The Individual Community:
My grandfather was raised in the countryside of southern Brazil, land of many poor German immigrants. When he was a young boy, his family didn’t have money to buy footwear. The first time he ever wore a shoe was in the Army and that gave him blisters to the point of being admitted to a hospital. To this day, he finds it very painful to use any kind of closed shoes – but he does so in special occasions, like going to church and singing in the local choral.
This little story speaks to me about fashion. It represents the idea of reverence that is bound to dressing well. Even if it’s hard, even if it hurts, your personal attire should be respectful and adequate to the place you are, to the people you are with, and most importantly, to who you are.
That is why I feel that community is one of the key factors that influence fashion. When I say “community”, I’m thinking about it in a narrow sense. I am, for instance a Brazilian who doesn’t really belong to the colorful, Chiquita Banana stereotype of my fellow compatriots. Most of the time, when I walk in my neighborhood, my clothes are a black or pastel spot in the midst of a fruit salad. But my style certainly reflects my personal circle of friends, beliefs and cultural references.
I always think about my grandfather when he reverentially and respectfully enters in the church wearing his best pair of shoes. I always think about my grandfather when I choose my clothes. But I also think about the music of João Gilberto.
I think about the old wooden dresser that I have in my living room, and the light that comes from the lamp beside it. I think about all the Blue Note records’ art work. I think about the photographs embedded on W.G. Sebald’s books. The Pampas, and Buenow Aires.
“La sombra del plátano solitario en el viraje”, as in Cortázar’s Kindberg.
I think about conciseness, and introspection, and simplicity.
Those images and feelings are the real members of my community, my individual and singular community. When I bring this world to my clothes, I’m trying as much as possible to be close to who I am – just like when my grandfather reverentially and respectfully enters in the church wearing his best pair of shoes.