Today: Jun 18, 2024

Pushing boundaries: change is necessary


Last Thursday, the season of “Project Runway All Stars” came to an end, and fashion genius Mondo Guerra (previously a season eight contestant) was declared the winner. This special season of “Project Runway” (with new judges) gave the best “losers” from past seasons the chance to compete and redeem themselves.

I was happy to see my favorite designer, Mondo, given a second opportunity.

It is without question quirky Mondo should have won season eight, but in the end the judges ultimately decided on the mediocre Gretchen Jones. Her style was more bohemian, but I would describe it as forgettable, frumpy, homeless bohemian. She always stayed in her comfort zone producing boring clothes—nothing I haven’t seen before.

Mondo has always thought outside of the box and experimented with bold colors and contrasting prints, but he would always “make it work,” as Tim Gunn would say. His outfits are colorful, youthful and spunky—if you don’t believe me, Google “Mondo Guerra clothing” and check out his past runway collections and clothes he made while on “Project Runway.” His talent is undeniable, and he absolutely deserved the recognition. After all, fashion is about taking risks. You can follow what others have done and stay on the sidewalk, or you can dash out in the middle of the busy street and take a chance. I prefer the mad dash.

Everyone (not just designers) has options when it comes to fashion; everyone has the power to decide whether they are going to blend in with their peers or make a statement. Sometimes people argue they don’t have the money to purchase new clothes, but that’s not an excuse to look as though you just walked out of a trashcan. Shop when clothes go on sale instead of buying items at full price. Check out funky vintage shops for statement pieces. Or go through that closet and find pieces you forgot were even in there and make them new again.

Others like to argue they’re in college and they’re dressing the “college way.” Some prefer to bum it and wear sweatpants and a T-shirt to class, but someone else may opt to wear a neon shirt with jeans. People partially make these decisions based on whether they feel confident or if they want attention to be drawn to them. I suggest experimenting: college is the perfect time to try out different clothing styles before going off into the real world and wearing scrubs or suits to work every day.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love relaxing in sweatpants as much as the next person. But it never hurts to try mixing different pieces until a cool, new outfit is created. Besides, if every person (designers included) stayed in their comfort zone every second and never tried something new, fashion would never change, and peoples’ lives would be at a standstill.

Think about what this world would be like if what was fashionable always stayed the same. What if, in 2012, the world was stuck in the 1600s fashion, when showing skin was prohibited and corsets caused shortness of breath? I know I wouldn’t want to be dressing in that manner, and I highly doubt others would either. So in that sense, it’s a good thing fashion is always changing. Whether tomorrow’s fashion consists of a new concept or the designer is inspired by previous decades like the 1980s, the trends are always shifting.

Sometimes change may be scary, but when it comes to fashion, sometimes it’s not a bad idea to be open to something new. Why not be bold and give colored jeans a chance, or buy those five-inch heels and learn how to walk in them—without falling? Both may initially seem intimidating or risky, but living on the edge is good for the soul once in a while. And who knows, change can be fun!

Now I know not everyone is always eager to jump into the water; they’d rather get their toes wet first. That’s OK too, because everyone is different. Try 80s-inspired earrings instead with colorful geometric shapes, or start from the bottom up with shoes. Shoes say a lot about a person: where they’ve been, where they’re going. And let’s be honest, shoes make an outfit. So instead of wearing those boring shoes you always end up wearing, try colorful sneakers or polka dot sandals.

Maybe you’ve seen the latest fashion trends for this spring (think bright colors) but you can’t picture yourself in neon or in yellow (I’m not a big fan of yellow). But don’t sweat it. Just because something is currently a trend doesn’t mean you need to jump on the bandwagon. Not everyone is always going to have the same taste in clothes—Gretchen thought her clothes were amazing while I never would have worn them. It’s good to have different tastes because fashion shouldn’t consist of cookie cutter outfits all the time. Sometimes we all have to find a style that works best for each of us. After we do, we can step out of that safety bubble and make a statement without saying a word.

Coco Chanel once said: “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” I love this quote because it can be applied to everything, from fashion to everyday life. Be memorable. Be fabulous. Be the better version of yourself. Don’t be afraid to push those boundaries, just as Mondo has done with fashion.

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