The Destructive Pursuit Of Self-Validation & Carlos Campos SS13

The Destructive Pursuit Of Self-Validation & Carlos Campos SS13

I’ve been a little disoriented with work for the past year now.  Re-thinking much of my direction, or at least how I approach the progression of my career in writing.  Along the way, I’ve found clarity, failure, procrastination, a sense of loss, and ameliorated perspective.  Call it growing pains if you will – the change I’m continuing to undergo has been nothing short of an eye opener (I know this will be a lifelong timeline of development).  As anyone who accumulates experience in either their particular field, or personal ventures, the day will always dawn when a single adopted idea or train of thought begins to shift and mature (or downright get dropped).  When the same things you used to embrace and get excited about become ridiculous time-wasters, only really lowering and degrading your higher ambition.

There are a lot of things I will no longer do.  You’d think desperation could be the one exception, but it isn’t anymore.  I used to think of scrapping it and taking whatever came my way as the ability to see opportunity and make something out of it.  It isn’t.  Before you argue a startup scenario, you’re right – but it is much shorter lived than we all really think.  How many times do we undermine ourselves, belittle our talents and efforts because of lack of experience in exactly what we’re after (when we may actually have a variety of qualities to contribute)?  More times than not (at least in the arts), we will hand over everything in return for, well, nothing really.  After a certain point, the exposure you would trade for skill becomes the same quality that diminishes the value of your work.  Too much visibility, people get sick of you.  Too little, you drop off the face of the earth.  The thing is, sometimes I think a disappearing act is exactly what’s needed to redirect and separate yourself from the time wasters of life.

It is so easy to get stuck in a rut.  A rut that clasps you deceivingly, pouring compliments and validation into you while you continue to circle without innovation.  A rut that not only excludes satisfaction, but also steals from you – financially, and credibly.  Before you know it, you’ve been so distracted by all the fake hype and imaginary recognition, you lose sight of the whole reason you’re there.  The point of it all.  You disrespect the value, mystery, and slow build up of your own process.  And what about the pursuit of all this praise?  Why are we all so keen to jump on board the readily accepted and claim our place within?  I fully understand that awards and achievements can do great things for your career.  I know why people want to win (I’m one of them!).  What I’m understanding less and less is the never-ending race of insecurity that constantly seems to lead us elsewhere to find validity in our work.  Why do I need someone else to tell me I have potential?  That I’m hireable, or that I can get the job done?  References, sure.  Public applause?  Not so sure.

“I’m secure in who I am. I don’t need the validation of those that would say, you have to be a certain thing in order to be accepted. I’m comfortable going against the grain if I need to”.

J. C. Watts

As a part of my shift, I’ve taken a bit of a backseat to social media.  Keeping up (more or less) with what’s going on, but merely as an observer.  Becoming virtually “voiceless” until my observations formed into something clear enough to note.  My conclusions are far from new as a perspective, but definitely play a hand in how I will conduct myself online from this day forth.  The endorsement of brands (for no return, perhaps status at best), the reveal of privacy, the not so subtle hints of jealousy and egomania… just as these things may belittle a role model or celebrity, they do the individual.  The hunt for likes and retweets, compliments and adoration are a twisted beginning to a very sad ending.  It leaves nothing but a wide gap in your self esteem, open and left for others to openly trample and control.  The more we seek it, the more we weaken.  Long gone are the days of the outcast, where a certain someone had to go against all odds to overcome adversity.  Now, adversity has become the basis of what’s needed to fit amongst the norm.  So many extras, so many modifications.  When did simple and understated go out of style?

“It is playing safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity”.

Dag Hammarskjold

Listen, I’m not saying give all your pleasures up and join the social outcast spectrum.  Quite literally the opposite.  I’m asking you to consider what you accept as validation in it’s many forms.  Someone wants to give you an award?  Great.  Why?  Who are they?  Do you even value their opinions and credentials?  What light will that project you in?  Is it really an honour, or could you actually care less?  In short, get to know your qualifications, talents, and potential.  Be aware of them, and stand up for them.  You don’t need other people titling you to be relevant when you can do it yourself every single day.

“I don’t need validation, recognition or praise. What I need are facts and the facts are that one of my books gets sold, somewhere in the world, every second”.

Lee Child

But back to the important stuff… the Carlos Campos show at Milk!  I had a lot of fun hanging out backstage with the boys with my old school film camera.  Male models are so crass, young, and funny, I couldn’t help but feel like I was back in high school.  The collection itself was a bold and equally cool lesson in colour-blocking, lending the invited observer the thrill of discovering crisp and discrete detailing printed onto the fabrics.  Celestial accents with bold and thinned out stripes made for a distinct tailored uniform inspired by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava (a name Campos collaborated with two years ago at the New York City ballet).

While the makeup on the runway may have blended in seamlessly to the outfits, artist Karlo Karlo created a cool fade effect by dabbing on white (as shown above, but which also included the colours of the collection) product using a sponge.  For the crisp neckline, he removed tape after applying the paint, giving the models something of a psy-fi, graphic look. Cesar Ramirez of Morrocanoil completed the look with a dapper gentleman’s sweep to the side.  Put it all together, and enjoy the infinite roundabouts the show displayed on repeat, allowing each and every in attendance to really soak it all in.

Cant’ wait till next fashion week and still have so many pics to publish and show you from last!


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