I got this dress from Dorothy Perkins online, originally only for Christmas meal. Living in the cold, metal, grim area of the north we were based on was just not inspiring me to wear frocks nor colourful things. All the people who used to go to the Shopping Park behind our block, the furthest place I would venture going to most of the time, would wear black, grey, jeans, leather jackets, or just be plain frumpy. I ended up building a hard shell as an outfit, and would wear nothing but monochromes and boring stuff to ‘blend-in’ (aka not be attacked by EDL supporters). I would also wear my hair really tight, aided by tons of bobby pins, to look more what-are-you-looking-at (once again, to avoid racist scumbags). But deep inside, I was at my most vulnerable. Had another depression breakdown, crying almost every day, and scaring the fuck out of my husband and relatives more than once. Even my in-laws were worried about my mental health and were rather pleased when David got the new job. So now that we’re in a more multicultural place, where people and places are more varied in colour, I decided to dust out my Bristol wardrobe and go back to being as femme as before. As this dress is more truly me than my Mad Max fancy dress code from Salford, I am now using it more often. And to balance the universe and compensate it for all the times I wore jeans and trousers, I will not go back to them for a really long while.
The cardigan is one of my favourite items of clothing ever. I’ve had it for almost three or four years, and got it at Burlington in Laredo (or was it McAllen?), TX. Something I miss about living near the US is the ease to cross the border and get incredible bargains.
The trainers are from when I was in high school, and a male friend and I were obsessed with getting red trainers for some reason. We bought them at the same shop in Monterrey, and accidentally went to school wearing them at the same time once or twice. After spraining my ankle last December at All Tomorrow’s Parties, the doctor forbade me to wear anything but them, so my passion for them is reigniting after nine years. They are still extremely comfortable and resistant, having survived heatwaves beyond 40 degrees and below-freezing snowpocalypse.
The necklace, of course, is from Fancy Lady Industries. When Natalie released it, I was in desperate need of it; and the urge grew after seeing Samantha Murray wearing it at the Fat Studies and Health at Every Size Seminar in November 2010. At Plus London Two, I can imagine it might have been a bit shocking to see for those bloggers from the ‘curvy’ school who still have issues with the use of said word, but those from and/or respectful of the school of ‘fat’ gave me tons of kudos for wearing it. To me, just like going to said events, wearing colourful feminine stuff again, and writing publicly in the first place, is an adventure, a challenge, a way to take myself further, embrace myself, and show society that I am not going to hide ever again. And that fat is nothing to be scared of.
I also made a few variations every few days. Instead of wearing the ‘fat’ necklace, wearing the ‘Darling’ necklace, which also has a deep history I will share later. In this ‘MySpace’ style picture, you can see this variation, and appreciate more the rose buttons in my cardi (<3) and the belt around the dress.