Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Vera Wang and uniforms

5 January 2011, Vera Wang

I love Jackie O, and I’ll say for a different reason from a lot of other people, I think. I think that she was actually quite simplistic in her wardrobe. This is an epiphany I had with my president, Mario, in London. I realized that everybody in the end comes down to a uniform. In the end—even as a fashion professional, or fashion insider, someone who’s looked at fashion for so long, and from so many different angles—there is a uniform that works for you. And that uniform can be modified, and it can be changed, and it can be dressed up, dressed down, explored, taken more street, taken more couture, but in the end, it’s an editing process. And as you become more certain of your own vision, and your own taste and your own style, as you evolve, as a person, not just as a woman, you do end up in a uniform.
I decided that, in a way, Jackie O, for example, her REAL uniform was pants. I believe they were Jack’s at the time. And a t-shirt. A round neck, crew neck t-shirt. Forget all the nice dresses in the White House, the little suits and few evening gowns she wore. Her real uniform in her life was a pair of trousers and a t-shirt.
That’s very much what my uniform is. Mine is a legging—it used to be a jean when I was younger—but a legging and a t-shirt. A different t-shirt, a boy’s tank, but nonetheless, there’s a uniform. And then what I do on top becomes the fashion part, whether I wear knee-highs or hosiery. Or it could be a crazy belt. I also have an incredible collection of jackets and outerwear and tunics. These are the things that bring the fashion part to my uniform. But there is a uniform nonetheless.
Miuccia Prada’s uniform is a white shirt and a skirt. In the end, people come down to uniforms and what they do with that uniform.
Mario and I were talking, and he said, ‘That’s what men do.’ And it’s similar to what Jackie did. Men wear either a jean or a pant — in Mario’s case, low crotch – and with it he wears a t-shirt. And then it’s the most incredible jackets in the world. I mean it could be Dries Van Noten, Comme de Garcons, Junya Watanabe. That is his uniform. Where his expression comes through is in that outer piece.


Anonymous said...

This is really great - I LOVE Vera Wang, I'm so glad to find your new blog! Although I am opposed to a 'uniform' it's because I associate it with wearing literally the same combination of items everyday top to toe, not varied like Vera discusses. I'd get bored out of my mind if I had to do that so maybe that's why I have 2 'uniforms', knit/skirt or pants or dress (longer version of the shirt!) when it's warm.

Gam Kau said...

You would be truly bored with my wardrobe, lol. I pretty much wear the same thing day in day out all thru the year. But, I used to have cupboards and cupboards full of beautiful clothes and I still very much appreciate the beauty and pleasure of nice clothes. These days I just live vicariously through bloggers who take joy in choosing their clothes and outfits. It's probably because I moved too often in the last decade that I decided that I don't want to move yet another box of shoes. :)

pao said...

I love reading your blog, interesting, thoughtful...and unexpected too. Thanks for visiting Project Minima too.

Gam Kau said...

Pao, I so enjoy Project Minima, thanks for visiting!

Sarah Vitsas said...

I used to think I'd get bored with a limited wardrobe, but it is the opposite. It is so freeing, and as Vera said, it is on the extras that I have fun and express my personality.

Gam Kau said...

I used to feel the same Sarah. I had a very extensive wardrobe, but in the end I realised I pretty much wore the same type of outfit over and over again. Limited choices can be very freeing.
But I still love to look at clothes anyway.

Yuko Jones said...

I love this, Gam! This is exactly why I decided to minimalize my wardrobe. I think there is something about "limitation" that makes us be more creative with what we have. I believe in the art of limitation.

Gam Kau said...

Yuko I think limitation is useful in a lot of areas. Even children seem more content when they have a smaller selection of toys to choose from. Too much choice can be overwhelming and ultimately, unsatisfying.

Shelley said...

Amy Dacyczyn talks about how people see what their children like and then give the children more and more of it - toys, rich foods, etc. She, on the other hand, would limit things like ice cream so that when they had it, they REALLY enjoyed it. We don't eat much meat, so when I have it, it is sheer heaven. We buy one large bag of potatoes in the autumn and when it is gone, that's it until the next autumn. Those first potatoes are shockingly delicious. As to clothes, I dream of sewing my own perfect wardrobe. In thinking of this, I have decided that I want a small wardrobe of perfect pieces (which is why it is still a dream). I no longer wish for a walk in closet crammed with clothing choices. Having something exactly right with regard to fit, fibre and colour seems a higher aim these days. My uniforms very with the season. I wear boots and skirts in winter, cotton and linen with sandals in summer (usually not in Britain) and jeans and some sort of walking shoes the rest of the time. Since leaving work I tend to favour cardigans over jackets, but my 'perfect' wardrobe would have some great jackets as well. I love the idea of a uniform. For all that I love clothes, I don't want them to be the first and last thing about my life. I want to get them right and then move on. Not sure it's possible, but that's my aim. (I do witter on a lot, don't I?)

Gam Kau said...

I really like Amy Dacyczyn , by sharing her formidable common sense she has really helped a lot of people.

I love that you only buy one bag of potatoes a year. These last few years I've become very interested in hedonic adaption and how to adjust things in my life so I don't get TOO comfortable. It sounds strange, but I think a bit of deprivation for most of modern society wouldn't be a bad thing.

I'm working on my springtime uniform right now. I love clothes too, someone told me "you have to think a lot about your clothes initially so you don't have to think about them much at all later on". That's what I'm aiming towards. I don't want to have clothing choices occupy too much of my brain space, seems such a waste of time (especially when you have so little space as me).

Wittter away, I love wittering!