It seems that admiring art, in all its forms, is a universal impulse. Virtually anyone asked about the subject will respond by asserting that art, or at least certain types of it, has a profound effect on them. For me to say, then, that art means a great deal to me is essentially a meaningless statement. So many express feelings for it, relating a deeper appreciation becomes suspect. At the same time, however, I believe that large numbers of people who claim to greatly value art do so in a passive way; they seem to truly care about it, but only as long as it pleases them or satisfies their ideas of what it should be. In my eyes, the serious art student has a different perspective, if only because they understand the critical reality that art is a living thing, and that it offers limitless ways of seeing even when it is challenging. I may honestly say that this has always been a core belief in me. Even very young, I was drawn to whatever art I was exposed to, and I had the sense of being a kind of investigator. Someone was, in plain terms, trying to tell me something, and I have never lost that awareness of how art exists to communicate.
More specifically, and long before I could try to decently sketch a design, fashion has interested me more than any other genre of art. It is difficult to explain but fashion has, to me, a quality no other art has, and because it is directly a part of how we live. This is true in ways far removed from exclusive creations by famed designers. It is true when anyone combines colors in an outfit they have never before considered. It is true when a teenager inspires a national or global trend by wearing a cap at an unusual angle, or when an ordinary person, dressing for a formal event, decides that jeans paired with a tuxedo jacket and tie will be a fun “look.” There is as well the important reality that a great many designers gain their inspirations from observing how average men and women style themselves uniquely. These fashion actions underscore that mentioned, living quality of art. The boy walking the city street to get to work, and wearing a bright red cape, is very much trying to communicate something about himself. As thousands or millions do this daily, fashion is art as a vital, moving force.
The above then strongly connects to my ambition to study at the New School. Apart from a virtually legendary status, and the outstanding faculty and course options my research has revealed, I am convinced that a large, busy city is the best possible environment in which to learn about art and fashion. Cities invariably have an energy no other settings can offer and, if art is about communication, it also relies on human energy. There is a kind of perpetual tension in urban neighborhoods, sometimes negative, sometimes uplifting, but always impactful. This, in fact, is what I believe motivates fashion experimentation in ordinary people. There is a need to set the self apart from the herd, and create a moving idea of personal identity. I am extremely aware of how I must commit to fashion education; history, technique, practical considerations, and other elements of the field demand a dedication to the learning. This, however, excites me, rather than discourages me. In a sense, studying art and fashion at the New School would enable me to expand that childhood desire to investigate, just as the city setting will, I am confident, broaden my perspectives and present me with all the inspiration I am able to perceive.