Fashion is more than just clothes. Fashion is like music. Artfully arranged, it communicates pure emotions.
Who am I? What is this blog about?
In (very…) short words:
Hi, I’m Tessa Amandine. Twentysomething. Phd-student. Half-German (living in Hamburg). Half-Swiss (French-speaking part). Frozen yoghurt and chocolate addicted. Music and life lover.
In (very…) long words:
To me, fashion is more than just clothes. It’s an art that communicates emotions and the art of pointing out the beauty of every woman. Let me explain you what I mean by presenting you my thoughts about two very special fabrics.
Romance and Art. To me, Tweed is directly related to the “Maison de Couture” of Chanel. Ever since, I was captured by this label, its history and very artistic Prêt-à-porter as well as Haute couture collections and their presentations. Initiated by the iconic Gabrielle Coco Chanel and continued by the genius Karl Lagerfeld over the last three decades, Chanel has launched numerous collections of timeless beauty and elegance with clothing that still remains wearable.
In the first place, the name of Chanel stands for perfect Haute Couture. Every Chanel couture Tweed piece as well as every Chanel advertisement and every Chanel show is a masterpiece. It’s surely no tough job to look good in a classic Chanel Tweed costume, since the pieces are outstanding artworks, even unworn. Therefore, one might argue: An artful piece of clothing which is as unique as those coming from the Ateliers Rue Cambon is too eye-catching to see the person wearing it. At first sight, you’ll only see the piece itself like on a mannequin, the person is almost hiding. So, how is fashion supposed to point out the beauty of the women, of the persons wearing it?
Well, firstly, the beauty of the worn pieces is just a mirror of the emotions and the beauty inside the person. The wearer decides to which extend she wants to show the outside world what’s inside of her. So: The more beautiful clothes are, the more inner beauty can be shown.
Secondly, I don’t believe that, looking at a woman wearing a Chanel Tweed costume or whatever other clothing, you either only see the clothes or only the person. I believe that, being dressed correctly, it’s always a symbiosis. The person choses the clothing depending on her mood and the clothing influences her wellbeing, her attitude and strengthen her complete mood. Therefore, clothing never steals the show from its wearer; it underlines her personality, her inner and outer beauty.
Not convinced? Well, take a look at the picture on the left. The women are gleaming… The atmosphere on this Chanel picture (which has had a very special place in my apartments for at least three years now) provides evidence of my romantic thoughts on the artwork of Chanel and fashion in general.
Textile liberation. The meaning of Tweed wouldn’t be the same if Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel wouldn’t have existed. Her vision and her strength, her passion and her creativity are outstanding and inspire me every day.
Growing up under impoverished conditions, she had the courage and the strength to work hard (abstaining from a fully satisfied private life) and to fight for the realization of her vision. A vision that concerned far more than just clothes as ends in themselves. She wanted to free women from their narrow corsets and allow them to adopt the attitude they wanted. She fought for a textile liberation equivalent to the liberation of women as such, encouraging them to free themselves from any social codes. Gabrielle Chanel had to fight for a long time until she started being successful with her label. She never gave up her vision though there were several barriers on her way. Despite of her outstanding taste and unique designing talent, this strength is what I admire her for. She will always inspire me.
Personal impact. Since I’m a student, the dream of owning my own Tweed costume (May it be Chanel or any other label) is far away from realization. My personal experiences with Tweed therefore remain very limited. However, Tweed stands for timeless elegance just as the style of classic icons like Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly. I would never dare to say that I wear looks of their style. Still, I feel very inspired by their wonderful outfits, by their timeless beauty and attitude. A lady in a Tweed costume represents this timeless elegance and maybe one sweet day: this lady might be me…
Perhaps the least worn, but most important fabric of all: Tulle.
There is no other fabric that is as glamorous, as feminine, as fascinating as Tulle. To put it simple: Tulle is such stuff as dreams are made on. It’s the fabric that makes women out of girls and girls out of women. Why?
Romance and Art. The hopeless romantics among us might know an obvious answer to this question: First of all, it’s the fabric which is supposed to play a huge role on the so called “most important day of our lives”. Almost every woman once has had an imagination of her in a wedding dress with a Tulle skirt or at least with a Tulle veil. This fabric is representing the romantic dreams and hopes we all have for our lives. And even for the non-romantic among us (come on: there’s a little bit of a romantic in all of us, so let’s better say: for those who cannot imagine to get married one day): I would bet that every woman at least once in a life will experience this overwhelming feeling of fascination when seeing a really beautiful wedding dress. There’s a reason the wedding dress is the most important, the “crowning piece” in a designer’s collection. Especially couture wedding dresses are artworks of perfection and pure beauty. And most of the time, the fabric of Tulle is kind of involved into this result.
Textile liberation. But this fabric also had a very important appearance in the history of fashion – at least for us 1990s-girls. Can you guess what/who I’m talking about? Well, about a character that might have been the most important influence on my personal style and my whole attitude towards fashion: Carrie Bradshaw (which can only be mentioned together with the two great women behind this character: Sarah Jessica Parker and Patricia Field). We all know the white Tulle skirt Carrie’s wearing in the title sequence of the six seasons of Sex and The City. This skirt, to me, represents not only the sexual liberation the series contributed to (at least in Germany as far as I am able to judge), but also the “textile” liberation. What SJP and Pat Field created during the six years of the series was the collective consciousness that “anything goes”. The message: Wear whatever you want whenever and wherever you want. If you’re feeling edgy today, dress yourself up edgy. If you’re feeling sporty, then just throw over you’re printed leggings, a tunica blouse, a nice biker jacket and biker boots. If you’re feeling like a princess today, then dress like a princess (and that doesn’t mean that you should just take the biker boots with the shiny sequins instead of the normal ones – be creative! grab a skirt, a nice tailored jacket and go for some bows in your hair, around your neck or wherever you want, and, if you’re an “advanced princess”: even go for some Tulle, maybe leaving some other accessories aside). The most important message is: NEVER EVER care about what other people are thinking about your style. Your style is a part of you, of your personality. As it’s also a matter of taste, others don’t have to like it, but they have to respect it. Otherwise they won’t respect you’re inside personality. That’s what Carrie’s white Tulle skirt means to me.
Personal impact. However, I admit that I might have slightly over-interpreted the message of this Tulle skirt since I started my personal and very special relation with this fabric at a very young age. Girls, do you remember this amazing feeling you had when you looked at a picture of a Ballerina with her tutu as a little girl aged two or three? Do you remember the days when you wanted to become a Princess once you’d have grown up – that you’d be a Cinderella one sweet day – with all these beautiful ball gowns of white, pink, blue or yellow Tulle? Well, I do.
I love Tulle – may it be for this latter reason or due to the fact that I already had my very own imagination of what was an adequate everyday look in early times: At the age of two or three, I terrorized my mum by wanting to wear the same red Tulle skirt (known as my Red Tutu) every day. By the way, I only wanted to wear it together with one special jacket and the same hairband with a red Tulle bow (not to mention that this hairband had two black mouse ears on it, since it was a Minnie Mouse Ears diadem). Yes, during a period, I dressed up like this almost every day, going to the kindergarten, to the playground, accompany my mum to the supermarket – in short: every day and everywhere. At least that’s what she’s telling. But I’m sure that I would even have slept in these clothes if my mum would have allowed it. I don’t want to complain since I suppose letting me wear a red tutu and Minnie Mouse ears on an almost daily basis is far (!) more than you can expect from most parents. The more so as I grew up in a very quiet quarter of the city, where the other people didn’t really understand my appearance on all other days than Halloween (in Germany, in fact we were not wearing costumes on Halloween when I was a kid, but on a Carnival day in February which is what I mean by writing “Halloween”).
Quite the contrary: Meanwhile, grown out of this red Tulle skirt, I want to thank my mother for her endless patience, for letting me be “me” – in the textile sense as well as in a personal one. I feel that this red tutu has much contributed to my textile “courage”. I don’t want to call it like this, but some of my friends keep telling me again and again they admired that I was wearing certain clothes without the fear of negative reactions from other persons. However, to me this is a matter of course and has nothing to do with courage. On the other hand, I might be one of the shiest persons in the world. And I suppose, if there wouldn’t have been my mum with her patience and tolerance for me and my red Tulle skirt, I might have become as shy in textile matters as I am in personal ones. Having said this: Thank you, Maman!
P.S.: Those who read until the end – Thanks very much for entering my personal world of fashion! And: Sorry for my English – I’ll keep practicing. However, I feel that it’ll be better to keep long texts in German on this blog in the future. Don’t worry: The short ones (in the “Look of the Day” posts) will remain in English. Feel free to send me English advices any time :-)