Masquerade costume

The Dogon people of Mali perform ceremonial dances dressed in striking masks and costumes. One such dance honours the dead: every morning and evening for up to six days, masqueraders dance in the village and surrounding fields – even on the deceased’s rooftop. Today, the Dogon also perform dances to entertain tourists.

Collection Connections 

How do you use clothing to change your role or identity?

responded: Jan 29, 2012

Posted by Brittney

Recommend this Response
Fashion permeates our conscious minds and influences our style decisions. Perhaps you cannot tell a book by its cover, but first impressions are often lasting ones and the way we dress tells others about whom we are. At the age of two, I began to dress myself. Not knowing that one’s clothing choice conveys a message, I found it appropriate to wear floral leggings, a pink tutu, red glittery shoes and a blue sweatshirt as one outfit. Throughout middle school and most of high school, I wore what I believed was necessary to fit it and that conveyed my socio-economic status. Reflecting back on my past outfit choices, I cringe and cannot believe I literally bought into that trend. Are $250 sweatpants really necessary? As I matured, I realized I had a very fashion- conscious father and a carefree mother. I truly believe that having parents with such opposite views about fashion helped me have a greater understanding of what clothing expresses about a person and its value. In my third year of the Fashion Communication program, I finally understand what clothing should communicate- you. I tend to express my feelings through dress. Some days I wake up feeling lazy and simply throw on sweatpants, while other mornings I have a strong desire to try out something new. As I am not oblivious to the fact that in our society you can be judged based on your style, when I need to communicate a certain message, for example in a job interview, I tend to choose an outfit suggests independence, diligence and creativity. Regardless if I’m wearing $200 Alexander Wang t-shirt or a $30 Zara sweater, what is important is how I am feeling and if I am confident in my decisions. Whether you choose to wear all black or every color in the rainbow, it does not really matter. The important part of fashion is the way it makes you feel and that it allows you to present your best self to the world.

Elements of this site may require Flash player 8