Art | May 16, 2022

Transformations: Creating Character in Contemporary Photography 

Kristine Somerville 

Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than merely to keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us. . . .There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us and not we them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking.  

—Virginia Woolf, Orlando 

As a child during the ’60s, I fell in love with the adventurous styles of the era, with their bright colors and patterns, variety of materials and textures, and extreme shapes, from form-fitting to free-flowing and voluminous. I had several pieces of clothing that I adored: a silk shirt patterned with wide-eyed, lush whiskered cats, light blue patent leather saddle shoes, and a richly embroidered peasant top. I was an awkward, shy child who hid behind her mother when strangers spoke to her, but I was extroverted in my sense of style. The flashier the clothes, the better I liked them and the braver I felt when venturing out into the world. 

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