Clothes Are Just Clothes | Andrea Dyes

in Nov 14, 2017

A few months ago, I'm sitting here at my desk reflecting pensively in my best Carrie Bradshaw voiceover "Why do I actually enjoy fashion design and why do I stay in it?". Yes, I studied the principals of form and construction throughout my school years, it pays the rent, and supplies my friend's with endless options to borrow, and way before that it allowed a closeted little mid-western boy an escape into a little fantasy. But that was all in the past. Why do I do it now?

This past year has brought many of us feelings of frustration and angst, but also a renewed sense that a greater shift is happening in the world. As a creator, I wanted to ask myself where my motivation truly lies when designing clothes for women, a group that historically has been marginalized, categorized and predefined by outside parties... namely old, white men.
 I began diving back into my archives and two stories resurfaced that have kept me going over my 10 year professional career. The first is about a woman who had been wearing one of my dresses on a night out with her boyfriend. The mood was right, the setting perfect, and "because I felt so incredibly beautiful in my Daniel Vosovic dress" she got down on her knee and proposed to her boyfriend (she didn't even have a ring at the time but he didn't seem to care haha). The second story revolves around a frustrated woman who was due for a promotion at her job that had come and gone three times, and she knew she deserved it. So she "put on the garment that I felt the most powerful in, the most confident - which was your black wool & leather one" and demanded she was given her raise.
She got it. 
The CLOTHES ARE JUST CLOTHES campaign was born from the belief that what you wear can have a profound impact on your feelings, your actions, and ultimately your sense of self... despite that fact that when broken down to it's bare bones, what you wear is an equation of choices such as color and shape. Clothes are just clothes but at the right moment they can be... an invitation, armor, motivation, bliss.
I sat down with a few of my friends to hear their stories.
ANDREA DYES  |  Artist.

Part of the Clothes Are Just Clothes photo series, this is a conversation with THE KIT. Founder and Creative Director Daniel Vosovic and friend Andrea Dyes, exploring the relationship between fashion and self.

Photographed by Timothy Mulcare

D. Do you have a memory or an experience that is attached to an actual garment, if so, I was wondering if you brought anything?

A. I don't necessarily have a memory attached to it as it's more just like... it's this... little lion head costume haha!

D. It looks a little shabby, I have to say.

A. That's just how it was made I don't even know how old my brother was at the time and if you were to ask him about it he would have just thrown it away in a minute and been like 'I don't know what that is'. He was probably two or three when he got it, it's very Chewbacca-esqe, and my mom was cleaning at home and found it... and it was around the time that my parents were getting separated and, I don't know, I'm not very close with my brother anymore and I used to be super close to him and I have an older sister and am super close to her. I guess this is a way that I still feel connected to my brother - something I want to hold on to - a good memory. I guess when we were younger and everything was a lot easier. Especially with something so fun like Halloween and costumes!

D. So do you still dress up?

A. Yes I love Halloween.

D. Why?

A. Because I feel like you get to be somebody that you're not for a day.

D. I often think the same thing. A socially acceptable day for you to wear your inhibitions on your sleeve and no one gives you shit about it. 

A. Everyday we have expectations to be someone, predefined, to fit into a box, and Halloween is one of the days where you can have self-expression and be whomever you want... let yourself go for a night.

D. So what does this look like on?

A. I'm not putting this on haha!


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