Pre-workshop assignment Make sure to have a collection of photos of yourself in your “regular” clothing. Unless you wear a suit everyday that shouldn't be included. The idea here is to have a portfolio of images of how you dress 80% of the time. If you can try and take a photo everyday for a week before this class.
Why not uniforms? Star Trek future of unitards, anyone? But before we beam ourselves into a world of monotonous apparel, let's take a moment to appreciate that flair in uniforms has always existed. From insignias and emblems to styles that scream allegiance to a group, fashion has been our way of signposting prestige and defining who we are. It's more than just what you wear; it's a filter through which you navigate your world. You avoid the biker gear, gravitate to the xkcd shirt, and feel an unexplainable kinship with sport coat-wearing professors. That's fashion at work, helping you find your tribe, one stitch at a time.
In fact, whether we realize it or not, fashion is our first line of communication, silently speaking volumes about us before we even open our mouths. So pull up your argyle socks, straighten your geek-chic glasses, and let's embark on a stylish journey into the aesthetics of nerdy elegance!
The Proximity Model of Communication
Communication happens in several steps when you meet someone. When you first approach, you notice their aesthetic or vibe first. Coming closer, you can see their body language. Hearing them in conversation from afar, you pick up their voice tone. Finally you enter the conversation, and can hear their words.
Given this model, it’s important to make sure that each layer is communicating in synergy, or at least avoiding mixed messages. In these workshops we’ll be focusing on the outer aesthetic layer, see Body Language, Using Your Voice, and Context and Communication for the inner layers.
Look at the picture below and think about the following questions:
- What does his look say to you?
- Why have so many accessories?
- What part do you think works least well and what works best?
Celebrity is no proof against failure. Compared to the previous image, why does this feel overwhelming but the previous one didn't? What does this communicate?
What Happens When Utility Goes Too Far
It's time to start removing the worst of our communication habits in this model. We are going to have your cohort look over your outfits and then INDEPENDENTLY write what each outfit communicated to you.
We often think what we are saying is something very different than what people are reading.
Example The silicon valley Ceo who wears the same plain t-shirts and jeans everyday signals he is too busy to think of these things. For the average tech employee it signals either laziness or the inability to communicate on that level
Some questions to help you start the process:
- What messages are communicated?
- What do you think is an egregious error?
- Are there any high impact low effort immediate fixes available to your mind? Ex: belt, shoes, color coordination, pattern busyness
- Is there any basic grooming that does not impinge on a person's autonomy you may suggest?
Homework (next session)
We are going to be building out our aesthetic over the next few weeks and that starts with defining what we like! Many a little girl knows the process of making collages of the magazines they love into a literal board of their “look”. We will be following their wise lead on a digital platform.
So everyone make a Pinterest Account this week! Create an inspiration folder in your Pinterest and start populating it with the looks that call to you, anything, art, history, fashion, abstract, kink, etc... anything goes!