You know how I've done collections of Look-alikes?
Well, this time around I'm presenting you with what I call...

> T h i n k - a l i k e s ! <
(It's what great minds do.)

Chosen, Arranged
, and Divided into 10 Sections by
~The Fashioniste!~

Whether it's artists or writers or designers or any other successful individuals, there are undeniably some common threads that run through the fabric of their thinking, and here I show you a whole slew of such instances--and all, in effect, in order to form the (couture-grade) fabric of my own thinking! XD -Enjoy- :-D

I was going to include descriptions for each person I quote, but really, you can Google just about all of them and find 'em--and annotated, too!--at any of many different quotation collections on the Web, or in the complete texts of books, essays, and interviews of the individuals.
IDEALLY, this is all meant to be read OUTLOUD, and right through, from the beginning to the end--that is, ONLY the text I have bolded (which is what took so long in my editing of it!),
so keep that in mind as you go through it! ;-)

And um, just to get this one out of the way:
The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot.
-Salvador Dalí (Thank you.)

Preface: A Few Basic Points

You can't forbid living beautifully. The world must be romanticized, and I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure.
1: Russian proverb: Красиво жить не запретишь.
2: Novalis
3: John D. Rockefeller

I am a poor man and of little worth, who is laboring in that art that God has given me in order to extend my life as long as possible. I don't want to make money, I just want to be wonderful.
1: Michelangelo
2: Marilyn Monroe

Beauty is at once the ultimate principle and the highest aim of art.
-Paul Valery

The history of beauty is still unwritten, yet apart from it there is little in the world that matters. Health is valuable because it is a condition of beauty, leisure because it gives time for it, power because it can command it, taste because it can choose it, genius because it can create it, and love because it feeds upon it.
-From “A Defense of Rouge,” UK Vogue, December 1924

There is nothing that makes its way more directly into the soul than beauty.
-Joseph Addison
There's nothing that allays an angry mind
So soon as a sweet beauty.
-Beaumont and Fletcher
Of ancient Greece, it has been said that:
At that time nothing was sacred but the beautiful.
Damals war nichts heilig als das Schöne. -Friedrich Schiller
[A] beauty overpowering all analysis or comparison, and putting us quite beside ourselves, we can seldom see after [so many] years, yet the remembrance of these visions outlasts all other remembrances, and is a wreath of flowers on the oldest brows.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
A heart in love with beauty never grows old.

-Turkish proverb
Age has whitened the hair of some men while leaving their hearts unaffected, which remain fresh and young and beat just as strongly for every good and beautiful thing

-Ludoviko Zamenhof
Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
Jeder, der sich die Fähigkeit erhält, Schönes zu erkennen, wird nie alt warden.
-Franz Kafka

And what about the ability to not just see beauty, but to re-create beauty? To re-define beauty? And for many, many women, at that! Well, that’s exactly what a designer does!

Art dignifies and imbues with a deeper meaning everything and even every thing, person, and situation, it addresses, and as a result of interacting with a work of art, you, too, are bound to dignify and imbue with a deeper meaning everything and even every thing, person, and situation you come into contact with.

A true critic ought to dwell upon excellencies rather than imperfections, to discover the concealed beauties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation. -Joseph Addison
And in what I do:
A true fashion critic ought to dwell upon excellencies rather than imperfections, to discover the concealed beauties of a designer’s work, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation. And that’s what my runway selections are all about! Anyone can be a negative critic…can sit or stand there on the sidelines with their arms folded, ready to scoff or smirk or roll their eyes at whatever they see, but if that is all they can do, then they might as well do it. Either you can share in the love of beauty and the joy and excitement and blah-blah-blah of art—and as every work of art is reborn with every new person who partakes of it, so you are just as responsible for its existence as the individual who first created it!

So I have no interest in tearing down, but in building up, and building on, and building out. And it is noteworthy that the German word for education is bildung, and that our word “educate” is itself from the Latin word educere, which means “to lead forth.” As you can see, this is a matter of not merely constructing a house of learning, but bridge of learning—many bridges! And so my approach is more like the Indian proverb that says: “Life is a bridge. Cross over it, but build no house on it.”


Part 1: The Light of Learning, the Light of Love

So, why learn?
It is the object of learning, not only to satisfy the curiosity and perfect the spirits of ordinary men, but also to advance civilization. -Woodrow Wilson
Really, to tie it all together,
I do not want art for a few any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few.
-William Morris
An education in the arts—and the freedom to pursue it is so vital... It deepens and complexifies our way of seeing—our creative vision!—and, therefore, our enjoyment of LLLLLIFE!!!!
The more beauty we have within, the more deeply we see. Fill your eyes and your mind and your heart with so much beauty that you overflow with it and end up seeing more beauty all around you!
When I say the word“learning,” I mean a body of one’s knowledge, and learning is a light, and we may almost go so far as to say, as was originally meant about visual aesthetics, that,
There is no object so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
That can well refer to the intense light of a great heart and mind that have been made so by the experience of so many wonderful artistic and literary works.
And indeed we may say that:
Studying is light; not studying is darkness.
Ученье свет, а неученье - тьма.
-Russian proverb
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
-Carl Jung
Study lends a kind of enchantment to all our surroundings.
-Honoré de Balzac
You know?

And so,
Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.
Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see.
Kunst gibt nicht das Sichtbare wieder, sondern macht sichtbar.
-Paul Klee
The most fundamental reason one paints is in order to see.
-Brett Whiteley
As in the sun objects paint their images on the retina of the eye, so they, sharing the aspiration of the whole universe, tend to paint a far more delicate copy of their essence in his mind.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
The painting is in the eye, as the song is in the ear.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson (paraphrased)

But how does this “giving of light” place in the mind and heart of the student?
Your own passion is the greatest teacher.
Love is a better teacher than any formal compulsion.
-Albert Einstein
A man ought to read just as inclination leads him, for what he reads as a task will do him little good. -Samuel Johnson

All successful writers and artists have known this, and have acted on it. How could an instance of creative expression not stem from a sense of love for someone or something?
The painter's obsession with his subject is all that he needs to drive him to work.
-Lucian Freud
And, indeed, I here make my obvious point, that
It is WOMAN who projects the greatest shade or the greatest light in our dreams!
Le femme est l’être qui projette la plus grande ombre ou la plus grande lumière dans nos rêves.
-Charles Baudelaire (slightly revised)
One artist said that:
The model should only serve the very private function for the painter of providing the starting point for his excitement.
-Lucian Freud
But NO! Her beauty continuously suffuses the entire spirit of the creative process, and when I say “creative process,” I do include Life itself!—of which Love is absolutely a most necessary part.
I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.
-Vincent Van Gogh
So said Van Gogh, yes, but of course he still expressed his feeling of love in the paintings he painted, because he felt it that strongly!
And in keeping with this point:
Art ought never to be considered except in its relations with its ideal beauty.
L'art ne doit jamais être considéré que dans ses rapports avec sa beaute idéale.
-Alfred de Vigny
Yes, in relation to not just “ideal beauty” in general, but in relation to the artwork’s ideal beauty itself. As one writer said,
A woman should either be a work or art or wear a work of art.
-Oscar Wilde
—well, I ask, what about a woman who does BOTH?
The only real response to one poem is another poem.
-Harold Bloom (paraphrased)
And the only real response to one work of art is another work of art!
And so here I work, like any other aspiring artist, and I say,
The presence of a thought is like the presence of a lover.
Die Gegenwart eines Gedankens ist wie die Gegenwart einer Geliebten.
-Arthur Schopenhauer
And, again that,
Art ought never to be considered except in its relations with its ideal beauty.
-Alfred de Vigny
And so, she that lovely, lovely woman, is the leading light in this artist’s mind and heart, and is it a wonder that the word “muse” is the root of “music”? Ah, yeah—
The Eternal Females leads us ever higher.
The Eternal Woman shows us the way.
Das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
So, some as have been known to say:
The Lord is my light.
Dominus Illuminatio Mea.
-Motto of Oxford University.
And it is a fine professing of faith to God.
But as long as I create, I effectively say:
The Goddess is MY light!
—the light between truth and intellect.
che lume fia tra 'l vero e lo 'ntelletto.
-Dante, about his beloved Beatrice
And actually:
Love with delight discourses in my mind
Upon my lady's admirable gifts...
Beyond the range of human intellect.



Part 2: What You Can Keep in Mind!

And so, it cannot be over-emphasized:
In art as in love, the instinct is enough.
-Anatole France
When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.
-John Ruskin
A man at work, making something which he feels will exist because he is working at it and wills it, is exercising the energies of his mind and soul as well as of his body. Memory and imagination help him as he works.
-William Morris

Turning to something completely different for a moment: A swivel-mounted cannon fired from the back of a camel is known as a zumbooruk, and, as you might expect, it has been used primarily in the desert-lands of southwestern Asia. And I find my brain to be very much a zumbooruk of ideas, which is continuously focused on whatever creative and intellectual pursuits I am working on. Yet I have enough to sense to understand that too much work leads to satiety, while too much idleness leads to lassitude (paraphrase of a point from Samuel Johnson). And the person who operates that cannnon--whether of heavy ammunition or heavy thoughts--is known as a zumboorukchee. So I’m a cyber-zumboorukchee of artistic inspiration! Yeah! And now, you know (that, um, cyber-zumboorukchee is a word that actual means something, and you can be one as well...).

If you would be a man, speak what you think today in words as hard as cannonballs!

-Ralph Waldo Emerson (slightly revised)
If you would be a woman, make your beauty have that very same effect, that same impact! Does a man necessarily have to be known only as a speaker and woman as a beauty? Of course not; a man can also be a great maker of any artwork, just as a woman can be a great writer and speaker, and painter of pictures as well.
Personality is everything in art and poetry.
Ist in der Kunst und Poesie die Personlichkeit alles.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
When science, art, literature, and philosophy are simply the manifestation of personality they are on a level where glorious and dazzling achievements are possible, which can make a man's name live for thousands of years.
-Denis Diderot 
You know,
Every calling is great when greatly pursued.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
The cause makes the means holy.
המטרה מקדשת את האמצעים -Hebrew proverb
And thus,
What is done out of love is done beyond good and evil.
-Friedrich Nietzsche
An Indian proverb says:
Though the idol is small the fame is big.
Murthi chikkadadru kirthi doddadu. -Kannada
"This is a reference to self-effacing people with accomplishments, for, those with accomplishments are expected to be self-effacing. If not, they may be termed arrogant."


Part 3: The Realization...

And so this is about about a voice—a voice of absolute determination that some of us not only hear from within, but follow—it is a voice that says:
You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget [and neglect this responsibility].
-Woodrow Wilson
Those of us who realize this and feel it,
We [feel we] are on a mission: we [feel that we are] called upon to educate the world.
And the very word “calling” still has a religious connotation that was once part of its primary meaning.
Though our challenges are fearsome, so are our strengths. And [we] have ever been a restless, questing, hopeful people. We must bring to our task today the vision and will of those who came before us. But our greatest strength is the power of our ideas, which are still new in many lands. Across the world, we see them embraced—and we rejoice. Our hopes, our hearts, our hands, are with those on every continent who are building democracy and freedom. Their cause is [our] cause [as well].
-Bill Clinton
What is not yet done is only what we have not yet attempted to do.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.
-Georgia O’Keefe
So said a woman who understood that,
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
-Anais Nin
But what outspoken actuator of change can really be so utterly self-effacing, as the earlier Indian proverb recommends? Ah—but to devote oneself to art and to beauty, to sacrifice one’s time and effort and energy to that creative endeavor, is a submission most worthy. So we can put it in perspective when we hear such things as the artist who said:
“With the arrogance of youth, I [have] determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed,…and the work goes on.”
-William Morris
And how much can be done, you ask? Well, how about creating one’s world in ALLLLL the arts??? (Arrogance? What of it?! Who has that level and that magnitude of passion and self-sacrifice?) But no sooner do I consider this an impossibility, than do I realize that there have been some who have made it a reality for themselves—and that there are yet more who can go farther and farther, and who very boldly will!
It is another of the miraculous things about mankind that there is no pain, nor passion, that does not radiate to the ends of the earth. Let a man in a garret but burn with enough intensity and he will set fire to the world.
-Antoine Saint-Exupery
A sort of egotistical self-evaluation is unavoidable in those joys in which erudition and art mingle and in which aesthetic pleasure may become more acute, but not remain as pure.
-Marcel Proust
But it is necessary, as one man said of his own dual work as both poet and artist:
“I will not Reason and Compare; my business is to Create.”
-William Blake
And so if you feel similarly, then you may hear that inspired voice, and go:
“I am now rich in fruitful ideas and I must produce my work.”
-Amadeo Modigliani, in an early letter to a fellow-artist friend
And, say along with another such soul,
“True, I am young, but for souls nobly born valor doesn't await the passing of years.”
-Pierre Corneille
What is not yet done is only what we have not yet attempted to do.
-Alexis de Tocqueville
And again:
Every calling is great when greatly pursued.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
And no one can duplicate your personality, your passion—or suffering—or your experience…
> > > > > > > > > > > > > There is Only 1 YOU! < < < < < < < < < < < < < <
You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at. -W. H. Auden

And of course with the sufficient time and maybe a little money, the artist can do this! And so, to all would-be patrons of the arts:
When you give money to artists, you are yourself doing an artist's work, and…I only want my pictures to be of such a quality that you will not be too dissatisfied with your work.
-Vincent Van Gogh
But even with enough money and free time, it is also true that,
All works of art are commissioned in the sense that no artist can create one by a simple act of will but must wait until what he believes to be a good idea for a work comes to him.
-W. H. Auden
But this is not a problem for the inspired one:
What moves those of genius, what inspires their work is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.
-Eugene Delacroix
A painter's tastes must grow out of what so obsesses him in life that he never has to ask himself what it is suitable for him to do in art.
-Lucian Freud
What is done out of love is done beyond good and evil.
-Friedrich Nietzsche
Painting gave meaning to my life which without it, it would not have had.
-Francis Bacon
I thought I was going to be a bum the rest of my life.
-Jean Michel Basquiat
And, well, you might simply just enjoy the works of others, without having any will to create your own.
Any man who does not have his inner world to translate is not an artist.
-Theophile Gaultier
And, obviously,
Any woman who does not have her inner world to translate is not an artist, either.


Part 4: The Past and The Present

An artist should be familiar with the past, but that doesn’t mean that he or she should have too much respect for it. In the arts, there are plenty of people who pride themselves on their refusal to see what was done before them, and then there are always a bunch of pedantic blabbermouths—learned idiots—who are always longing for the past and idealizing some historical point as the apex of artistic creativity, from which no individual who comes afterward can match in power or originality in any form. But it all comes down to particular individuals, and as Emerson said “All history is biography,” so all art history and fashion history, and literary history, is the story not of so-called “movements” of anonymous, unknown, indistinguishable people with a common vision and credo, but rather it is the story of the brave, well-known and certainly distinguished individuals who inspired those movements those uprisings, and those revolutions.

I hate artists who are not of their time.
-Guillaume Apollinaire
Only the minute and the future are interesting in fashion – it exists to be destroyed. If everybody did everything with respect, you'd go nowhere.
People who say that yesterday was better than today are ultimately devaluing their own existence.
If you don’t want to follow your time, your life is second-rate… It’s up to you to adapt and find your niche in what’s going in the life of the moment, in the moment, in the present time. If not, your life is—uninteresting.
-all Karl Lagerfeld
That which is not disputed, is not interesting, either.
-Friedrich Schiller

But in the early 2000’s, painting, like classical music, or literature, has an audience that is narrow; with classical art and clasical literature, it's a lot like what one composer said about classical music in the school system:
The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead.
-Igor Stravinsky
That’s right—we are taught to RESPECT art and not simply just ENJOY it like music or food or whatever the heck else you already enjoy, baby--which would be far likelier to inspire us and make us identify with what those artists and writers felt when they created what they had to create.
The challenge here is partly due to the shift in the formal education system from the Arts and Humanities to the Sciences, but it is also because these things need artists and creators who are insanely passionate about these things, and who fight hard to keep these forms visible in the public eye, and relevant to times and morés of the present days.

If it’s not controversial, it can’t matter that much.
That which is not disputed, is not interesting, either.
-Friedrich Schiller

Oh, the times! Oh, the morals/manners/customs/ways we live and think!
O tempora, o mores! (The various translations all apply.)

What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish. -W. H. Auden
If an artist or thinker wants to reach many people in the early-21st century world, he may step back, rub his chin and wonder, “How dumb do I have to make myself to get the public's attention?” But the answer is: not dumb at all! There is no need to compromise, unless I want to just be another pop-cultural trend—and the concept of popular culture is wonderful, but for culture is the original sense to become popular, it needs its representatives and fighters. So how dumb do I have to make myself? Not dumb at all! The public is smart, but the media works very hard to make the public stupid.

And there are some in public whose curiosity might be raised by a point, like, that:
There is in painting something moreover, which is not explained, which is essential.
Il y a dans la peinture quelque chose de plus, qui ne s’explique pas, qui est essential.
-Auguste Renoir
Now what could that really mean? Unexplainable but essential--what's he talking about?! Hmm. Well, let’s consider the work of another painter for an answer--and why not Jackson Pollock, of whom these descriptions were given:
“Even Pollock himself didn't know what the painting was saying to him until he got most of the way through it and stepped back to let it speak to him.”
“A dripping wet canvas covered the entire floor… There was complete silence… Pollock looked at the painting. Then, unexpectedly, he picked up can and paint brush and started to move around the canvas. It was as if he suddenly realized the painting was not finished. His movements, slow at first, gradually became faster and more dance like as he flung black, white, and rust colored paint onto the canvas. He completely forgot that Lee and I were there; he did not seem to hear the click of the camera shutter… My photography session lasted as long as he kept painting, perhaps half an hour. In all that time, Pollock did not stop. How could one keep up this level of activity? Finally, he said ‘This is it.’”

Or uh, as Renoir does it:
When I've painted a woman's bottom so that I want to touch it, then the painting is finished.
--Is that really from Renoir, or from Salvador Dalí? As one biographer eloquently noted: “… Other signs that Dalí was not just any boy growing up in provincial, middle-class Catalonia were not long in coming. Extreme timidity coincided with an array of obsessions, such as buttocks…”


Part 5: An Interlude of Some Other Quotes (& Responses)

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.
I'm a very restless person. I'm always doing something. The creative process never stops.
Gardening is how I relax. It's another form of creating and playing with colors.
Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
1 & 4: Claude Monet
2 & 3: Oscar de la Renta

No longer shall I paint interiors with men reading and women knitting. I will paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love. -Edvard Munch
> And knitting can’t entail those things??!?

Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don’t start measuring her limbs.
-Pablo Picasso
> Yeah right. 5’ 9, 36-24-34. ‘Nuff sed.

Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it. -Samuel Johnson
> Guhhhhhhhhhh-oogle!

The genius of democracies is seen not only in the great number of new words introduced but even more in the new ideas they express. -Alexis de Tocqueville 

At this moment, who would not remain persuaded that these women were virtuous? Are they not the flower of the country? Are they all not fresh, ravishing, intoxicating with beauty, youth, life and love? To believe in their virtue is a kind of social religion; because they are the ornament of the world and the glory of France.
En ce moment, qui ne voudrait pas rester persuadé que ces femmes sont vertueuses? Ne sont-elles pas la fleur du pays? Ne sont-elles pas toutes verdissantes, ravissantes, étourdissantes de beauté, de jeunesse, de vie et d'amour? Croire à leur vertu est une espèce de religion sociale; car elles sont l'ornement du monde et font la gloire de la France. 
-Honoré de Balzac,
> Wait a second…is that his reaction to the models at the Paris Couture shows at
We shall never be able to remove suspicion and fear as potential causes of war until communication is permitted to flow, free and open, across international boundaries. -Harry S. Truman
We shall never be able to remove suspicion and fear [about one other as people], until communication is permitted to flow, free and open, across international boundaries.
> And what better invention to facilitate the removal of such foolish fears and misconceived suspicions than the Internet?
The whole world is a big town. -Yiddish proverb
> And some have called New York, New York “The city that never sleeps,”
But I see the Worldwide Web and call it
> “The global village never sleeps!”


Part 6: "Defining Beauty" -
Who Actually Has that Power, that Privilege?

It ain't just professional designers, after all. It can be in the way a single remarkable individual dresses himself or herself that makes the impression, sets a trend, and tips off a whole new look, thereby adding a new definition to the entry-word "beauty" in the lexicon of all who have seen it so much as once! But let's consider this idea more fully, and start on a note of deliberate ridiculousness, that--

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.
-Oscar Wilde
A painter's tastes must grow out of what so obsesses him in life that he never has to ask himself what it is suitable for him to do in art.
-Lucian Freud
To emphasize only the beautiful seems to me to be like a mathematical system that only concerns itself with positive numbers.
-Paul Klee
Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.
-Jean Cocteau

Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
And a designer designs beauty!
The mistake becomes the rule. The error becomes truth, and the meaning of “beauty” itself changes…
Beauty is no quality in things themselves: it exists merely in the mind which contemplates them. -David Hume
And who has the power to change it, to redefine it?
In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined. -Thomas Szasz
But do you necessarily need to finance a commercial campaign in order to be influential?
No, you just need to do whatever you love, and whatever you want to do and need to express, and you will be noticed!
A woman revises her god-given beauty as she wishes, and as with literature, so it is with looks, namely that “an author can have nothing truly her own but his style.”
—an author can have nothing truly his own but his style. -Isaac D’Israeli, about literature
Art is either plagiarism or revolution.
-Paul Gauguin


Part 7: Beautiful? Ugly? Both--at Different Times

Sliding down the slippery slope of semantics is what society does from one generation to the next, and meaning may be at the mercy of the masses, but there are guides who arise and monopolize over that phenomenon--whether they ever intended to, or not. And the time is always ripe for a a renewed mmm--scandalousness, and for someone to
SHOCK the Middle Class!
Épater le Bourgeois!
-Motto of the French Decadent poets

What is intoxicating about bad taste is the aristocratic pleasure of offensiveness.
Or even a better way of putting it is that,
What is so intoxicating about bad taste is the aristocratic pleasure in displeasing others.
Ce qu'il y a d'enivrant dans le mauvais goût, c'est le plaisir aristocratique de déplaire.
-Charles Baudelaire

Beauty: An aesthetic radiance that delights the soul; a quality much admired in women, landscapes and tropical fish, but curiously out of favor in art throughout the modern era.
-Rick Bayan, The Cynic's Dictionary
The Classical represents that which is healthy; and the Romantic, that which is sick.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Okay, so let me bring that up to date:
Classicism is healthy,
Romanticism is sick,
Modernism is very sick, and
Postmodernism—extreeeemely sick.
But again:
What is not disputed, is not interesting, either.
-Friedrich Schiller
And, thankfully, postmodernism, insofar as it is really controversial and relevant, is over, and no “post-post-“ suffix have ever been used seriously. It has simply spiraled downward and unraveled so widely, and been “done-to-death,” and had its moment, which to be repeated or earnestly imitated would be unbearable, but the new global village that has risen up has re-ignited the same kind of cross-cultural synthesis that happened in the arts in the so-called Art Nouveau movement, around the turn of last century. But in about 25 years’ time, we’ll have a name for whatever aesthetic ethos defined the early 2000’s. And such phrases “Generation Y” and “the iGeneration” are not what I’m talking about—I’m talking about something that would end with an “-ism,” but we still await the prevalently known constellation of artists to make themselves as popular as Hollywood celebrities (we’ll see if and when and how that happens or—could! Can you even have an artistic personality nowadays without also needing to be a “personality” in the fame sense? We’ll see, we’ll see!).  But for art to continue to exist and to not just survive, but to actually thrive, there need to be individuals who dare to do new things! And who “Dare to compete” with the trailblazers and groundbreakers and trendsetters of every past generation.
Art is the [highest] mode of individualism that the world has known.
-Oscar Wilde
It is a matter of redefining taste, to be sure, and there are certain inevitable premises that lend promise to the future of art:

Art has got nothing to do with taste. -Max Ernst
Good taste is the enemy of creativity: -Pablo Picasso
It is good taste, and good taste alone, that possesses the power to sterilize and is always
the first handicap to any creative functioning. -Salvador Dalí
A good designer is always poised on the edge of bad taste.
Or rather: A good designer is always suspended on the thread of bad taste. (Literally!)
Una brava stilista è sempre sospeso sul filo del cattivo gusto. -Elsa Schiaparelli, a brave stylist, indeed!
In difficult times fashion is always outrageous. -Elsa Schiaparelli, whose first perfume was in a bottle shaped like the torso of a nude woman, and, apropos of that, went by the name--Shocking.
I have a Dalinian thought: the one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous. -Salvador Dali
What makes one generation drop its jaw with a gasp, makes the next generation drop its jaw with a yawn.
Art is either plagiarism or revolution. -Paul Gauguin
The nature of art has always been to present perception itself in a new light, to raise questions, to make new suggestions about the way things are in all areas of life:
I've always thought that problem solving is highly overrated and that problem creation is far more interesting. -Chuck Close

Part 8: What It's All About

***Perhaps it is not so improbable to say that the common thread between all successfully self-actualized artists and writers and designers is just that!--namely, that they were unafraid to venture out from the established realm of good taste and acceptable taste (and I say realm as there is, indeed, only one, which is continuously, though nevertheless begrudgingly, expanding), into the uncharted realms (as there are so many!) of bad taste and unacceptable, shockingly outrageous taste! (and then the realm of good taste is expanded, yes, and thereby more diversified...more thought-provoking...more interesting! ... So, as for being "think-alikes," YES, they do think alike--in thinking differently from the majority of people, for one, but also in thinking differently from each other, aside from the initial will to define themselves and not
be defined by someone else....***

So we must be careful in considering the concept of proclaiming and creating one's own independence. Yes, we must be careful in considering this truth--that:
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him [or her] to hold in higher esteem those who think alike, rather than those who think differently.
-Friedrich Nietzsche
Yes, that is exactly it! The essence of what it is all about--namely--


Part 9: Fighting for your Individuality!

--And I am quick to say that you fight for your individuality just by being yourself! It is, in itself, an act of resistance, an act of courage, and must be an act of perseverance or sustained courage, if one is to ensure its effectiveness--and by effectiveness I don't mean influence over others, but rather influence over one's own happiness with oneself--that self-given freedom that is the ultimate way to live! And it must be pointed out that, given the underlying agenda of all those who hold power and who are striving for power in the world of politics, art is always at least potentially endangered, that is, in difficult times. And thusly, it always needs its proponents, its representatives, its—fighters! who are therefore, by definition, revolutionary.
After all, it is style alone by which posterity will judge of a great work, for an author can have nothing truly his own but his style. -Isaac D’Israeli
The full point of which is that:
In art, there are only two types of people: revolutionaries and plagiarists. And in the end, doesn't the revolutionary's work become official, once the State takes it over? -Paul Gauguin
All you need to do is: Compare the Sex Pistols in England vs. Green Day in America.
When asked about the new punk-looking bands, Johnny Rotten/John Lydon said, “They’re coat-hangers…they have on all the gear, and that’s just…about…it.”
Fashion fades, style is eternal.
Fashion is futile; style is not.
Les modes passent, le modèle est éternel.
La mode est futile, le modèle pas. 

-Yves Saint Laurent
And that first quote, in German:
Mode ist vergänglich, Stil ewig.
And that reminds me once again:
The Eternal Females leads us ever higher.
The Eternal Woman shows us the way.
Das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
And so we may say:
> > > > > > > > > > The Woman of Style, Truly Original Style, is Eternal... < < < < < < < < < <

Personality, indomitable, inimitable, irrepressible, irreplaceable—Personality is EVERYTHING in art, in fashion, and in great writing. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (extended)

As one writer greatly said,
The strongest man is the world is he who stands most alone.
-Henrik Ibsen
And so I say point out the other side of that, and say:
The most beautiful woman in the world is SHE who stands most alone!
(And she is stronger than the strongest man, for the force of her beauty has more power than any physical strength he can demonstrate!)

In our society, the women who break down barriers are those who ignore limits.
-Arnold Schwarzenegger
The barriers [have not been] erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, "Thus far and no farther."
-Ludwig Van Beethoven
What [is] talent but the art of being completely whatever one happened to be?
-Henry James
Art is the [highest] mode of individualism that the world has known.
-Oscar Wilde
Fashion is only the attempt to realize art in living forms and social [activity].
-Sir Francis Bacon
Know first who you are; then adorn yourself accordingly. –Epictetus

But how could a woman know herself when a woman is constantly changing in every sense? (Come gotta be kiddin' me...) Nah, seriously!

Woman is ever a fickle and changeable thing.
Woman is always a changeable and capricious thing.
Varium et mutabile semper femina. -Virgil
But, to paraphrase Yves Saint-Laurent,
Her fashions may change, but her sense of style remains the same.She knows that:
Variation refreshes.
Vaihtelu virkistää. -Finnish proverb
And she also knows that,
Admiration is a very short-lived passion that immediately decays upon growing familiar with its object, unless it be still fed with fresh discoveries, and kept alive by a new perpetual succession of miracles rising up to its view. -Joseph Addison
And that
Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed. -Joseph Addison
And, well, it is true that—
Sometimes big designers are afraid that people won't recognize them if they change that much. -Donatella Versace

And so, just think about how hard a woman must work to maintain her style, and to exemplify her own beauty—indeed to make it the ideal, the reference point, the cause of envy in as many woman as possible and the provocation to desire in as many men as possible…. Damn!!!!!
"To be born woman is to know --
Although they do not talk of it at school --
That we must labour to be beautiful.”

-Woman quoted in a poem by William Butler Yeats
It is a hard trade to be beautiful woman.
C'est un dur métier que d'être belle femme. -Charles Baudelaire
And even harder tro redefine beauty? Mmmaybe…maybe not.

One writer observed in the early 1700s that,
There is not so variable a thing in nature as a lady's head-dress. -Joseph Addison


Part 10: But Don't Try Too Hard (Unless You Want to!)

That is right: do not be fooled into thinking that just because something is new, it is therefore better. I mean:
Just because the beautiful one is always astonishing, it would be absurd to suppose that what is astonishing is always beautiful.
Parce que le beau est toujours étonnant, il serait absurde de supposer que ce qui est étonnant est toujours beau. -Charles Baudelaire – LOL, right!
One writer dismally said that,
Even beauty cannot always palliate eccentricity. -Honoré de Balzac – but, LOL—it’s actually just the opposite: beauty could only be enhanced by not being so “centered”:
I don't like balance. Balance is not a word you can use in Versace fashion.
-Donatella Versace
And that’s still one of the top fashion houses in the world, mind you!

So as for eccentricity diminishing a woman’s beauty? Let’s catapult over some 400+ years of highly respected and world-famous authorities on the subject:
There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion. -Sir Francis Bacon, c. 1600
Strangeness is the necessary condiment of any beauty.
L'étrangeté est le condiment nécessaire de toute beauté. -Charles Baudelaire, c. 1860
I don't like standard beauty—there is no beauty without strangeness. -Karl Lagerfeld, c. 2000

So Ladies,
Know first who you are; then adorn yourself accordingly. -Epictetus
In discussing the length of an outfit he made, one fashion designer said:
I don't want to suggest go shorter [because] I invented long. It's become so pretentious in fashion, but it's about educating the style of the people. And people have to educate themselves and express their individuality. -Gianni Versace
I couldn't find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself.
-Ferdinand Porsche
When I decided to get married at 40, I couldn't find a dress with the modernity or sophistication I wanted. That's when I saw the opportunity for a wedding gown business.
-Vera Wang
If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.
-Napoleon Bonaparte
In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined.
-Thomas Szasz
That is the key of this collection, being yourself. Don't be into trends. Don't make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.
-Gianni Versace
That is the key to any collection—be it the collection of an artist’s own artwork, a designer’s own designs, or a writer’s own writings. So...who’s brave enough to try something totally new? To be something totally new? To define individuality for oneself? That is the question I pose—

Who will dare to be original ?