Deciding what to write about on posts on this blog isn’t always easy. Most of the time my ideas have been exhausted on articles, tweets, and random tirades on Telegram. Not that I think the blog doesn’t deserve great content — it’s just getting harder and harder to talk about a singular dress, such as this.
Ah, but the quintessential white dress. That’s a subject even fashion blog-snobs would be willing to throw their two cents in. Isn’t it funny how an item so simple can symbolize so much? Can unite people in excitement via stacks of bridal magazines, or a fitting room with champagne, and, ultimately, with a chorus of oohs and aahs when the dream is made into reality and a woman—in her perfect dress—walks down the aisle?
The beauty of a white dress transcends mere fashion, no? It captures love, the thrill of a wedding, the sanctity of a marriage; An immortalization of a serendipitous moment by way of sheer fabric. No one item of clothing can boast the same. Isn’t it also impressive how, conversely, a white dress can bring together those suffering from sorrow as a nod to the agony, an ode to the grief and the difficulty of letting go? It is, after all, also the mourner’s choice symbolising an emotion so pure yet laced with so much pain.
I didn’t buy this dress for these specific reasons, obviously. I happened to like it and it happened to be on sale. But incidentally, the past couple weeks have been eventful— a good friend got hitched to her boyfriend of 9 years, while a dear, dear friend, mentor, and former professor passed away. Again, coincidentally, their nicknames are the same. One celebrated a new chapter in her life, the other’s was celebrated in its entirety.
I’ve cried for both. Out of happiness for a friend who is finally married to the man of her dreams. My only regret that day was not bringing enough tissue to last a row of ladies so deeply involved in her life that even before she showed up on the aisle they (and by that I mean we) were already in tears. I’ve also wept for a friend’s demise—so sudden, taking everyone by surprise, breaking hearts in his wake.
Dan, the newlywed, was also a student of the late Danilo, the fashion professor and the most talented illustrator I have ever come across. Isn’t it also interesting to note that he taught us about dresses— how to render them, how to bring ideas into fruition, how to put pen to paper, and translate dreams into visions of art? He’s planted many a seed of inspiration and beauty in the lives of so many people; He has fanned fire’s dying embers and kept dreams alive; He has watched students bloom into the designers and creators they were always meant to be. He is deeply missed.
Sir Dan, my white dress is for you. But this white dress isn’t mourner’s regalia. It’s a reminder of a blank canvas—one you were always inviting us to create on. You’ve always believed in the capacity of people to commit to beauty and were more than generous in sharing your talent with us. Now, more than ever, all blank canvasses will be painted on with your direction in mind—always guiding; Your gentle voice always encouraging.
All your friends and all of your students will create with you in mind. And you will live on in the most beautiful of things—paintings, art, words, fashion. And isn’t that just the highest honour?
Salamat, Sir Dan.