A rebel street style manifesto

Rebel Street Style

My parents tell me this story. They say when I was younger, maybe 2 years old, I would tear around Kids ‘R’ Us, pointing things out, screaming “CUTE! CUTE!” at the top of my lungs. Well, I haven’t grown out of it. Maybe I don’t scream anymore, but I still have a deep appreciation for fashion, and every time an outfit catches my eye, I have this compulsion to tell the world all about it.

Here’s what I know I believe about fashion: We will never have gender equality until a man can walk down the street in a dress and nobody bats an eye. Think about it. I’m not talking frilly or floral. I mean a man-dress. Women wear feminized menswear all the time (thanks mostly to male designers, by the way, ladies). But if a man wears “womenswear,” even a masculinized version (read as: kilt), it’s either amusing or cause for alarm. Why? What’s wrong with womenswear?

Fashion is not un-feminist. You can be a fashionista and a feminist, just like you can be an accountant and a golfer. They are separate entities. When Dior accentuated curves and nipped in the waist with his New Look in 1947, the subjugation of women was the last thing on his mind. He simply understood that after a very long, very painful war, women were tired of drab utilitarianism. They wanted soft. I like pretty things; if that makes me un-feminist, then feminism’s got way bigger problems than fashion.

Fashion is about personality. It’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it, and you should always dress to express. I’ll stop anybody wearing something out of the ordinary, sure, but I’m just as likely to stop someone wearing something ordinary in an extraordinary way.

This is a street style blog, so here’s the plan: Every month I’ll be roaming the streets of Chicago, camera, notebook and business cards in tow, liable to stop anyone who catches my eye. I’ll ask you questions; talk to me. Tell me why fashion is important to you or why you’re wearing what you’re wearing. Then over the course of the next month, your picture and words will appear in this blog.

I’m looking for a story, more than anything. A story told in the creases of a collar, the scuffs on a shoe or the fringe on some cut-offs.

That’s what I’m trying to say: Look at fashion, people. It tells a story.

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