Next week, 2020 begins. The prelude to a modern Roaring Twenties, perhaps — hopefully without the predecessor’s reality-check chapter in economics. Indianapolis alone is host to several 1920s-themed New Year’s Eve galas and house parties this year, and as I’m searching through racks of fluttering, sequined flapper dresses for the perfect outfit, it comes to me: my word for 2020.
Purpose. Significance. Reason for being. Whatever you call it, that’s what I’m aiming for.
It may at first seem odd to pick this word while running my hands along designs inspired by one of the most outrageously lavish periods in history. A time when overindulgence in bootleg booze, abundance of not entirely legit get-nouveau riche-quick schemes and a new boom in product advertising seemed to normalize the superficial. But take one of the most recognizable (fictional) symbols of the time: Jay Gatsby. Sure, he threw the best parties West Egg (or maybe all of Long Island) had ever seen, but his show of wealth was just a tool for something more personal, something that had been an all-consuming desire for too long. Something that, when all is said and done, had very little to actually do with the mysteriously chaotic atmosphere around him.
In a lot of ways, it feels like we’re towards the end of a similar era, especially the advertising boom — except this time it’s digital. And this time, we’re seeking more meaning. In a world of influencers who may or may not be motivated by the right reasons, we’re seeking transparency. In a world where what you order may be a gross misleading of what you receive, we’re seeking honesty. And in a world of superficial online interactions, we’re seeking connection. (But don’t just take my word for it. Ask the teams at any social media network, and they’ll tell you what the data shows: People are looking for a community.)
So, why is meaning the word I’ve chosen? And what does that mean for IndyDressed in 2020?
Being a fashion blogger comes with expectations. To live lavishly with new outfits every week, attend parties seemingly constantly with other locally recognizable bloggers, Instagram every mundane life moment. Those expectations are exhausting and often lead to burnout, difficulty of being present, identity crises, disillusionment and negativity.
This year, I’ve fought against the negative side of the so-called “typical” fashion blogger lifestyle: Skipped attending about a dozen promotional events to truly focus on supporting local designers and artists. Collaborated with Hoosier entrepreneurs to direct dramatic, aspirational photo shoots that stray from the norm. (Just wait until you see what’s in store for January.) Took several breaks when I needed them (because #selfcare). Said no. Spent time teaching others and giving back. And all of it was to give me — and my limited time, energy and money — a more meaningful way to be part of this industry.
So, what does that mean for this blog? No worries, it’s still gonna be here — and there are some awesome projects coming. But you can expect a focus on quality, not quantity, and more posts around meaningful fashion: more profiles of Indy’s fashion movers and shakers, imaginative photo shoots that truly say something, discussions of big topics like eco-friendly fashion and self-expression… And I’ll give you a closer, vulnerable look inside my life because in the end, whether I know you personally, dear reader, or you’re a perfect stranger, humanity is what links all of us.
So let’s raise a (real or hypothetical) glass of whatever you’d like — for the record, mine here is filled with water — and cheers to a year of finding purpose and meaning in what we love, as well as in each other. Because as cheesy as it sounds, our local fashion community is worth it.