Sunday, September 6, 2009

Peace, Love, and Harmony, Baby

Last month, Woodstock turned 40. After seeing Taking Woodstock, director Ang Lee’s interpretation of how 500,000 peace-loving Americans descended on a field in upstate New York, I am compelled to revisit my “hippie” phase (sans obligatory doobies). I outed my inner-hippie with a pair of brown Birkenstocks I bought with my first paycheck from Cinnamon Sam’s at 16. The shoes, which lasted well into college albeit smelly and frayed, accompanied a wardrobe of long flowing skirts, peasant tops, handmade hemp bracelets, and macabre belts.

The desire to be “free”, as what Woodstock signified to many, continues to linger in my closet. You will not find a skirt or pant suit, rather a deconstructed suit to ensure versatility and ownership. I’ve upgraded from Birkenstocks to several gladiator sandals positioned alongside Converse All-Stars and Coach loafers on my shoe rack. While I still favor a vintage maxi dress in flower-power prints, I pair it with a black blazer or leather jacket just to be rebellious. One of my five signature looks is Modern Bohemian, a sophisticated tribute to a movement that encouraged creativity, free-thinking, and social responsibility.

Now a second generation of designers is continuing the legacy. John Patrick uses organic materials and production methods to create beautiful ready-to-wear. Matthew Williamson has brought his ethereal collection to affordable chain-store H&M. Alice Temperley oozes avant-garde but her nature treads lightly in reverence to our planet. Their perspective builds on where Woodstock left off – it’s what freedom looks like in 2009.

We don’t need another Woodstock. But we do need a forum for self-expression and in words, we embellish with the clothes, accessories, and shoes that illustrate a world-view – a personal point of view – conscious of our impact on the environment, the economy, and on others.

John Patrick


Anna Sui

Martin Margiela

1 comment:

Jennie said...

I enjoy reading your slant on fashion and it's role in our environment. I personally would love to wear some of those high fashion looks but in my real life, age, income and practicality would bring me down a notch or two. Still, I see how I could blend some of the exotic style with my more down to earth regular wardrobe and have lots of fun with it.