Playing with Fashion
What is fashion? What is the purpose? Where did it come from? Why are we consumed with it as a culture? Is pursuing beauty in what one wears sinful? These, among others, are some of the questions Edith Schaeffer discusses in her chapter on Fashion, in Hidden Art. Her response I think is brilliant. Therefore, we will follow in her step.
First what can we glean from Scripture about clothing, fashion, etc…?
“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
One of my students a couple years ago completed a project on the topic of fashion. She explored the nature, purpose, powers, and origins of fashion. She made some incredible observations, one of them relating to our response to fashion and God’s response to fashion.
When Adam and Eve sinned they covered themselves up, they were ashamed and hid from God. Socrates talks about an idea called attiring. It is this idea of pretending, of covering up. It is not a good thing. It is about seeming rather than being. When Adam and Eve covered themselves they were trying to seem a certain way, but what had been disrupted was their “being”. That was not going to be fixed with clothing.
God, on the other hand, made clothing for them that attended to their being. They sinned, and that means there needed to be an atonement. What kind of clothing did God make for Adam and Eve? “Garments of skin.” God was not interested in Adam and Eve seeming right; He wanted them to be right. God killed an animal and gave them garments of skin.
This was the first encounter with clothing, with fashion.
Let us consider another verse.
“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you?” Matthew 6:28-30
This was the verse Mrs. Schaeffer used and asked us to think about for a moment. “Observe the lilies,” Observe. If we observe a field of flowers, or even just one, what will we notice?
We will notice beauty, artistry, color, form, truth, and refreshment. If this is how God clothes the lilies of the field, “will He not much more clothe you?” Not only do we not need to worry about receiving clothing, “will He not much more clothe you?”Clothing, fashion, etc.. if another way we can express creativity and artistry in our display of it. God did. The designed the flowers of the field in greater splendor than Solomon in his robes, “will He not much more clothe you?”
I know this can be a sensitive subject in many circles and so I will say I believe the distinction comes in as it relates to the heart issue of seeming versus being. Am I using fashion as a form of seeming or am I using fashion as a way to participate in the call to create? That is a question we each need to wrestle with individually, with the Lord.But, if our hearts are turned towards being with God, and we have a desire to create through fashion, then there are many ways you can do this. Here is how one woman in the Bible did it.
“She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.” Proverbs 31:19-22
This Proverbs 31 woman selected choice fabrics, worked with her hands to create, and clothed her family through an exercise of her skills and wisdom. In addition, she served the poor.
I thin this is a great pattern for us to imitate as we look to expressing our creativity in the realm of fashion.
Select beautiful and quality things:
Whether it is fabric, ready-made clothing or accessories, choose wisely. Choose colors that mirror the flowers of the field. Consider the lilies of the fields when seeking inspiration for your closet.
Make something to bring some artistic touch to an outfit.
One of my best friends, still to this day, makes jewelry on a whim. She has a big caboodle filled with beads and things and if she can’t find the right earnings to go with an outfit, or needs a bit of a change, she will whip up a sweet new piece of jewelry. It is so inexpensive and rewarding.
Pinterest.That is really all I need to say. There are so many DIY fashion tutorials that it is ridiculous. We are not a generation with a lack of ideas.
A Beautiful Mess Blog: I will say my favorite blog for this kind of thing is abeautifulmess.com they are real, they try stuff, and they really put great effort into posts that solve problems, and present authentic information.
Bobbi Brown Make-Up Book Bobbi Brown has built her band image on being you, being natural, and loving how were made. She has great tips and a great message. This is a rarity in the makeup world.
Use your gift with fashion to serve.
Can you knit? Are you amazing at finding high-quality outfits at thrift stores? (That is an art.) Do you enjoy applying make-up?
Before I came home with my children, I was a make-up artist. I loved giving makeovers and that sort of thing. I still love it. Now I use my gift to bless the teenagers at my church come prom time. I go hang out with them, do their make-up, and speak words of life to them. It is an incredible time.
What can you come up with? How else can this area of art be used for the glory of God?
|This part is a member of our 31 Days of Playing with the Arts Series|