Thursday, March 01, 2012

Introducing St. Steven | the real deal

Written by St. Steven - 3.1.12

The person I am today might look and feel a great deal different had I not developed an interest in the 60’s and 70’s in high school. The interplay between fashion and sexuality during that time made for a significant portion of that interest. The shifts in fashion that happen in moments of sexual liberation have been interesting to me as long as I have known both worlds.

It is interesting then, that my discoveries of fashion and sexuality came nearly simultaneously. Two dear friends opened me up a world of glossy magazines and less glossy do-it-yourself fashion shoots. I had previously avoided that world, as an interest in fashion was and is considered “feminine.” After coming out, that issue was resolved slightly and I began to find myself sexually. The Sexual Revolution of the 60’s and 70’s was an exciting lens to re-envision the otherwise bleak interaction between sex and my surroundings. The sex-positive ideas that emerged with The Pill and women’s liberation were far more attractive than the seemingly puritanical values that surrounded me in school and suburban society. Self-expression, in any form, became an obsession, as suppression had been the standard for too many years.

Getting dressed is an exercise in self-expression. In my mind, it should never be too serious nor should it be limited by social norms. In fact, style should be limitless. I enjoy the idea that one can explore various personality traits and aesthetic interests and then radically change the very next day. The beautiful reality is that one can also choose to eliminate themselves from the equation and find beauty in fantasy. Escape is possible through fashion. My style has its consistencies: an element of rock ‘n’ roll, a flagrant sexuality, androgyny, but it’s always exciting to explore new things or even to redefine those consistencies. Heaping on jewelry feels glamorous and oddly comforting. Putting on a bulky jacket or drowning myself in swaths of fabric makes me feel protected. The truth of the matter is that appearance plays a large role in both the way people perceive you and how you choose to see yourself. I’ve always put more stock in the latter.

After a great deal of growth, experimentation, and exploration, I eventually found myself at the University of Washington, where I study Journalism and Art History. Michael and I briefly met at a local fashion event that I was volunteering at. I hadn’t been living in the city very long and even meeting fashion designers felt like a dream. Through sightings on campus, getting acquainted with his boyfriend, writing an article about him, and taking his workshop, Wearable Art and the Body, I began to actually get to know the creator I met two years ago. I often have trouble trusting anyone’s pursuits in fashion (especially in Seattle), but there was something about Michael that felt like the real deal. I hope that his choice to take me on as his intern says the same about me. In any case, here we are, with this journey before us, ready to burn a hole in the road!


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