I had this horrifying experience once, it has haunted me ever since.
One day in seventh grade, in the Spring, I went to school and all I heard all day long was “Lili Gordon is wearing the exact same outfit that you are, except she is wearing pants.”
It wasn’t malicious, it was true, and in a way, it reflected the essential differences between Lili and me: she was happier in the pants, I wanted the skirt. I never wore that outfit again, and I noticed that she didn’t, either. Oh, and I liked her then and we’re still friends today, but!!
I had made such an effort up to this point! I had never been in any hurry to lose my New Zealand accent, but I’d been back in the States for 6 years and I had never found the place where I was accepted without remark. I wasn’t rejected, but if it wasn’t my accent anymore, now it was height. Before that, it was my vocabulary. It’s always something. Before I went to middle school, I was not only proud to have my mother make a significant portion of my clothes, I was proud of that. But I took a little ill-fitting advice from my oldest brother, and in seventh grade, I tried to fit in. Turns out, for me, it’s much easier to just go along with whatever it is that I am, and let that be remarked, and then I am accepted with whatever is remarkable, than to try to fit in, because then all I hear is Lili Gordon! Lili Gordon!
Why did I write that all out?
I’ve put a lot of work into being true to myself, and part of that is reflected in my wardrobe. I am finally who I want to be sartorially: 90% of that is either vintage or custom and no one ever mistakes me for anyone else!
That’s the really long answer to Why would anyone spend all that time on that minute bead work???
These are the finished products, the green dress I just finished, and the first one I did a few years ago. That one was easier in a way, because I had a pattern to work from.
I included the bolero in these pictures, in case the flowers are too abstract.