Manolo’s are effing awesome, yes, but they are not only that. They are definitive of the ultimate struggle. The shoes speak to the brevity of willpower, the unbelievable restraint and perpetual financial diet of the individual. Manolo’s mark the individual’s fight for success and the inability to be granted such success in the moment, right now. In the 1970’s, when the ‘chunky heel’ became the popular shoe of choice among women, Manolo Blahnik decidedly turned away from such style and redefined what he believed was the ultimate women’s shoe, the stiletto. This retreat from the norm—the simultaneous acceptance and progression from what may have been defined as ‘acceptance’, is what I so dearly wish to emulate. Rather than falling victim to the opinions of others, I hope to stay marginalized on my path toward what I want. I refuse to give up my hopes and discard my fantasies. Although I understand the rules and regulations of keeping my hands in the car at all times and possibly having to take my LSAT’s on account of a lousy BA in English, I will not be sculpted into a ghost of my own self. I will stay here. I will speak, and on all accounts, so should you. So I speak and let myself be known, but this voice is constantly filtered, doubted, and challenged. This challenge is not self-defining, but rather hardens my strength and maps my failures. My voice is lost among strong words like Law and Doctor and Academics. My favorite sequence is “So, like, what are your plans for next year?”
I squeal. “Well, I actually want to get an editorial job at some fashion magazine–”. There’s the look. The famous look. It’s like a rash that itches all the time, something that never fully goes away and you wince every time a person notices your pain. This is what I want to do. This is what I want. Fashion.
Fashion: a way, a moral, a value, a perspective, for G-D’s sake. It is why you define yourself as the Blundstone wearing invincible rich kid, or the I- chose- to wear- these- pants- today- because- my- housemate- told- me- she- saw- them- in- Vogue- and- therefore- they- are- cool- and- everyone- is- wearing- them- and- I- want- to- be- just- like- Regina- George- cool. Fashion sounds ludicrous. The word only defines petty versions of shirts and jeans. But real fashion, a desire and idea, involves simply being this person that you are. I decide perspective and you, maybe accounting. Unfortunately this desire has awarded me no hope and perhaps even more terrifying, no future. Attempts to further my obsession and actually do something with it has only turned up endless automated emails telling me that no internships or jobs (of any kind) are available. Like, thanks for letting me know that what I love has no value. But truthfully, I don’t really care. I don’t care about your look of disgust when I tell you my year off is going to be the best effing thing I’ve ever done for myself, and I don’t care that I have no idea what is going to happen after this year. I want fashion, and if that means staying awake until 4 AM and having to wake up again at 4:01, then fashion it is. Manolo’s it is.
Let me give you a little word of advice, if I may. I am no authority on life goals or plans or the future for that matter; however, I do think I have a little tidbit of knowledge in there somewhere and it is this: do whatever makes you happy. Please, make this real happiness. Make this joy and bliss and serenity, peace in your heart and your mind. Make sure you are doing it for yourself, because in eighty years when you are on your deathbed thinking about the laughs you once had, were they even real sounds?
Amy Gnesin, Co-Editor-in-Chief