24 June 2010

The Uniform Project

Uniform Project Picture Book from The Uniform Project on Vimeo.

I don't know about you, but when I heard about Sheena Matheiken and her Uniform Project I was completely shocked and amazed at her notion to only wear one dress for one year to help children in India's slums go to school. The Uniform Project has helped but over 200+ children in India go to school through the Akanksha Foundation. By pledging to only wear one dress for 365 days, Sheena would only be able to dress up or down the look through accessories and jewelry that was either vintage, thrifted, or handed down to her.

Talk about sustainability in fashion! Many of us would shutter at the thought of only wearing one article of clothing for a complete year! Not Sheena, partnering with her designer friend, she had 7 identical dresses designed for each day of the week. The dress was designed so it could essentially be worn 3 ways - forward, backwards, or as an open tunic. Seriously, watching the video is so inspiring and down right MOTIVATIONAL! The creativity and originality that went into each look (the project began May 2009 and recently ended this year) is truly something that takes a lot of guts and tenacity. To limit one's look to only be centered around a staple piece is challenging to say the least. But I guess when you are doing it for a good cause...failure really isn't an option.

So many people donated items to Sheena and even donated money for her cause. This is what happens when the world units and stands up for a singular viewpoint and common goal. Call it Socialism, call it stupid, but how amazing is it when children that never thought they would ever be able to go school, finally get the chance to grow and develop their little minds...anyone have a Kleenex?

Sheena's project spoke to me because I am constantly going back and forth over quality vs quantity. No matter what, too many choices can be daunting and at many times, handicapping. If we were limited to only a few pieces in our wardrobe that we knew were solid wins, we would truly be inspired and motivated to work and try different looks to reinvent those same classic pieces. I believe this is where true style is born...when you can take a few, key staple items, and create solid looks that define who you are, not who fashion says you are this season, that's what makes a true icon. And, while I enjoy fast fashion (Zara, H&M, and Forever21 anyone) it's refreshing to know that true iconography is born from those that work with few tools but build masterpieces.

So what say you...one look, one year...could you do it?


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D e g a i n e said...

loved the uniform project, really shows you how much you can do with your wardrobe.