For the first 107 years, I’d been stagnant.
I’ve been void. I’ve been layered in corsets and petticoats. I could only nibble of my cream off cakes – eating the whole cake, so out of question. The vanilla icing so tempting, but I always desperate to not break bones. A bite gone out of place – any bite gone out of place, the tummy flesh would churn more. A generation and the millennium all forgotten, they’re mouths shut while their eyes gleamed. I knew that Barbie copied grandma because they both dressed the same! Damsels in distress: I would also wear the crown that fit around my waist – “corset.”
For 107 years, I’ve learned how to keep myself away from the ‘evils’ of freedom and fainting remedies. I smelled salts, right before I knew I’m off to hell. I worked, in large, large, large pleats of silk and frill and satin. The household work done right all the time. I deserved a trophy. There was so much metal underneath that thousand Swarovski diamonds couldn’t measure the weight. I smile though distraught. The red blood so pinkish on my cheeks, the rose’s juice so silvery on my lips – the paleness masked underneath the powder and blush, my grief never singled out; “I so accomplished.” The ‘curtsy’ definitely the most hilarious social propriety, my waist always so tightly caught between threads and ribbons on fire. And then you bend and tilt and move. He speaks through his handshake. Him so gallant and courageous, there’s France in the air. He smells like Russian Vodka mother warned me about. But what do I do? My docility always threatened me to break free. All threats come true one day, this one too challenged to, on a day which was so against feminine heights. How could I even talk? My best friend nausea, always so tightly bound to me. He thinks I blushing, I’m shy. Not there’s no awkwardness about me, I’m friendly and lively – but the corset understands nothing – it only increases blood pressure. Cheeks turn red, my cheeks – always so flamboyant, but trust me, you’ll see how detached my eyes are. He thinks he can climb up the balcony, but I’m no Rapunzel. My hair is always in a tight, tight bun and in it I sleep with drained consciousness. But once in a while, I let my silvery ends lose; those nights when I shy more profusely – he knows he can come up now. I prefer those serenades and ballads; the orchestra always, always evokes Shakespearean tragedy and heroine like fantasies in me. But most importantly, the white, lose nightgown lets me breathe. *Oxygen in, Oxygen out*. I feel so free, I feel so brave. Oh dear Grandma, how did you even tolerate these tight strings?
Just get me out of this dress! All that’s skinny isn’t so pretty.
My fashion sense was a 107 year old aesthetic rebuke. Now, I don’t do fancy dress. I don’t dress up in gloves and serenity. I don’t play Elizabeth Benet; Austen has been put to bed. I am more like my mother I realized. I’m experimental, I’m different. I can’t be still; I’m not serene. The age of my ancestors sometimes reminds me of brightness and fluency. But their delicacy doesn’t thrill. I am instead hundred. My wardrobe and I are an intricate collection of slight patterns and lace layers. I like gowns and diamonds – until chokers don’t suffocate. Nevertheless, I believe that I am a 100 year old Lily which wants to believe that it’s a dandelion. I want brilliant, but I’m stuck in arrogance. I’m cutting off floor sweeping layers the length is to my ankle now. I prefer khaki, the wars beginning. The skirt will be shoved in and I will wear pants. Trust me, there’s nothing more comfortable than denim. I walk around in bloomers sometimes and sometimes, I’m all in for long beach skirts. I haven’t forgotten fragrance, so I add perfume to my florals sometimes. I jam in leather jackets and chill in comfy loafers. I survive assignment nights with pajamas and bridal showers with crisp wedges. I already know what shade of red my graduating gown will be – but I’m still thinking whether black will stand more in solidarity with my ancestors protests and slogans. I’m no hippie, but there’s something irreplaceable bohemian in me. I can’t do browns and grey’s, but you’ll always find me in corporate pants and warm blazers. I still believe in full length blouses and body hugging dupattas which wrap around my head as I sit in prayer.
Trust me: I’m 18. Yet I live with a fashion stagnancy of a 107 corset bending attitude and a top-off of another 100 year old crippling demand of fashion experimentation and denim comforts. I am a visual story which foregrounds the future and highlights your past. I’m skin and I’m young. And I’ll always choose to be this figurative blend of avant-garde and antiquate 207 year young teenager.