Friday, January 21, 2011
Just Across The Pond
I love Europe. I love everything about it. And lately, my ardent adoration of it has literally become all consuming and taken over the gist of my brain.
Although I have yet to go to France, I nannyed for a French family and was submerged into their French culture (pictures, stories, maps, food, EVERYTHING). I think this is what really got me back into my European obsession.
Last summer, I spent a few weeks in the UK, and honestly, it was the greatest experience of my life. The only downside was going with my grandma. As much as I love her, it did limit the number of things I could do...You don't exactly go pubbing and flirt it up with delicious British boys with your grandma. Even still, I was able to go out on my own quite a bit to explore and it was unbelievable.
In a small town in Wales called Ruthin, we stayed in a castle. Yep, a castle. FO REAL. The fact that I was staying in a legit castle had JUST sunk into me when a f-ing peacock stood before me in the hallway to my room. Needless to say, it was an incredible experience, which was made even more incredible by the adorable boy I met there whilst I was a bit tipsy from an English liquor called mead. I, emboldened by my slight inebriation, struck up a conversation and we bonded over music and the differences of our daily environments. It was amazing...until I left. Back to reality. My crappy, American, BORING reality. God, I am being such a Debbie Downer. I really need to drink some coffee or something....Or just keep ranting.
As if it's not enough that my best friend is in London now, living an exhilarating, British life, and that my other friend and fellow blogger, Princessa, has been enlightening me on more of Europe's gems, I found this article today spotlighting street fashion in Europe. I think it's like the 13th picture in--it is a picture of my future husband. Take a looksy. You'll know who it is. Because your heart will stop when you lay eyes upon him.
Sure, the U.S. has some great fashion and people do express themselves in fashion a lot. But it is TOTALLY different in Europe. I'll just speak of the U.K. because that is what's freshest in my mind. I mean, I can't really put it into words. It really is almost an intangible aura and feel to people and their clothes. We see similar trends that we have in America, but it's like they one up us over there just by being foreign and awesome! It's like drinking tea and saying things like "mate" and "trousers" and "cheers" automatically makes you have better style.
The main difference between the U.K. (and Europe) and the U.S. is their history. The U.S. is really a baby. It doesn't have that rich, beautiful, intriguing history that Europe has. Yes, we have Top Shop in the U.S. just like in the U.K.. But the Top Shop in Edinburgh, Scotland, is in a 200 year old, INCREDIBLY beautiful building. And when you stand outside of it, you can look up and see old Edinburgh and Edinburgh castle. It is like stepping in and out of a time machine everywhere you go. If you're tired of the old, walk a few minutes to the new, and vice versa. It isn't that drab, boring modern bubble that is L.A. and a lot of New York (although I love New York a great deal and don't feel it should ever be compared to Los Angeles).
Maybe I also miss being exotic and rare and foreign for once. SUCH an odd feeling. Hearing, "Where is your accent from?", "I love your accent!"or "(Gasp!) You're American!! :D" was jaw droppingly shocking to say the least. Accent? What accent? My disgusting, butchering American way of talking? Oh, THAT accent. You like that? Seriously? Wow... I just never considered myself a foreigner when I was over there. At first I imitated the accent, but then I started embracing my American, foreignness and touting my Americaness with pride. It was oh so delightful to watch the British boys fawn over me and my "exotic" American ways. Going to the U.K. reaffirmed my belief that my husband will be foreign.
I just feel that since Europe has such a deep history, especially of art, I am drawn to it as an artist. I feel that in the U.S., fashion and art are a lot of the time just about being interesting and "out there." We are also about fast fashion (Hell, we're America. We're about fast everything), which usually, but not always, equals cheap fashion. Where as in Europe, fashion and sewing is still a craft and literally an art, with much of it still done by hand.
Oh, Europe, how I long for thee!! These drab, American days are wearing on my last nerve. I REALLY hope that some day soon, I will be somewhere in Europe. FIDM has some great study tours: a two week tour to Paris and a three week tour to Italy, Spain, England and France. Also, you can apply to study abroad your final year there. So when I go back to FIDM, I'll have to make absolutely sure that I have enough money to go on all their trips. I really want to have gone to every country in Europe by the time I'm 26. I think it would be awesome to just take a year off and travel all over, staying in hostels and working when needed.
We will be reunited soon, my love.