Ivory & Certain Types Of Fur Are Basically Banned From All Markets

For a long time, antique and vintage ivory and furs were in a different category from the new ones. It was generally considered okay and ethical to buy and sell these items if they were classified vintage or antique. I have never had much attraction to buying vintage fur, with the exception of some mink hats and headbands, and a few items with genuine fur collars. The list of banished furs includes fur from all big cats, all primate fur, and all types of bear fur. Sealskin products cannot be exported to the USA, European Union, Mexico, or Taiwan. Canada is one of the few countries that permits the sale of sealskin items.

Ivory has become a taboo product due to the poaching, endangered elephants, and the skill artisans have to make it look antique. Although it is not illegal to own inherited or antique ivory, it can no longer be exported or sold. Some of these laws are fairly recent and expanding to include other countries. The only way to identify the age of the ivory is through carbon dating. Recently an antique dealer in Toronto was fined and charged for having carved elephant tusks for sale. As it turned out, they were able to identify the age of the tusks, which placed them in the seventies when poaching was a real problem.

Over the years, I have picked up some ivory necklaces and bracelets but cannot be sure how old the pieces are. It seems the best thing is to donate them to a museum or educational institute. Different types of ivory can be identified by the pattern of the schreger lines. The location the ivory came from can also be identified because they can determine the diets of the elephants by the tusks.

One of the many sad things about the poaching, is that of all the elephants that die naturally, the ivory cannot be used because of the illegal activity associated with it. It’s too bad the elephants were not protected from poachers in the first place. There should have been a method of making sure all tusks were matched to the death of the elephant. The product made from the tusks of elephants that died naturally should have been hallmarked as such. It would be a good idea to have a method of marking during the creation of the piece, similar to what they did to help people avoid buying blood diamonds. Ivory is very beautiful, especially since it has often been combined with some of the most exquisite carving known to man.

As far as the example set in Kenya where tons of confiscated ivory was burned – on principle, I disagree with the destruction of artifacts. However, the issues surrounding the endangerment of these beautiful and intelligent creatures, the horrors of poaching, and the difficulty in accurately dating the ivory – makes the bans understandable.

There can be some confusion in terminology surrounding vegetable ivory and what is referred to as “French ivory”. Vegetable ivory is from tagua nuts and can be carved, decorated or dyed. French ivory is a type of celluloid or plastic that looks like ivory. French ivory and vegetable ivory have nothing to do with elephants or endangered species.

Now it’s time to see if any of the feathers on the hats are from endangered birds! I do have one hat with a real bird on it. It is a black hat embellished at the front with a small blackbird – dating it prior to the 1909 ban on such practices. The moral of this story is an anthropomorphic oxymoron. From an animal’s perspective – humans do some very strange things!

 

 

 

Where Do Women Stand In Small Business Ownership ~ When It Comes To Canada’s High Potential For Growth In E-commerce?

According to the Federal government SME research and statistics (2012-2016)  Canadians are among the most wired in the world with Internet access available to 87% of the population. Some of the northern and rural areas do not have the same service as the urban areas do. Within Canada, BC and Alberta are the biggest users (according to 2012 stats).

As far as small to medium businesses in Canada, more than half are located in Ontario and Quebec. The average number of people owning SME’s is 45.2 per 1000 population nationwide. Western Canada has consistently demonstrated a robust growth in small business development. The majority of small businesses (78%) offer services. The highest percentage of small business is made up of micro-entrepreneurs consisting of businesses with one to four employees.

Small businesses have a revolving door element. Out of 13,820 start-ups, there were 12,590 deaths. A high percentage of those are in the professional, scientific and technical service sectors. BC and Alberta combined, contribute more than the national average in SME according to GDP measurements.

How do women fare in the participation surrounding business ownership? Unfortunately, we do not fare that well. According to stats from 2014 – small businesses with the majority of male ownership was 64.7% while the majority of female owned businesses was 15.7% The female owned businesses tend to be concentrated in the service sector, mostly in information, administration, aesthetician services, decorating, daycare, health care and recreation. Outside of these service areas, the business ownership by women drops to around 8%

The average educational levels for SME owners is a Bachelors or Masters degree for 30-60% of them. This comes as no surprise since Canada already has a high percentage of tertiary level education among its population. Since women tend to be more cautious when it comes to business, we are also inclined to do more research. The reality of it is that only 4.5% of the population establishes a successful small business. It doesn’t take much math comprehension to see what a minuscule representation women have in the bigger picture. But women do tend to be strong in semantics at a time when there is value in being able to write semantic HTML. Many women also have a good eye when it comes to colours, layout and design.

What are the barriers for women in business? It cannot be denied there are many barriers, when there is such a dramatic gender difference in business ownership. Whatever the reasons, women do face an uphill battle. The most obvious barrier and lack of support pertains to financing. But the gender barriers are far more complex, longstanding – and much more deep-rooted than money alone. They surround us. Maybe even engulf us, in the amount of disdain we have to endure.

E-commerce provides an opportunity for female owned micro-enterprises to gain some ground in developing and owning businesses. Ten years ago, a website could not be developed without learning how to write code. Five years ago you had to take hours and hours of computer instruction just to be able put a blog and online store together on the same website. And if not done correctly from a technical perspective – it would slow your site to less than a crawl.

Another valuable tip for E-commerce start-ups is to ignore all advice (advertising and hype) telling you it is possible to set up an online store in minutes. No such concept (of instant gratification or results) exists when it comes to building something with lasting value. Businesses do not get built in minutes. You need to have a long-term commitment to task, combined with some clear day to day directives. I set mini mottos and foundational criteria in my head for almost everything. Otherwise I get sidetracked.

Before they started doing automatic file compressions and cloud computing, you would be charged bandwidth on images. In some cases, they took your credit card number and titrated it according to some non-identifiable bandwidth usage. It was very limiting in the number of pictures you could upload, as well as in trying to estimate what the bandwidth would cost overall. Plus every single image had to have several captions, alt tags etc. which made it tedious and prohibitive if your site relies on showing multiple images on thousands of products. Now you can upload as many pictures as you want to. The one thing to note is that once uploaded, they are lossy images and cannot be photo edited. In looking back at some of the bad pictures I took, I thought maybe I could use a photo editing plug in to make improvements. But the photo editing has to be done before uploading – due to the loss of resolution in the compressions.

Web developer costs range between 65-100 dollars an hour. Don’t be taken in by the cheap outsourcing costs you read about. For 35-50 dollars an hour you get a language barrier, which is not conducive to developing anything. You have to learn how to do things on your website without hiring a web developer. There are too many changes and tweaks to make, never mind allowing someone you don’t know onto the admin panel of your site. There is nothing worse than a bunch of cluttered up code. It can break your site. Whoever made up the slogan “Code is Poetry” must have different neuronal pathways than I do!

Just a few years ago you could not set up payment gateways without going through rigorous and complex settings that required you to store all credit card data on your site. It put a huge burden of responsibility on the web developer or business owner because of the threat of hacking and phishing. In an effort to overcome that hurdle, they set it up so when the customer paid they were re-directed to the secure payment gateway. But it was only a partial solution as it had the disadvantage of taking the person away from your website at the critical point of conversion, and disrupted the continuity of your branding.

The technical advances now are such that the purchase goes to the secure payment gateway using screen shots so that it gives the impression of staying on the site while the payment is being made. This means the website does not need to store any credit card data or a customer’s personal banking information on the site. In addition, the newer platforms are connected to QuickBooks. All of the parameters surrounding taxation, shipping etc. can be entered and tracked on one site. As they streamline these attributes, they improve them. For instance, they recently added a feature to enable an E-commerce business to give partial refunds. Such features permit compromises to be made between the business and customer, without losing customer satisfaction or losing the sale.

As a micro-enterprise, I have not launched the online store yet. But, as I have been doing the research and photography – working quietly on getting product listed, I have also noticed that advances in technology have already passed many of the concerns I had. Once the store is launched and up and running – I hope to be able to encourage other women to look toward E-commerce as something that can be achieved, without facing such astronomical hurdles. After all – we have a lot of catching up to do!

Can Dresses Be Compared To Musical Notes? There is Comfort in DGAC – But Try On An F#m!

Yesterday, I wanted to learn the song “Sweet Old World” by Emmylou Harris. According to the guitar chords and lyrics in chordie.com, the song is marked as difficult to play. I transposed it to -4 semitones to find a somewhat familiar chord sequence. In that combination most of the song is in D Em and A, which is great.

There is one F#m to go with the lyrics “cradled in your arm” and “together with another one” – just a few words, twice in the whole song. But you simply cannot dance around them, or skip over them. I never play an F chord. You have to be a contortionist within limited fretting space (like a real guitar player). Now I might be motivated to figure it out, just so I can play the song. Never having taken a music lesson means you can avoid anything you want. The lyrics and the songs are the driving force. They stay alive forever. I know there is a cliche “it’s the singer not the song” but I think they got that one backwards.

I started thinking about musical notes and what they convey. How many other things are comparable (especially dresses). The notes trigger emotional responses and have a predictable harmony. As I think about what dress style goes with an F#m – I envision it would be light and wispy, very noticeable but at the same time, diaphanous and ethereal.

The personality of the F#m is mysterious. She is made of silk chiffon, fluid in movement, and neutral in tones. There is a subtle nuance to the way she flows, from a comfort zone, shifting seamlessly into an artistic resplendance. The melody is in her movement, for the undulations of rhythm, is flowing right through her.

Not everyone can wear her, because it is not easy to emulate her style. You must be limber and coordinated, to learn how deftly and quickly she changes. The embodiment of an F#m is for a special time and place – in life as it is in a song. With unwavering confidence, she slips through the crowds effortlessly. Her memory is sweet. She is like the scent of hyacinths wafting by, as fleeting and elusive as a leaf in the breeze.

It is the range of little things, the small and unexpected notes, that brings beauty to our days. Check back. As soon as I find an F#m dress – I will post it here!

Once defined – it didn’t take too long to find one. This gorgeous silk dress fits the description for an F#m. The fabric is a muted blend of gossamer-thin patchwork patterns. A jacquard coloured silk with ribbon-like accents and gold metallic threads running horizontally across the fabric (like guitar strings of the imagination)!

Meanwhile – I’m going back to playing and singing “Silver Threads & Golden Needles” in good old DAE. If a song can bridge the difference in style between Janis Joplin and Emmylou Harris – there must be a key to the room for the rest of us!

Without a belt it has a 1920’s drop waist silhouette

A melodious blend of colours…

Shown with a narrow gold tone & pave crystal snake belt. Exotic!

Gossamer silk with gold metallic thread shown in morning window light.

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Thankful For Old Friends

 

Thankful For Old Friends

Old friends who are growing frail and tired –

If we are wise, we will esteem them higher.

For experience and wisdom knows no bounds –

And among old friends is abundantly found.

 

Treasures have often been tossed away,

Because they don’t fit with the present day.

Now we see the value in many old things –

Like artifacts, gems, antiques and rings.

 

But we race around in these busy times,

Chasing the elusive ~ the ladders we climb.

While our older helpmates quietly sit –

Patiently waiting – hoping for a visit.

 

If we forget about them, what a tragic mistake,

Old friends are precious for everyone’s sake.

A nation’s history and culture take stock…

Lest she become lost – amidst the tick of the clock.

Valerie Hayes

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

For Reflection

 

For Reflection

Foliage responds when nature talks

But weakest is the central stalk –

Wavering wildly ~ “The Thinking Reed”

Subjects nature to its greed.

 

Brambles & briars – bushes & thorns –

Gouge the flesh of pride and scorn.

They weave together close to the ground –

Whispers among them make no sound.

 

Flowers rejoice – lift faces to the sun,

Pulse out energy – bursts joy from each one.

Trees in the forest make great requests ~

Call for the clouds & their needs are confessed.

 

Harmony is balance – hearing each other,

In hundreds of years – this we discover,

That frail and feeble is our tact –

& Rapid change to what we know as fact.

Valerie Hayes

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Thinking Outside Of The Box ~ Paying Homage To Canada’s Lucrative Second Hand Markets

Pair of Carved Stone White Howling Wolves

Wood Carving With Teeth Of Bone

The second hand market in Canada is flourishing with the buying, selling and swapping of a wide range of interesting products. It has given rise to some near maniacal television shows like a modern day gold rush with lots of buzz and excitement. Thanks to the Internet – no one has to go panning for the valuables in creeks, cross uncharted mountain ranges, or even risk their lives. According to Kijiji alone, Canadians bought sold or swapped used products to the tune of 1.9 billion dollars in 2016. It’s interesting to note that British Columbians buy four times the national average in second hand goods.

Thrift stores are magnets for serious collectors. It has only been since the nineties that thrift store shopping has been trending upward. The stigmatization of buying second hand began to vanish and soon after became trendy. The idea of collecting a product line in the second hand market makes so much sense. Everything from old Levis, to antique glass and porcelain, limited edition and original art, concert band T-shirts, motorcycle memorabilia, and my favourite – vintage clothing and textiles, has gone up exponentially. The value of certain things has increased as online selling has become easier to get into. Along the same lines as the theory of like aggregates, like items are more easily accessed and compared by interested consumers. The more unique, artistic, rare, made by famous designers, in demand or outlandishly quirky – the more likely it will increase in value.

I find it very intriguing when I come across other collectors and gradually begin to notice what they collect. In one case, it was a tennis player who knew the pricing and quality of tennis rackets. He would select certain brands for five bucks or so, have them restrung and then resell them for several hundred dollars each. Another man was buying 35mm camera lenses and combining components of them to rebuild lenses with uniquely exaggerated fish eye or bokeh capabilities.

For several years there was a man with a thick Russian accent looking for and buying cashmere. He accumulated an entire roomful of sweaters. Apparently no one was sure what he intended to do with them. After he died, I learned through the rumor mill that he had planned to send them back to where he was born in Russia. He had grown up impoverished and it was “always so cold”. It’s really too bad the cashmere didn’t get packed up and sent to his hometown.

The second hand market is filled with eclectic hobbyists and hidden professionals. Most of us have no clue what motivates another person to collect what they collect. The more knowledge the person has about the specific items, the more he/she will spot authentic items with value. Glass is a good example. It ranges from hand painted moriage in Japanese porcelain to the incredible spectrum of murano glass from Italy.

The differentiation between hoarders and collectors is easy to make. Hoarders have a diminished capacity to make selections. Therefore they do not collect based on knowledge and a larger vision, but rather on fear of throwing things away because they might need or want them some day. Hoarders tend to be disorganized and non-sensical in what they stockpile and do not like to get rid of things.

Collectors on the other hand are always culling and getting rid of mistakes because that’s how we learn. It is also how a collection is refined and built to higher standards. In addition for collectors, the collection becomes increasingly organized. Whereas with hoarders it is the exact opposite and everything piles up uncontrollably. The collector is motivated to a large degree by curiosity and learning. The collection itself has a systems component.

In my opinion there is no other place but the second hand market to find high quality items and products for resale, at a fraction of the cost. You could not buy the buttons for a designer jacket for what it costs to buy one in a second hand store. And then you would still have to sit and sew them all onto the jacket.

Canada’s high standard and good reputation in the online second hand market can be credited to Montreal and Toronto. Montreal mid-century designers are now being recognized in the upscale International vintage clothing markets. Canada has turned out some world-renowned luxury brand names such as Claire Haddad, Wayne Clark, Bill Tice, Gustave Sherman, Patricia Fieldwalker, Val Hughes and Madame Runge as some examples. Next to Italy, France, and the US – we can hold our own quite well in comparison to most other countries.

There are countless good reasons to promote the Canadian second hand market. We are an affluent country with much history and culture – due to the diversity and widespread travel. We have a great selection and clean well organized second hand stores. I skim through roughly 30,000 new items per week. Of that I might select six to ten items on average.

With everything from obscure coins, antique glass and art – to old typewriters and some very unique hand made musical instruments with wooden tuners, we have enough abundance in our second hand stores to contribute to eCommerce, education, niche markets, hobbyists and recycling. The identification of unique product lines and global trends – is continually increasing the scope and opportunities within the second hand markets. It also creates an eclectic exhibit of our diverse Canadian heritage.

Taxco Mexican Sterling Silver

Leaded Glass Crystal 1950s Germany

Antique Claret Jug Or Decanter For French Bordeaux Wines

Porcelain Bust Made In Germany

A Tribute To Beethoven

Antique Asian Symbolic Figures

Antique Carved Bamboo Three Dimensional Images

Mid-Century Porcelain Fish Teapot Made In Japan

Antique Wooden Child’s Toy

Cloisonne Owls

Carved & Signed Figural Animal Head

Alligator Covered Box With Artwork On Lid

Antique Asian Wooden Cigarette Box

Antique Carved Wooden Serving Dish Haida Gwaii

Cylindrical Wooden Jar With Inlaid Lighter Coloured Wood

Carved Stone Owl On Peach Coloured Quartz

Antique Wooden Hens

A Stone Trinket Box

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Inside Passage Legendary Map Theme Poem ~ About Grief & Hope

 

Music reaches the wandering herd,

Timeless tunes of twittering birds ~

Fallen and fractured – Swallows sleep

Wind O’less waves churn dark and deep.

Feathers find warmth – Still silence hopes

Sunlight shimmers upon scattered notes ~

Through all history one promise remains —

Birds sing a new song ~

After it rains.

Valerie Hayes

 

Sky So Blue

Like me – The sky is so blue ~

Then the setting – With a purplish hue;

Bruises & bleeds – Clear across the skies ~

‘Til absorbed by the darkness – & Shadows our lives…

Valerie Hayes

1992

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2017). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

To Harbor A Contrasting View ~ Same Scene In A Different Mood

Wide Angled Overcast Harborview

Overcast Harbor Village of Queen Charlotte

Harbour View

Clear Harbor Village of Queen Charlotte

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2016). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Poem ~ The Thaw Of Spirit Lake & The Face Of The Trail

My favorite trail on Haida Gwaii is Spirit Lake Trail, and is located in Skidegate. True to its name, it is a dreamy, undulating and inspirational, loop through the trees, around the wilderness shoreline of a beautiful lake. There is a sense of privacy and privilege, in feeling so fully integrated with the forest. Big eagles perch on dead and broken trees jutting out of the lake, just feet from the trail. Moss and mist drape over sections, and then suddenly there is a brilliant contrast of azure blue. For just a few weeks in the winter, majestic white swans will often migrate through and spend some time, adding to the picturesque beauty of the trail and lake. They make a variety of strange sounds, like grunting and hissing. Apparently they mate for life, through mutual bill dipping and head to head posturing. The males are called cobs. The females are pens, and the young are cygnets.

During the time I lived on Haida Gwaii, I walked it nearly every day, and will always remember it as a highlight of living in such a beautiful place. Each time I trekked around it – it was different, with some new and delightful lighting, or an unexpected scene around the next bend. Occasionally, there were huge black bears near the trail, with thick, luxurious coats that added to their size. Haida Gwaii is home to the largest black bear in the world. They were in my yard more often than I saw them on the trail. They were never aggressive, and for the most part, remained shy and aloof – demonstrating they can run shockingly fast.

Curiously, although there have been black bear and grizzly bear maulings throughout the rest of the British Columbian wilderness, there has never been a serious bear mauling on Haida Gwaii. There is no documentation, memories among those who grew up there, or even in Haida Gwaii storytelling and folklore – that describes a bear attack on Haida Gwaii. The main “bears becoming an issue” is about a resident (many years ago) who was feeding, attracting and habituating bears to be his friends and companions. He lived with his mother who was frail and elderly. In addition, they lived right on main street where children had to pass by on their way to school, so it was a problem. The imbalanced resident and bear lover, when under pressure to stop it – ended up shooting the bears and then himself.

The climate on Haida Gwaii is similar to Vancouver, with most winter storms being more wind and rain, as opposed to snow and ice. The poem called The Thaw of Spirit Lake was written during a period of time in the winter when the lake was frozen.

Later in the spring on another walk, I stopped and snapped a picture of the face in the trail, without even fully realizing it, until I saw what looked sort of like a porcelain dolls head in the thumbnails of the photos. The camera I was carrying at the time, was just a small, very old 4 mega pixel point and shoot. When I saw the picture of the face, I was surprised to see I got the whole face in the picture. The face in Spirit Lake Trail goes with the poem. I felt awed and delighted to be out there enough to capture them both!

The Thaw of Spirit Lake

The lake is like milk – To nourish the tenseness

Like the soft rush of silk – Slides over the senses

And threatens to thaw our daily defenses.

While frozen reflections

Skim past expressions.

For what lies beneath, no one can see ~

Cannot be dredged or warmed a degree…

Until winter releases & shows the first cracks,

On a face that it teases ~

Until spring makes it laugh.

Valerie J. Hayes

snap shot of a face in Spirit Lake Trail

The Face in Spirit Lake Trail

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2016). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Hourglass ~ Fashion Is Figurative

The Hourglass

The Hourglass Figure ~

So hotly admired;

 The “Our” need-les through –

The heart of desire,

Holds all that she dreams…

As thread from her gown,

Came apart at the seams –

She could not have known;

What she needed to mend,

‘Til she went back again –

In her search for the end ~

& The good she could find.

It was then she was shown —

How the darkest of skies –

Has put stars in her eyes ~

As she rides in that chariot,

Called the “Passage of Time”.

Valerie Hayes

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Projecting Image, Fashion ~ And Embodied Cognition

Happy New Year to all, with much gratitude toward loved ones. I always feel a sense of relief when we get into January, mostly for the longer days and anticipation of warmer weather.

Some of the most fascinating research is being done in the field of embodied cognition. It is still in the early stages of study and somewhat vague in definition, but nonetheless it represents a leap of understanding in cognitive science. My interpretation of what it means, is that instead of our brains being locked away inside our heads with only our unique perceptions and mental representations to stimulate behavior and solve problems – we actually have cognitive resources that are distributed across our brains, our physical bodies – and our environment.

One of the essential meanings of embodied cognition is that states of the body modify states of the mind. So far, the only real study I have been able to find on clothing and embodied cognition is one involving a white lab coat and the perceptions it creates. That study alone, indicates that what we wear creates a significant impression with regards to the way we feel, as well as to how others perceive us.

With advanced and increasing knowledge about the brain, psychologists and philosophers have delved more and more into the field of embodied cognition and question how words, objects and events are perceived or made meaningful to us. The research so far demonstrates that language comprehension depends on emotion, perception and metaphor. This becomes the primary motivator of our behavior. It is the motivation and resulting coordinated action that links us to other people. The most compelling aspect of the linguistic component, is the extensive use of metaphor. Every conceptual metaphor from a “couch potato” to looking and feeling like a “million bucks” or saying it “fits like a glove”  to a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” provide us with examples of metaphors that describe concepts, some of which are highly complex and abstract.

What the increasing awareness and knowledge regarding embodied cognition brings to the fashion industry, is that if our physical bodies share in our cognitive processing, perception and interactions – then the way we dress and care for our physical bodies is far more important than mere vanity or practicality. It is an outward representation of at least some of the elements of cognition. The notion of intellectualizing fashion is not based on whim or fancy, but on a much wider and more holistic framework than has been previously acknowledged.

Just as the medical world began to recognize the need to treat the whole person (body) in the seventies, we now have that holistic element extending to our brain, mind, body, outward appearance, emotions, perceptions – and the environment. This means that if we are able to “pull it together” – it could be what brings us closer to self-actualization and the authentic self – which is the opposite of narcissism and mere vanity.

The food for thought that I leave with you for the New Year – is that all of our potential is wrapped up in embodied cognition – to enigmatically include many facets of existence that are outside and well beyond our concept of self.

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.