Archive for September 30th, 2010

Sep 30 2010

Interlude: Collections

Published by under callie

It’s a tired stereotype that one is always supposed to have a trophy collection.  I’ve never been all that fond of tradition for tradition’s sake.  Any reasonably aware individual knows that a trophy can never substitute for the real thing.  At best, it is talismanic, a way to evoke the sensations from memory of a cherished event.  At worst, it’s easy pattern recognition for anyone else perusing your shelves — one of the quickest ways to lose your collection entirely.

My mother taught me to sew quite early on.  The sensory delight from the textures, the color variations, the sounds of shears through cloth and the humming rhythm of the machine entranced me.  I made all my own outfits, of course, but I also made connections in what I learned from sewing and design that seemed to apply to the larger world around me in fascinating ways.  Perhaps it’s that way for anyone coming into the first flush of a natural talent, newly trained.

Fashion design was an obvious career choice for me.  By then I’d already figured out another benefit:  I can have my trophies and wear them, too.  Every seam, every stitch, every choice of fabric or pattern or color can synaesthetically recall as minute a remembered moment as I wish.  It’s a secret code with no cypher but my own experiences.

I get a smile every time a stranger approaches me in public with compliments for my latest creation.  My ritual of completion might vary with each project, but the first time I wear a commemorative outfit — if I let it, the rush would be quite overwhelming.  And unlike other collections I’ve heard about, my memories can return full-force with as simple a movement as a caress of a precisely placed pleat.

At the end of my day, outfit carefully hung in its place among my collection, I might grab armfuls of cloth and bury my face in the mass of fabric.  I breathe deeply of the darkness hidden within silk and linen, and sleep peacefully.

2 responses so far