The alternative track

I wonder sometimes how different my life would be if I’d decided to pursue fashion instead of International Relations/Sociology in college. Granted, I’m not in college (yet – two more applications to go! I’ll talk about that in another post!) but all my decisions are based around IR.

It’s a strange combination, yeah – politics and fashion. But those are two of my greatest loves in life. I remember IGCSE art, focusing all my energy on fashion illustrations, designs for flamboyant dresses, still trying to work out what my actual fashion taste was. I remember going through pages upon pages of fashion blogs upon fashion blogs, absorbing all the information, all the visuals of runways, photoshoots and sketches. I remember wanting to apply to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, like, “Hey, how cool would it be to study politics in a fashion school?!”

In retrospect, not sure how that would have worked out, so I’m pretty glad I’m not currently applying to F.I.T.

I still get asked if I attend art school for fashion design or ESMOD Dubai. When I say that’s not my intention, people are genuinely a little bit surprised and’ll say something along the lines of, “Well, you look all artsy in the way you dress and are, so I assumed you were a fashion student.” And I always feel a tinge of melancholy and nostalgia when I say, “No, I’m not” because the truth is, I do feel a bit like I belong in fashion school, but certainly not to the same degree as my lovely social sciences. Every time I elongate my eyeliner, fix my hat just so, look at myself critically in the mirror, I have to remind myself that I do this for the pleasure of aestheticism, that I couldn’t really see myself making a career out of this.

And it’s true – I really don’t want to have to argue with other people about my fashion tastes.

So I guess, beyond all the niggling regret, I’m fine not doing fashion. Maybe it was for me – so what? Fashion is something that can be a part of my everyday life. Fashion illustration is something I can do at my own time, without the added pressure of having my art graded and my tastes subject to critical analysis. There is nothing I want more than to study IR and Sociology – and now that I’ve got my life for the next 4 years roughly planned out (oh, and subject to unfortunate university rejections Godforbidthathappens) the whole fashion thing isn’t as important.

Besides, I’ll be the most vibrantly dressed IR student in class 😀 That’s good enough for me!

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