I was at work late this week thinking Amethyst; what can I say about this woman, how can I explain why I consider her a True Fashionista, an inspiration to me not only in dress but in attitude? How can I represent her in the way she deserves? It is as though she knew and updated her Facebook status with this quote:
"The urge to transform one's appearance, to dance outdoors, to mock the powerful and embrace perfect strangers is not easy to suppress . . . The capacity for collective joy is encoded into us almost as deeply as the capacity for the erotic love of one human for another. We can live without it, as most of us do, but only at the risk of succumbing to the solitary nightmare of depression.
"Why not reclaim our distinctively human heritage as creatures who generate their own ecstatic pleasures out of music, color, feasting, and dance . . . There is no 'point' to it -- no religious overtones, ideological message, or money to be made -- just the chance, which we need much more of on this crowded planet, to acknowledge the miracle of our simultaneous existence with some sort of celebration."
- Barbara Ehrenreich in her book "Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy"
As with all other True Fashionistas, I asked Amethyst the same five questions; here are her answers:
How would you describe your personal style?
I would probably describe it as funky bohemian.
Where did you get your passion for fashion?
I would say it stems from a desire for wearable self-expression. A individual may express oneself through a variety of mediums: music, painting, writing, poetry, photography, dance.....and dress! This is just as valid a medium as sketching a sunset or composing a sonata. It is art - a very personal and self-expressive art. Wearing clothes is something that we do anyway every single day, so why not take an extra moment and put together an outfit that has flair and tells the world who you are? It doesn't necessarily take a lot of money.
I find 90% of my clothes from thrift stores. Thrift store shopping encourages recycling, saves on the pocketbook, and there is an indescribable pleasure of finding something that you really like. It's as if the Universe has aligned and has laid before you the perfect ensemble that reflects and honors who you are. To me this is much more fulfilling than going to a shopping mall where the clothes are cookie-cutter and mass produced.
Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
I find sartorial inspiration from differing cultures around the world and through festivals and celebrations of all kind. Why wait for a special occasion to put on that shimmering hot pink kaftan that you picked up last month at the thrift store? Life is short - don't hold back on fabulous!
What is the difference between fashion and style?
Fashion tends to be dictated by others. Style is your own. Fashion is something that is followed. Style is innate. Fashion is merely clothes. Style is YOU.
“Fashion condemns us to many follies; the greatest is to make ourselves its slave.” ~Napoleon Bonaparte
"Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn." ~Gore Vidal
Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her own personal style?
I would advise trusting yourself and delving into what you truly like and what reflects you as an individual. Fear not what others may think. It is an extremely liberating feeling to express yourself without thought as to how others may judge you. See yourself as a canvas and clothes as wearable art - the beauty of texture, the vibrancy of color and the fit of fabric combine to cradle your body and says to the world, "This is who I am!".
The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday for the next few weeks. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments!