My friends and I dressing up as characters from Chinese costume dramas. I'm on the right wearing red.
“Because theres one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.”
― Robin Benway
One of my favorite things to do as a little girl (since maybe 3 or 4 years old) was to play dress up in my mom’s clothes. Of course there weren’t any pieces that fitted me, so I’d take her scarves and wrap them around my waist as a skirt, or on my head and pretend like I had long hair (I had short little boy hair till I was about 6 or 7). My earliest fashion inspiration came from Chinese costume dramas, particularly those from the Han Dynasty. The big sleeves and flowy skirts fulfilled my every dream of beauty and romance. Not only did I dress up myself, I invented this game where I would dress up my friends and we’d play role-play based on whatever drama I was into at the time.
My friend I am playing dress-up -- I'm on the left.
As I grew older and started to have some allowance, this game of dress up evolved from inside my home with my mom’s scarves, to the cheap shopping streets in Beijing with my girl friends. We’d go after school, over the weekend, during holidays; shopping became one of our favorite pass-time activities. There’s something really special about playing dress up and shopping with your friends. It’s a process of expression (oh this dress is so ME!), self exploration (this is not my usual style, but I like the way I look!), and self affirmation (WOW this looks so good on me!). All that is made possible through the validation and feedback you get from your friends. This is the magic, and the reason why shopping with your friends > shopping by yourself.
Many women will tell you they dress up for themselves and other women, because most guys would not understand your stylish jumpsuit or high waisted wide-legged pants. Fashion and style is a unique bond that connects women from opposite corners of the world (thank you internet!), and this premise of sisterhood was the foundation stone for FreshRents. Our hope is to connect the sisters (and eventually brothers) around the world through the sharing of fashion and style; and create a network of local, community based hubs where people can access, exchange, and recycle fashion items waste-free, guilt-free, and hassle-free. Together, we can build a world where borrowing is more attractive than buying, and access is valued over ownership; people are conscious about the impact of their purchases, and companies about their production practices.
I'm sitting on the floor and wearing a black scarf on my head to pretend I had long hair!