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Love Letter

February 22, 2009

Dear Fashion,

We’ve had a relationship for some years now. I suppose I owe my mom for introducing us. The butterflies fluttered in my baby tummy when I reached for my mom’s perfectly colorful crochet beret. And when I wore the heart-filled dress my mom made with the bow headband with the mesh that stood up, I felt like I stood out as the prettiest little girl in the world. I also felt like the most scandalous little girl in my favorite cropped top outfit. The bottom of the shirt was elastic so I could control the amount of crop and when no one was looking I positioned it with a whole bunch of crop. And I loved it.

The first time I had to defend you, I lost. It was at that book shoot in New York. It was a typical modeling job and I looked forward to wearing one of the trendiest outfits I owned- a denim jacket and matching jeans with bold bright fuscia flowers decorating a black background. However, the photographer wanted me to wear a muted mauve plain sweat suit and I threw a fit. I still remember the producer sitting me down in a makeup chair- it was dark, away from the bright camera lights. She explained to me that sometimes solids work better than prints. For the sake of you, I tried to refuse, but I eventually gave in since the trip from New Jersey to the city would have been a waste. But since that fit, I knew that you, fashion, was a fit for me.

You remained with me, sticking through puberty. It was a time of experimentation and I can look back and cringe at some of the choices we both made. You led me to some tight-fitting clothes- those capris that split revealing my butt to the Wildwood boardwalk during Memorial Day weekend come to mind. But all of that led me to knowing that we can in fact endure.

In college, we got way more intense. You were constantly on my mind- hence all of those trips to the mall and every weekend splurges feeling compelled to wear something new every night out. I mean, you did get me voted “Best Dressed” in my sorority. Oh yeah, and also “Most Likely to Max Out My Credit Card”.

And in these last few years, I feel like we’ve really been vibing off each other. The transition from east coast to west coast life has been seamless- and most definitely better for us. The layering options are endless with the sun shining on us, and in turn, the layers in our relationship are deeper and realer than ever. I get you- completely and totally and I know that you get me and most of all accept me, missteps and all.

A few months ago at work, I was dressed down in sneakers- albeit Coach Velcro ones- and passed a woman who I didn’t know at the time. She questioned me in a surprised tone, “The diva is in tennis shoes?!” I turned around, more surprised by the label “diva”. Sure, I walk briskly around in heels, but I never really paid attention to what others thought of you and me. While “diva” has a negative connotation, I didn’t take it like that, and smiled and extended my hand introducing myself. And when I did that, I felt your familiar touch that’s been with me for all of these years.

You are divine. And I love you.

xoxo, Mel

(P.S. – I’m the one showing my undies in the heart dress photo and I have my hand on my hip in the blue crop top outfit.)

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