Have you ever seen pictures of Kenyan tribesmen with large, circular pieces of jewelry in their ears? It’s today’s equivalent of tapers or plugs. In Kenyan culture, body modification signaled superiority and wisdom. The practice has roots that date back centuries and it’s speculated that in a tribal setting, the bigger the jewelry, the better the individual.
Now, body modification in the form of tattoos or piercings still tells someone’s story. They’re a way to elevate a look, add flair to your presence, and give insight to passersby as to who you might be or what your interests are. And in today’s world, everything we wear can be seen as an extension of ourselves—a means of communicating who we are.
The Evolution of the Fashion Conversation
It’s no secret that modern-day beauty standards can be problematic, and thankfully the conversation around this has matured to celebrate differences. Sizes, shapes, and styles now span across a broad spectrum, and conventional standards have changed drastically over time. In this day and age, people are freer to be themselves, especially with what they put on their bodies.
And some fashion habits have simply evolved or sparked new meanings. Although people have been stretching their ears for centuries, the message has shifted wildly. Few people would draw the connection between Kenyan tribesmen versus the alternative crowd of today. What started as a tribal rite, evoking feelings of calculated wisdom, has now been adopted as a way of subverting norms around what is acceptable.
Style for Purpose
In Southeast Asia, women used to stack metallic hoops to give the appearance of elongated necks. Though it would be shocking to encounter this look today, it once was a performance of beauty and wealth. While cultural and style norms constantly shift, style as performance has persisted.
Today, many forms of fashion are made to serve some sort of purpose—whether it be performance-oriented (like athletic fashion) or for stylistic and expressive purposes. Fashion can be political, edgy, relaxed, or purely fashioned with comfort and utility in mind. The possibilities are endless.
Conveying Ourselves through Fashion
Fashion is a means of defining ourselves, a method of impacting our surroundings and expressing ourselves without speaking a word. Whether it be a personal proclamation of attitude and independence, an expression of cultural worth, or a collective act of rebellion, there is power in physical representation.
The beauty of all this is that it is variable. Your only limitations are the bounds of your own flesh and the cloth, stone, and metal you choose to adorn it with; what any of this says is up to you.
Matthew Rose: Fashion that Talks
At its core, fashion is about making a statement. We believe that the statement should be one of independence and exploring new frontiers.
Matthew Rose Fashion is here to preserve the sanctity of fashion as a language, as the expression of an individual. We believe you should explore your reality. Our goal is to challenge what has already been done and create new and inspiring designs that tell a story.
Our original pieces are designed with versatility in mind. Using only the highest quality materials, you can be sure our products are built to be as resilient as you are. It’s up to you to define your message and your moment.