It is no surprise that everyone goes through a ‘phase’, at which half the time, you find that it is a personal battle. Otherwise, it is a state of growing up and well, a part of life which eventually, you move on from. Things can only truly get better. And when you’re really young, you take such statement for granted and think of the worse, when in reality, the ‘worse’ has barely touched you. Now, I realise things can only truly get better…the best is yet to come.
Of course, growing up and becoming an actual ‘adult’ takes time to feed on. Even I am just about getting used to it all. Sounds silly, right? But there is one thing that I’ve learned and that I want to share on this blog.
I used to be a really quiet and shy kid. Admittedly, I still am that person because that will never go away but I’ve developed into someone being more sure of herself. I remember about two or three years after finishing high school, I bumped into a girl who used to be in my class at my part-time job at the time. She said I sounded confident and more comfortable in my own skin. I’m glad. Although I have to say, we always seemingly want to seek out the comfort in discomfort through challenging ourselves constantly. Because that is how we grow.
Now, third year of university was a challenge. So much time, preparation, effort and thinking goes into the process of producing a garment, a look, a collection. It is amazing to even think my brain could function so many things at once…but that’s where the comfort in the discomfort lies – in being at a constant, in a drive, a direction to get to the finishing line. This is also the part where everyone has an adoration of respect for each other, not as fellow classmates but as fellow designers, which I think was one of the most genuine moments of my life. Everyone’s work was so different, but exciting – emanating a personality that you came to understand and examine…and I love that so, so much. It didn’t matter if someone’s style wasn’t particularly your taste – what mattered was someone came to accept your style regardless.
Thinking. It makes you think. Fashion, the materialism of it…is not even the beginning of it all. Behind The Scenes (BTS) of fashion is not quite as glamorous as one imagines either. The processes are insane and that’s why it’s important to reflect…although writing is the last thing that people tend to think about in fashion. But let me tell you…it proved to help a lot as I later found.
And this is the point where I may introduce, M.
M was one of the main tutors I had for third year, and who taught me a lot without teaching. What I mean is that he didn’t spoon feed or give out all the clues immediately. He engaged and gave us all a task to do on top of our projects – write a reflective statement to each interval review we had. That is neither strange or unnecessary to me because I always found going to tutorials was like going through psychotherapy. It’s a cat-and-mouse game to wonder “What are you thinking? No, what are you really thinking?”, but for people to really ask, and get the answer is rather gutsy. For people to ask about the person more than the work is gutsy, but that was M.
For each reflective statement that I gave in to each review (in total, it was about 6/7), M loved each one more than the last. My group mates were stunned. Because, what could I have written that was so good anyway? I don’t know either. Perhaps I was just really honest about my feelings and how I felt about the project, about everything whilst every other student was trying to gather words to make a decent word count that filled an A4 page. And I bothered enough to write a page and a half because I wanted the therapy – I wanted someone to at least listen because how else can you get through a wall of things to do? The answer is in the writing. Writing (if you get into it) – is a pure process, a release and strangely, like a child, you tell it like it is. Do you know what else is strange? The solution to most situations are so obvious, but under stress, we become so blind that we have to step back and look at it all afresh, all innocently.
So, was this a compliment by M? I guess so. Although he initially seemed disinterested in any of my visual work – something that I’m studying for, and meant to show experts to find a job in the field. That was a little saddening but I wouldn’t say my visual work was awful, maybe not to his taste??! However, he was not discouraging either because he knows how I think and through surfacing these thoughts, my visuals can then really speak for themselves. He knows. And he knows that I know. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have pushed the visual process even more which he and others came to call, “beautiful”. (Oh believe me, I was beyond stunned).
So in return, M, thank you so, so much. Otherwise, I don’t think I’d even be writing a blog or be writing at all. I don’t think I’d be seeing everything so clearly now if it wasn’t for your guidance and challenges, but really, the challenge was in myself, for myself, to myself.