Sunday, September 2, 2007

And a child shall lead them.

Have a childlike (not childish!) approach to life, think laterally and always be curious, observant and optimistic. And treat everyone with the same consideration, whether it’s a student or a famous person. That definitely comes back in a good way.

- Fashion designer (one of my faves) Paul Smith, Domino magazine, August 2007 issue

Cough it up to all the inescapable ‘Back to School’ promotions but over the last week I’ve been fascinated with children and their effortless approach to style. (I also baby-sat my two year-old goddaughter yesterday and now have a deep and sincere appreciation for pre-school teachers everywhere.) Earlier this week, one of my co-workers brought her five year-old daughter, Little Miss N, to the office. Not only is this kid ridiculously smart (How many five year-olds can converse with adults about The Arc de Triomphe?) but she still has the sweet innocence that we love children so much for (She draws pictures for her mom’s co-workers so we can proudly hang them around the office.) Well, during this recent visit, Little Miss N was even more jovial than usual because she had just gotten her ears pierced. Talk about excited. The earrings were pink (she seems to love pink) and all was right in her little world. Her style has already begun to form and although it will undoubtedly evolve over the years, she is truly in tune with what she does and doesn’t like to wear. And for reasons that have virtually nothing to do with what celebrity wore what designer to the last red-carpet soiree. That is definitely fascinating to me. Here we are with all these degrees and life experience yet everyone still wants to look like everyone else.

I’d like to end with a little piece (read below) I wrote a while back for a writing class I took at NYU. It just seemed to work perfectly with this post. By the way, I internally debated posting about this topic for the past couple of days because it seemed too obscure for blog that is supposed to be about style. But then I tapped into my inner-child and decided to do what I wanted. Because I wanted. I hope whoever reads this blog enjoys the piece but if not, it’s okay. It makes me happy just to share it. Oh, Little Miss N will be so proud of me.

"Let’s go. You’re gonna make Mommy late!" This was a frequent plea from my mother to my toddler ears. The reason is surprising to most. Typical culprits for stealing a child’s attention: cartoons, playdo and the like didn’t factor in. During this time of my life, I didn’t go very far without my navy blue Minnie Mouse pocketbook. The purse was pretty basic in it’s design, about what one would expect a three year old to carry. The front of the purse was Minnie’s plastic face and the remaining parts of the bag were canvas. I was not a huge fan of the Disney character. In fact, I probably couldn’t have cared any less about whose picture was on it. My bag did however exhibit my individual style, something that was and still is very important to me. Perhaps very few others in the toddler set carried the bag or maybe it coordinated well with my Osh Kosh ensembles at the time. Whatever the reasons were, I did not go on many outings without it. Once an older cousin asked, "What do you have in your purse?" With dignity I answered, "Tissues and Chapstick." While the contents of my Minnie Mouse pocketbook may have seemed insignificant, I found it absolutely necessary to have my bag with me at all family gatherings or wherever my toddler social calendar took me. To this day, accessories are still one of the most important elements of style to me. And to think, it all began with a Minnie Mouse pocketbook.

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