For centuries, clothing has played an integral part of every single person’s lives. Every day, billions of people around the world get up and get dressed, some throwing on whatever clothes are available, some picking and choosing their outfits carefully and intentionally. Some dress to blend in with the crowd, some dress to stand out and make a statement. The clothes we choose to wear are a reflection of who we are and what we believe in.
I have always believed that clothing can define a character. A costume can change the way an actor stands, walks, talks, acts. We can see the class and status of a character through the lace and embroidery on the coat’s cuffs or the rips and tears and stains on the shirt’s hem. We can see the personality through the colors and prints of the fabrics, the varied stylings of suits and matching ties and pocket squares. We can see where the character is going through the dress shoes or the cocktail dress. We can see the evolution of the character through the gradual distress of their clothing or the constant neatness of the shirt tucked in, the same way, every single time. We know who the character is before the actor even opens their mouth.
In my designs, I strive for authenticity and relatability. I want to bring a character to life in a way that makes people see beyond the costume and want to learn more about who the character is. In making this connection, I believe that we can see and value people who we may not have the privilege of interacting with on a daily basis. We can understand the people who came before us, the people who constantly surround us, and the people who may come after us.