The madder the gladder
Some people spend their whole lives preparing for their ‘moment.’ Waking up before dawn to run three miles, saying no to Friday night’s plans in favour of Nietche’s philosophies, spending hours learning equations whilst repeating the mantra: “I can achieve anything” so that when the time is right, they will be the best at something.
I am one of those people. As a toddler I wore tea-cosies and my mother’s discarded stockings as hats, as a child I made a skirt out of fabric off-cuts (which thankfully never saw the light outside of my dimly lit passageway) and as a confused adolescent I jazzed up an old pair of jeans with pastel drawings and ribbons. Today, writing from inside a pair of be-jewelled shorts, I feel ready. I have been preparing my entire life and finally, my moment has arrived.
How I hear you ask? Well Belgian designer Martin Margiela and the high-street chain, H&M have collaborated to produce an avant-garde selection of clothes made from duvet covers, socks, and sweet wrappers. Finally, something we can all try at home.
Perhaps I’m the only one who gets excited by strange fashion but I’m sure we can all agree that when someone passes you wearing in same jersey as you, you want to run home and change. In my case, you do the dignified thing and loudly shout: “Smite her!” across a crowded room of perplexed art-directors.
And let’s face it, if you came to work in a pair of hi-top trainers with see-through Perspex heels that made you look like you’re literally “walking on air”, you’re guaranteed not to come across anyone else in the same shoes.
That’s what got me so excited about this collection. Sure we see Lady Gaga wearing a T-bone steak and catwalk models with Harry Potter cloaks but where do the rest of us find such items? In the freezer section of Woolies? Instead we are offered row after row of the same bust-crushing t-shirt and misshapen hoody which we’re supposed to wear like some kind of uniform for the poor and un-famous. While people like me are left on the sidelines dreaming about a pair of checked pants I’ll never find unless I mug a geriatric bingo-player.
So I say, if a franchise like H&M and are being creative and bold in their clothing range then we need to follow pants-suit. And I don’t mean by following international trends in a sheep-like trend but rather embrace our own unique style. Enough with the American flag-printed denim shorts and the Britney Spears inspired track-suit bottoms, lets live the South African dream with Shebeenesque’ gum boots, tye-dyed dungarees and Ouma-rusk coloured petticoats.
I know not everyone likes to make a statement with their clothes but there’s no reason not to find joy in what you wear. When I wake up worrying about the lack of interest the opposite sex is showing me, or what’ll happen if Sandy came to Cape Town, or what exactly I said after that third glass of Pimms; at least I can button up my uncle’s well-worn shirt, pull on my dad’s khaki cardigan and face the day with nervous optimism: “I can achieve anything in a red-bandana.”