Dressing to Disarm my Demons

Today’s post might be the last of 2022, and with it, I am attempting to exorcise five demons that hounded me in the past year. I don’t write extensively about my personal problems on this blog, which is, after all, a fashion blog, but one of the reasons I like clothes is that they can physicalize, externalize, and aestheticize hard or isolating feelings in a way that may be beautiful enough to feel redeeming.

Most of these five things (Depression, PMDD, Specter of Death, Bodily Decay, and Loneliness) are chronic and I’ve been dealing with them for over a decade or so, and I’m not looking for sympathy or concern over them, I simply enjoyed the catharsis of creating these outfits and sharing them with you. I wish I could wear all of them, if anyone wants to bankroll that, let me know, it’d definitely chase those demons right out the door. 😉

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Depression

I was inspired by this post from @nyc_looks to create a look featuring just tights under chaps, with the denim signifying the ultimately quotidian nature of depression while the fact that they don’t cover one’s crotch signaling the vulnerability that surpasses that banality. The spirals are pretty obvious as symbols, the hat reminds me of the bedhead of someone who hasn’t brushed their hair in months, and the whole look has a kind of mid-2010s emo-Tumblr vibe the creepers exemplify.

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PMDD

If you don’t know what this is, consider yourself lucky! Creating this outfit, I was thinking about the story of Adam and Eve and Lilith/the serpent and how it ties in to mythologies about the reproductive health of people with uteri. I was also thinking about the physical symptoms of PMDD, the feelings of regression and lack of control it can induce, and dysphoria.

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Specter of Death

For this outfit, I was thinking about horror movies and the nervous humor that surrounds death in our society.

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Bodily Decay

This look was built around the godly Pleats Please dress, which reminded me of an Alex Grey DMT painting. I thought about bodily secretions, mold, and skeletons while making this look.

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Loneliness

I took the feeling of having parts of oneself missing literally with the holey sweater, exposing a vulnerable, visceral red belly, used Christmas colors in a decidedly non-Christmassy way as for over a decade that has been a holiday that makes me feel lonely, used a bumper bag as a buffer, covered up with a coat that is printed in a chartreuse reminiscent of traditional computer code as a nod to cyberdepression, and topped it all off with a headpiece that keeps people at a safe (but lonely) distance on either side.

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I feel better already! If I don’t talk to you before then, happy New Year, I hope you dress like a Daisies character and dutifully defeat your demons.

<3 HR

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