. Among my many hobbies and interests, I love fashion.

I can blame my father, who used to be a travel agent. Long ago, when the word "Milano" just meant another trip to Italy, I remember my father at the tailor's, looking for a dress suit to wear and getting fitted into one, opting to getting them made instead of buying them in the States. American men were bigger in frame next to my father's thin, sinewy body type. American clothes never fit him.

I read this now and think how arrogant this sounds. How let-me-take-the-jet-for-a-Paris-shopping-spree-weekend it sounds.

But it wasn't.

I just saw it all as that trip to Europe to run around museums and eat good food. Little did I know that other kids did not spend their Sundays eating Italian headcheese, German baloney and prosciutto with bread sticks and baguettes, washed down with bottles of Perrier. That I was very much in a world of my own.

Growing up in San Francisco, I wasn't from a well-off family but books were always a part of my life, where fashion was not. My father had strict control of the reins in terms of what his daughter was to wear so it wasn't until I hit college, for the first time out of the house, that my personality was allowed to take on its true form and all my forms of expression followed likewise.

One of which was my personal fashion sense.

I owe much of my fashion awakening to a good friend, Amy. Having done photography as a major in art school was no small feat, seeing as that EVERYONE always tried to one up the other, in terms of the most artistically liberal. In Amy’s case, that meant wearing to class a tight, mermaid-type dress from the 60s, so tight it was difficult to walk, coupled with a pair of very tall platforms and topped (literally) with a wig that was a one-foot tall beehive. I was only always fascinated with hats (direct result of having watched “The Untouchables” as a child) but Amy brought vintage women’s hats into my life.

And where there was a hat, there had to be an outfit. Slowly, the fashionista in me wandered out and I saw that fashion was more than just very expensive clothing. It is dressing yourself in what is most aesthetically pleasing to your particular frame.

In the world of triathlons, most have a very nice looking frame. And to boot, there are clothes to accentuate that.

So the helmet has to match the outfit, which has to match the gloves, which all in the end, have to match the bike itself.

I had found my home and my goal in life: to bring a little spice in variety and show the triathlon community that a pair of Oakley Jawbones would look good with Love & Friendship Mac Nail Lacquer.

I have spoken: hear me roar.

1 comment:

Psychedelicsister said...

I envy your traveling as you were growing up,
it always amazes me when I meet people that have never left the country or don't have the desire to do so.