HOW FASHION SAVED ME
The Theology of Fashion. Who knew there was even such a thing?
After spending years studying and working in the corporate fashion industry of NYC, I began to see a lot of disorder in the form of low self-value, unhealthy competition, and compulsive/excessive spending habits to name a few. Thus began my quest to peel back the layers and ask some hard questions...the most important being, "If God sees me as CHOSEN, ROYAL, HOLY, SPECIAL, and LIGHT...and if He is the Creator and Designer or ALL... then shouldn't fashion edify and uplift since it is HIS idea? What happened to spur the downfall? And how can we unpack fashion and reclaim it as a means to empower women?"
So I cracked open my Bible and went back... all the way back to the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 3:8-24, we find a compelling story of the rise and fall of the first glimpse into humanity. The setting is pure perfection; a Garden paradise where God smiled on His handiwork and declared it "very, very good". It is here we find the first trace of defiance and mistrust in God in the form of sin. Sin resulted in not only a severed relationship with God, but also with others (Adam and Eve hiding from one another with fig leaves), and ultimately ourselves in the form of a counterfeit identity.
A counterfeit identity is a lot like chasing the wind. You can feel it, but the moment you actually try and grasp it, it disappears. Madonna did an interview with Vogue some years back and said, “My drive in life is from this horrible fear of being mediocre. That’s always been pushing me, pushing me. Because even though I’ve become somebody, I still have to prove that I’m SOMEBODY. My struggle has never ended, and it probably never will.” Famous or not, if we are being truly honest, I would dare to say that this resonates somewhere deep within each of our hearts.
Then God redeems. My favorite word in the Bible is "then" because God is ALWAYS in the business of taking what was meant for evil and RECLAIMING AND REDEEMING IT FOR GOOD. In the Garden of Eden, God steps in and kills an animal as a means for sacrifice to COVER us with garments of skin.
PLEASE try to stay with me here, this is crucial. God covering us with garments of skin was the first ever attempt in all mankind to pursue, provide, and cover our sin. FASHION WAS THE FIRST FORESHADOWING AND FORETASTE OF THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE that would later be displayed on the cross.
Why did God use fashion of all things? God offers us holisitic salvation, that is not only psychologically, but also physically. He care about the details; the parts even you think are mundane. Why?
Because you are WORTH IT. VALUED. So valued in fact, that you are the only thing the King of the Universe was foolish for. So foolish He sent His one and only Son to die for you.
How does this apply in every day life? First, fashion is a celebration of Christ's covering; our identity and value is in HIM alone. Secondly, fashion becomes freedom from pride; we no longer need to prove anything to anyone or ourselves. Lastly, fashion becomes a reminder that you are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made in the image of Christ.
This is how fashion saved me. Every time I put on a garment, I am reminded of the redeeming love of My Savior. The GOOD news is that the same God who calls me out of darkness and into His wonderful light is also crazy about YOU. This truth can save you too. So that when the world is perplexed at your identity of steel, when they wonder where your light comes from, you can peel back the layers and reveal a label none other than "Covered in Christ."
Xoxo, Nika of the Diwa Dolls
P.S. I will be visiting Dallas to speak more on The Theology of Fashion Sunday, August 28th at the Biblical Community Church, 10:30am (Central Time). For more information, please email email@example.com.
P.P.S. Last but certainly not least... we are officially pivoting and re-branding our blog! Our new overall brand idea is reclaiming fashion as fun and for the fearless. The new underlying mission statement is empowering women through a revelation of their worth! We will seek to collaborate with brands and influencers that radiate positivity as well as share our own personal view on style in hopes that others would be uniquely inspired along the way. Thank you for joining us in this new chapter...can't wait to share what's next. BIG things are happening!
Location: Joy Women's Fellowship (GCF), Manila, Phillipines
Photographer: Corinne Blanco