Virginia Woolf’s diary in April 1925 describes her desire to ‘investigate the party consciousness, the frock consciousness’. Clothing was always an important part of Woolf’s life and writing; she noted in Orlando that clothes have ‘more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us’. Now, I will spare you all the English lesson (though heads up for a coming post about Woolf and clothing) but I thought it worth explaining the title of this blog in its first post.
I hope here to continue Woolf’s investigation of clothing and consciousness begun nearly a century ago. I cannot quite sustain her standard of writing (a shock to you all I know!), but like Woolf, I want to investigate not just the ‘frock’, but the ‘consciousness’ sustained behind it. Clothing is the interface through which we interact with the world around us, and the way it interacts with us. What one chooses to wear necessarily says something about who one is. Even the most careless of dressers reveals that very carelessness in their clothes.
Of course, everything I have just said has been said countless times before, rather proven by the fact that I’m using someone else’s words to say it… So why on earth bother reading yet another rec’ently graduated, and of course unemployed, English student who doesn’t have all that much to do but air their grievances online? Well that’s quite your own decision to make, but there are a few things I can offer that promise to make this blog unique (just like everyone else’s).
First, you will hopefully find that I’m annoyingly charming, or perhaps just annoying (again that’s quite your own decision to make, and in fairness to you most people tend to side with annoying). Second, I can promise a rather eclectic and odd range of subjects, primarily because I don’t have the attention span to focus on anything for too long a time. But most importantly, I promise that my writing will be invested in ‘conscious’ fashion. So, I will aim to always emphasise being active and ‘conscious’ in our discussions of fashion and cosmetics. Let me explain…
Diversity. Sustainability. Accessibility. Honesty.
These are all things that the fashion and cosmetic industry seem to be lacking. In my few years of work, nothing has driven me more than diversity. Spoiler alert – I’m as gay as the day is long! Second spoiler – I’m an Indian, with parents and grandparents all born in different sub-saharan African countries, brought up in Greater London, and schooled in Watford and Oxford. Quite the eclectic mix don’t you think? I’m the product of quite the number of cultures, and I see nothing more important than transforming what is a whitewashed industry into a diverse space that represents all of us, no matter how eclectic our mix.
Again, a lot of these words (though these are more my own how exciting!) have been said, and though diversity is not an exhausted subject by any means, it is something that has probably received its fair share of blogs. So I’ll add another word to the mix – audacity.
Perhaps it has been made clear thus far, but I’m rather the audacious writer, probably bordering on impudent to be honest with you! But what I mean by ‘audacity’ is that I’ll say exactly what I think, not without thought, but often without too much concern about who it may displease. I’ll get things wrong for sure (believe me it’s not a rare occurrence), and I’m quite willing to change my mind if I’m proved wrong, but I will not shy away from giving an opinion that may not be quite what is expected.
So, if you’re down for quite a ride of topics, and an array of strong opinions (some of which I am sure you will heartily disagree with), keep an eye on this blog as there may just be something for you here…
“And for heaven’s sake, publish nothing before you are thirty.” – Virginia Woolf