'so,' said Important Admissions Man between drags of his marlboro light, 'why do you want to take this course?'
i knew it was coming, and i'd carefully crafted an answer in the shower that morning, trying to best articulate all the reasons why i've decided to sack in my successful media career and try to start all over again as a writer - 'try' being the key word.
long story short, i've always loved to write, but somehow got sidetracked along the way, around the age of 13 when spending weekends hand-writing stories in a mickey mouse binder is no longer the done thing. i've also always loved fashion, something that has never been sidetracked (despite my best intentions, at times). put the two together and what have you got?
i've started telling select people about this new direction, and the reaction is usually the same - big fake smiles and glazed expressions that say 'fashion writing - not REALLY writing, is it?' it's to be expected, really - after all, no matter how intelligent or witty they are, fashion journalists are never taken as seriously as other writers. and, a lot of the time, this is justified. it's a profession that attracts the shallow, the superficial, the daddy's girls who have the money and connections to spend six months working for free at vogue, and for very little after that.
so yes, i do agree that some fashion writing is a bit of a joke, which is a shame, as i can't think of many other disciplines that offer as much room for comment, critique and debate. i mean, as inconsequential as it seems, fashion is important. it fulfills a basic need in which each & every member of society must participate on some level. it's the ultimate example of an interactive art form, one that requires ridiculous level of precision, talent and ingenuity on the part of the creator, and then goes on to require yet another level of creativity when interpreted by the consumer. it brings forth extremes in emotion, from the rush of giddiness that comes with finding that perfect little black dress to the anguish that is felt when those ass-boosting jeans that worked magic at uni parties can no longer be pulled up past the knees. it brings people together and keeps people apart. it can be intellectualised to no end, but at its core is completely frivolous. it drives economies, it reflects the deepest psyche of our society, and yet is still given second-rate treatment by 'serious' cultural commentators.
and yes, there are some fantastic fashion writers out there, but i believe that until fashion is taken more seriously, there's always room for more. which, in short, is why i'd like to give it a go - i feel like i can contribute something.
of course, i didn't say this in my interview - was far too nervous and Important Admissions Man cut me off after the first couple of lines to ask me where i got my boots. i'm not sure why i felt the need to record it - i guess because i know that no matter what happens, it's not going to be easy and it's all too likely i'm going to fail and be forced to slink sheepishly back to my old life, so i just want some kind of reminder of why i've taken this risk in the first place...