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There is power in reclamation. Some people adopt derogatory nicknames and terms that their former bullies used to put them down as a defensive tactic. It’s much harder for a word to hurt you if you divorce it from its negative connotations, and imagery works in a similar way. The face of a dead celebrity or a symbol of resistance or oppression can be mass-produced and commodified so much that it’s reduced to a shortcut of meaning, almost separate from the original human personality or the elements and thought that made up the design in the first place.

I feel a similar way about flowers. Now that it’s officially summer and most people’s pollen allergies have retreated until next spring, we can proudly wear the image of our tormentor. Here you are, plucked from the earth and emblazoned onto t-shirts, blazers, and even shorts. You are defeated and we wear you as a trophy, free of the sneezing and itchy eyes you once gave us. Also, I like seeing people aggressively clash patterns like this. Summer fashion is usually some form of “oh god, whatever keeps me cool and passes basic public decency,” so it’s also nice to see and appreciate some interesting patterning, especially if you can act like there’s a deeper meaning to it.

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Follow The Art of Style by Kit Mills.  For more of Kit’s work, check out their website.

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