If you ask anyone, and I mean literally a-ny-one, who claims to be a fashion fanatic, where they got their fashionable spark from, they are more than likely to respond with: “I got it from their momma”. I once read somewhere that “your personality is a product of Nature – the genes you inherit, and Nurture – the environment, in which you are raised in“. And there you have it!
Growing up in a small Eastern European town, surrounded by mountains, rivers and the best that Nature can offer, I couldn’t help but become the tomboy that I – still slightly – am today. A post-communist Bulgaria did not offer much of a variety when it came to dressing up or being entertained, but the organic state of living is still something that I very much crave and wish that kids in our society would somehow magically be able to experience. Running around with the boys, chasing a soccer ball around with my dad (I got a mean kick), riding bikes without a care for my bleeding knees and the pain they exuded, were all things that contributed to my strong personality. I tried playing with Barbies in attempt to entertain my female cousins, but deep down inside that sort of play just never really interested me; they wanted to be ballerinas when they grew up and I wanted to be a Private Investigator. Go figure!
All other factors aside, one of the constant passions on life was that of dressing up and taking pride in my outfits. While high-end brands and a variety of trends were not readily available in our culture at the time, I have my dad to thank for introducing me to a whole other world outside of my own. He travelled a lot for work and thanks to him, my pre-puberty closet was filled with brightly coloured Lacoste shirts, Levis denim, coloured denim cut-offs (that I learned to embellish myself) and fun footwear. He also filled my mom’s closet with fun finds from across the Globe, which I am now proudly the owner of, partly because she took such great care of her pieces, and partly due to the fact that I begged and pleaded for years, until she finally handed them over. A vintage cropped Wrangle sweater – currently a staple piece for late Spring, perfectly in cue with the array of whites, soft blues and light pinks that we see everywhere, a basic shirt and this leather skirt, which comes paired with a matching jacket that my dad found on one of his trips to Egypt back in the mid- 80’s.
I had this piece sitting in my closet for a few years, after it was sent to me from the depths of her closet back in Bulgaria – it never made it out with us to Korea, China, Germany or wherever else we ended up moving to for the past 15+ years – and frankly, I don’t believe it’s even been worn since the 80s. Until last Fashion Week in Toronto, when a little cropped lace number called its name and then I conveniently paired it with the Wrangles sweater and a pair of Shelly’s London military boots. The leather is still crisp, I can almost sense that new leather smell on it and it lightly “swoosh-es” when I move around in it.
So what’s the lesson you ask?
If you take pride in every little thing in life and take care of it, as if it was your most priceless possession, it will live to tell a glorious story.
I could be over my head, but the memories this skirt brings are past its sartorial worth; they bring in a whirlwind of things past, moments cherished, life lived and places explored. And with that, future adventures to look forward to.