First Looks—Fashion from the Early Days

I thought for a while about this week’s “Look.” With 2022 around the corner bringing us to two full years of overt strange, and last week devoted to sequins and metallics to keep spirits shining, this one needed something extra. 

I sat contemplating fashion for a while, and the image flashed into my mind of me as a little girl, wearing a long, pearl-colored slip on my head. 

As a little girl I had a rebellious relationship with scissors—resulting in generally very short hair and precarious bangs. I also had a deep love of dressing up and a sense that glamour and long hair were deeply associated. There was a mood, a character, I felt I couldn’t really access without a mane of hair to gracefully draw over one shoulder and stroke.

I found a solution in my mother’s slips, which more often than not went unused—the late ’90s rendered the slip largely irrelevant, except to young children playing dress up. I would wrap and secure the elastic waistline around my head, letting the fabric hang down my back, or else if I was going for casual chic, I would secure it in a scrunchie.

Dress up was a huge part of my childhood—not long after my slip-wearing, hair-cutting days ended I began to experiment with shirt-cropping, fringe-cutting, power-clashing and so on. There was a year in middle school where I recall going to Six Flags with upwards of 16 rings on my fingers, all of which had to be removed when I went through security.

My childhood fashion sense—free, curious and inimitable—was influenced by movies like Auntie Mame and pictures of Greek gods and goddesses. I was fearless in my experimentation and proud of my combinations. 

Now, as an adult woman who studies fashion from an artistic and an anthropological standpoint, I find incredible benefit in returning to the mindframe of that fearless, creative little girl in her mother’s slip. It reinforces my sense of courage in creativity without boundaries. 

As 2022’s sun rises in the sky and a new year breaks, I look back on those first few hilarious outfits and take inspiration from the open-minded, free-thinking dresser I once was. Now is a time when creativity without boundaries is needed, in fashion and in everyday life. This is a great moment to let the inner kid offer some refreshing direction. 

To this end, I’m calling on all the fashion heads out there who started early. From Wednesday Dec. 29 through Wednesday Jan. 5 post your wildest childhood fashion photos to your instagram story, tagging @pacificsunweekly or @northbaybohemian and using #firstlook. We will feature you on our socials, and the winner will get a special shout out in next week’s “Look.” 

Looking good, everyone.

Love,

Jane Jane Vick is a painter, writer and journalist who has spent time in Europe, New York and New Mexico. She is currently based in Sonoma County. View her work at janevick.com.

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