Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Nursing Femininity

A girl can walk into our office with shredded denims and neon platforms, shocking purple nails or asymmetrical garments and yes, of course, I appreciate the fashion factor here, but why is it that the biggest 'ooos' and 'ahhs' always arise when a pretty dress walks into the office?  Why do we all huddle around romantic garments, bridal pieces and anything with a bit of lace?  What is it that creates this obsession with frills and pleating, with volume and movement?  Why do I keep being drawn back to pretty things, to sparkle, to embellishments and delicate fabrications?

 Is it our need to return to a femininity we have abandoned?  Maybe it is the appeal of, once again, being fragile in a world where woman have become androgynous and hardened.  Maybe it is fooling us into a sense of raw feminine beauty again?

Maybe it is the child within us?  The princesses we grew up pretending to be?  Maybe it is a desperate attempt to clutch to this innocence when we know it is being pulled from right under our feet as we race to survive, to make the next Gautrain, meet the next deadline, follow the latest tweet.  Maybe it gives us an excuse to dream again.  Perhaps it is an escapism, our form of romantic play.  Perhaps it is just a little fantasy to distract ourselves with?
Or is it our need to be able to touch and feel something real and beautiful again?  We are all too quick to tag our lives these days that we forget to live them.  Perhaps it is a reminder to stop snapping that photo and bbming that moment or adding it as our new status and live it.  Experience it.  Dwell in the moment, how you feel right then.  How you will remember it.  Perhaps we need to return to something tangible, to embrace actual craftsmanship and not a reproduction of things.  Memories are meant to be kept in the heart and not just saved on a photo app on your ipad.  When was the last time you received a written letter?  Do you even know what your partner's handwriting looks like?  How are we meant to save the beautiful text messages received from our children, mothers and lovers over the years?  Are we now meant to keep our memories and thoughts in Dropbox?


Maybe it is the influence of our current economical situation and our yearning to once again spoil ourselves with beautiful and luxurious items.  A flee from the necessary into the extravagant?

Perhaps a pretty dress is just that: Pretty.  And this encapsulates all we aspire to be as women.  It reveals femininity as it is represented in “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli.  We aspire to be associated with fertility, love, and beauty.

Whatever it is, as much as I try to manipulate my eye to focus on edgy items, I cannot resist a pretty dress.   I think it just puts us in touch, once again, with our sensuality.  It lets us be beautiful.