Grandmother raised seven children in a small house on a cotton farm in the Texas panhandle seven miles west of Matador. She told stories of days gone by, of fine furniture and fancy clothes. As a child when I went to visit she never put pots and pans on the supper table. It was always “set” and when we went to town we dressed up. Wearing my newly sewn dresses and my hair in curls, town folk would say. “Why you must be Stella Tilson’s granddaughter.”
Dressing up changes your stance.
It is a power tool.
It makes a statement.
Not so much by wearing the latest fashion but by the way you layer what you have, whether it’s brand new or make-do. With conscious attention to textures and palette you create movement and balance. You say:
I know who I am. I know what I’m doing.
Growing up I learned to sew and shopping for fabric with my mother was a peak experience. It made perfect sense that I created clothing when I learned to shibori dye fabric. Instead of buying patterns, I tear and piece the colors that speak to me.
When I see dressed up,
in Sunday best or painted blue jeans
In paintings or photographs
I see soft.
I see caring and tenderness.
I see take a stand.
I see power.
I know who I am.
I know what I’m doing.