To my younger self & girls everywhere: Here's the thing. You are going to get old. You are going to have to find a way to be defined by whats inside; the passions, the pieces no one sees, the person that feels, thinks and creates. You are not the skin. You are not the hair. You are not the image. It all ends - the youth, the beauty, the toned limbs, the long lashes, the cheekbones; the blocks you have built your identity on. It's not your fault you have built yourself this way, society encouraged you all the way to the bank. When you are forgotten, lest for the family and friends loving you still, all that will be left is your core - make sure it doesn't rot over the years with shallow pursuits and empty connections. Make sure your soul leaves a foot print that matters more than any exterior you feel so pressured to present. No one wants to tell you it's ok just to be you. No money making machine will let you just be, there is always something to be changed, fixed, improved - excessive expenditure and endless expiration. This uphill battle society has engaged you in, this race against the clock, this fight against your physicality, your age, your femininity, your body, will rob you of the rich inner life you deserve. The endless clutching at shrinking straws will exhaust you and distract you from the simple fact that you belong only to yourself. You are magnificent and perfect, you are already all that you should be. You are not a work in progress, you are already there,
from your slightly older, slightly wiser, still learning,
I realise I write about fashion, beauty, trends; things based on image which on first glance discredit everything I so passionately penned above, but this is something I am also passionate about - expressing the fact that creativity, in whichever form it may take, is separate from this dangerous youth machine I refer to. It disappoints me to realise sometimes my interests and my career path are misunderstood or brushed off. The wild creativity of fashion simply rivets me, it is about colour, light, character, balance, art. Iris Apfel, now 94 and still a gloriously confident and well respected style icon said '"I don't see anything wrong with a wrinkle, it's kind of a badge of courage'. She lives for fashion, yet is intelligent, courageous, articulate and rich in heart. There is nothing wrong with enjoying all the fun; fashion does not render you shallow or silly. I appreciate clothing and style for the creativity, the self expression and the story telling. I enjoy good design but whether you carry a YSL bag or a vintage sack half falling apart, there is beauty in both. Style is far removed from money, youth and status, it is about self-love, empowerment, expression.
So, back to my letter...
ps...so, yes you will get old. Your glossy hair will fade (trust me, at 30, the greys are already popping up like McDonald's on a highway and all that damn smiling is showing in the creases around your eyes - oh hilarious siblings, what a double edged sword). The slow journey towards invisibility will be both heartbreaking and liberating. Connect with the inner layers, the core, the soul - the rest fades away so make sure what is underneath is more beautiful than any skin, hair or filter. Be certain to hold above all else, the mind and the heart - these things will never be tarnished by time because unlike the exterior, these things don't deteriorate but continue growing, enriching and shining with every passing year.
Here's to the Iris Apfels, the Dianne Keatons, the Linda Rodins, the Diane Von Furstenbuergs, the Lauren Huttons - women of substance and style proving that beauty has no age, that fashion is not separate from intellect and that the exterior is secondary to the interior, that true style absolutely comes from within.