Whacky clothes? Be a devil!

As a child growing up in Alice Springs – attending public schools, weekend speedways, Friday BMX sessions and other more locally “conventional” events – I always felt my lack of garment conformity to be an issue. Feeling right in what you wear is a slow changing process, where patience and endurance need to prevail, while inhibitions – in my case built over 23 years of social convention and construction – are opened up and properly explored. It was only this Sunday that I attended a “clothes swap” held on the restaurant rooftop of Soma. Everyone present brought along old goodies and what was trash for some became treasure for others. I watched vibrant, gaudy and multi-hued fabrics swishing over people’s absorbed faces and felt a warm tingle from my toes to my palms. The way I see things: life is too short to wear boring clothes, and this moment is just too special for us to hide what we really want to wear in face of the ever-gazing social eye. This is why I would like to introduce Whacky Clothes Wednesday to Alice Springs. Every Wednesday you would wear you wackiest clothes out to wherever you are going. The idea is that workforce and schools, in particular, would take this on and encourage their staff to dress up all crazy, fun and bizarre once a week. We are taught and taught, time and time again, to be conscious of others’ feelings and perspectives, and it seems that we have extended this wise and necessary lesson further than it need go.  I don’t think we should be obnoxious, inconsiderate or forget to value each other. However, taken to the point of social convention, it breeds an inherent insecurity: we struggle to express our true colour and spirit, ever anxious, fearing judgment. The consequences? Oh, it’s the consequences that give me the most drive and motivation to free up colour and let it flow within our daily dress. This could really change our community … no, our planet, for the better! Instead of letting our inhibitions go, and taking a leap of faith, we find ourselves faithless and swim in the safe lane without pushing our boundaries and evolving ourselves. I understand that for many this works and is all that is required for the satisfaction of their souls. For me, I’ve realised that I cannot find proper contentedness and happiness in following the mold, in adhering to norms and in dressing drab. I don’t want to wait for Wearable Arts once a year – let’s make it at least once a week! Life is a short warm moment and I believe this warm moment should not be squandered wearing nothing but greys and blacks. The next imperatives are not directed at anyone, but primarily myself. Wear what YOU want to wear! Use YOUR creative spark to bring color into every situation, whether it is at school, the workplace, the street, the home, or even within your own being. Some advice though – start slowly. Build it up, and let it come about as a natural, organic and unforced process. Instead of forcing your creativity out of its shell and bursting with life and colour, begin with questioning whether or not you feel ready to further align your external self with your internal being. The body is a canvas. Just as painters use their materials and palettes to convey a message they feel and to reflect their own spirit, we should also. So join me and use YOUR body (and your dress!) to express yourself. Yes, some people will condemn you and the harsh iron fist will attempt to push you down, but persevere! Hold out for the good people, who exist in droves and who are filled with love and will appreciate the rainbow that exists inside you.

Pictured above: Try outfits like these at work next Wednesday! Kali Kennedy and Stephanie Harrison sporting winning entries at last year’s Wearable Arts Awards.

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