the way we wore

Dearest ______,

I am engrossed with old photos. They always tell me stories: histories, memories, even those that I sometimes create in my own mind.

While by no means of great historical importance, I’ve just gotten into the habit of breezing through my own personal archives lately (a.k.a. the dying- hard disk- of- random- photographic- mishmash) and have found myself re-telling what went on that year, that month, that day, that moment, and so on. I’m not surprised how I still have the most lucid memories of people, places, things, conversations when I look at these photos. I’m one of those curators of the random, minute, and mostly inane.

For this particular dig, I chose to unearth pictures from the year 2007. Out of curiosity and sheer vanity, I simply wanted to find out how I looked back then…

Ah, my Marcel wave and Flapper curls.  Back when I was obsessed with the 1920's and ll that jazz.

Ah, my Marcel wave and “Flapper” curls. Back when I was obsessed with the 1920’s and all that jazz.

Quick answer: confused, haggard, constipated. I had just moved to Singapore that year and my nerves were constantly uneasy. I was juggling the first few jobs in my life, living in a different country far from family and friends, living with different people, etc.

I am pleasantly surprised though, that the things I wore back then were actually pieces I’d pretty much still where today (although most of them are gone from my closet already).

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One of the first few things I bought in Singapore was this jacket. I had used my very first pay check then, so it was quite hard to let go of… uhm, 30 dollars back then. Haha.

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I’d had these fish net stockings and tweed skirt since College. We had uniforms at school but I seem to have managed going to class looking this way.

These were rust- colored suspenders with gold clasps I found in one of my grand father's closets.   I still shop from their wardrobes when I get a chance.

These were rust- colored suspenders with gold clasps I’d found in one of my grand father’s closets. I still shop from my grand parents’ wardrobes whenever I get a chance , because they wore the coolest things back in the day.

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Another one of my first purchases using “my own money.”: a navy blue dress with this Peter Pan neckline. It looked very vintage, even when it wasn’t. A little less than 30 dollars and in all honesty, I had to go back to that store twice before I finally convinced myself that I had been good enough to buy it as a reward. Haha.

A short black balloon dress I wore with black tights and black flats.  Also with my Bambi necklace from a trip I made to Thailand in College and a vintage locket I bought from a Turkish antique shop in the Philippines.  This was my first actual night out in Singapore, at Home Club (which I still enjoy going to when I feel like going out).

A short black balloon dress I wore with black tights and black flats. Also with my Bambi necklace from a trip I made to Thailand in College and a vintage silver locket I bought from a Turkish antique shop in the Philippines. This was my first actual night out in Singapore; at Home Club (which I still enjoy going to whenever I feel like going out).

A small gold cluth with a huge bow I bought from a flea market in Manila (Philippines), back in College.

A small gold cluth with a huge bow I bought from a flea market in Manila, back in College.

In 2007, I’d just made one of the biggest decisions I’ve had to make in my life. I was 22 years old- a kid really, who didn’t completely know what she was getting into. Fresh out of University and with not much in my personal savings account (okay,so my parents hooked me up with the initial months and my Mom sent me support when I got low on moolah). But this was the farthest I’d ever lived away from home; this was the first Christmas and New Year I didn’t see my family as well; there was an influx of (and meeting of) so many different characters from all over the world. 2007 was like those Extreme Work Out videos: I had to stretch myself in ways I didn’t know I could be stretched. It was quite painful, for the most part. I really had nothing solid in my life… places and people all seemed buoyant… and I was just floating along. Aimlessly, really.

Now seven years since, these photos above have got me thinking:

For someone as lost as I was, I sure had the most determined sense of fashion.

Love,

Karlita

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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

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