http://www.accidentalicon.com for more visual inspiration.
The Accidental Icon
As someone who has been involved in thinking about social welfare and social well-being for my entire career, I have recently become interested in the power of fashion and clothing to challenge oppression alongside it's potential power to oppress. I decided to start blogging because I was inspired by this potential power (particularly to challenge stereotypes about aging) but also because of the enormous joy and pleasure that can be gained from clothing: wearing it, talking abut it, writing about it and imagining potential selves in it.
My grandmother Irene was the person who taught me about the pleasure of dressing up and wearing beautiful clothes. I remember my grandmother had a grey lambs wool coat that she had custom made (her name is embroidered inside) shortly after she left her rather ordinary (to her) suburban life when my grandfather died. Appalling to her daughters at the time, she sold her home in Wilton Connecticut and joined her two widowed sisters to forge a cosmopolitan life in Dallas and to travel around the world. She was especially enamored with Japan. She would bring me kimonos and beautiful books of watercolors with rice paper covers. When she came to New York we would go shopping and she would buy me a head-to-toe outfit and we would finish the day at Charleston Gardens having a chocolate eclair.
Making the calculations I see that she was the same age as I am now when she decided to re-invent herself.Interestingly, except for when I was young and a little wild in the 70's, I have never been so engaged with fashion as I am now that I am older. I take more risks and become more provocative the more the world wants to make older people invisible. I always knew I was like my grandmother, as she offered the only example of an educated, rebellious woman in our family. I now have her grey coat and can still smell vestiges of the Je Reviens perfumeHi by Worth she always wore. I think I can hear her whisper delightedly that my re-imagination as Accidental Icon (who loves urban living and Japanese designers) is the right adventure for me to take and now is the right time to take it.