May 8th, 2019, 04:10 PM

The Role of High Fashion in The Space of the Home

By Jenny Voutcheva
A blond model sitting on a chair in an indoor setting
Angie wearing Victoria Scandale, Image Credit: Jenny Voutcheva
How our surroundings impact the way we feel in our clothes.

French poet Alain Jouffroy once said, “La présence de la beauté nous rend absent de nous-mêmes,” or "The presence of beauty makes us absent from ourselves." When considering the concept of beauty, one would inevitably think of fashion and all other decorative arts. People use fashion so as to fit into different situations. Society creates the rules that act as a context for the different types of dress, and people wear different clothes as masks for different occasions. However, when it comes to fashion and social spaces, is beauty what determines if we really are ourselves?

Beauty as a fragment of identity can be interpreted through dress and contextualization. In a project by Harper's Bazaar from 2017, a team of creatives dress a model in a gown by Giambattista Valli so as to explore how far they can push limits of #ootd (outfit of the day). The video features a model walking around Paris for a full day dressed in an haute couture gown.


This project inspired me to explore the space of the home and the importance of dress within it. It’s interesting how the clothes you’ve decided to put on your back can completely take you out of the comfort zone that one is used to in their home. At home, we are hidden from exposure and we can take a break from the image we are used to displaying to the outside world.

Angie Boeva wearing Victoria Scandale. Image Credit: Jenny Voutcheva

We can wear an oversized t-shirt, walk around in our underwear with two completely different socks on. Everyone does it. Imagine yourself, however, wearing a gown and a pair of your best heels, just to sit down on your couch to sip your coffee and read a book.

Angie Boeva wearing Victoria Scandale. Image Credit: Jenny Voutcheva

We are immediately stripped off all comfort and relaxation. It makes one wonder: why do we have to allow only “the better versions” of ourselves to leave the comfort of our homes? Why do we find it extremely unconventional to be “dressed up” at home and “dressed down” outside?

Angie Boeva wearing Victoria Scandale. Image Credit: Jenny Voutcheva

The phenomenon of clothes impacting the perception of one's image is nothing new to fashion. Forbes article by Learn Vest introduces how, in her book You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About Youclinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner analyzes the psychological impact of different kinds of dress. She refers to a study conducted by the Northwestern university in 2012 which analyzes the term "enclothed cognition" or in other words, how the symbolic meaning and physical experience of wearing clothes influences the consumer. What is interesting to explore, however, is the effect of wearing clothes out of context. What would it mean if people made an effort to dress their best within the space of their home rather than just the realm of the outside world?

Self-Portrait wearing STEFANEL. Image Credit: Jenny Voutcheva

In the 21st century, should high fashion and strong effort when it comes to dress stay reserved for the public eye?  When one dresses up and puts make up on in order to go out, they feel the empowerment of beauty. However, does one need a reason to be seen in a social setting in order to be there for oneself and make an effort?

Self-Portrait by a window wearing STEFANEL. Image Credit: Jenny Voutcheva

When it comes to beauty and empowerment, dressing up acts as a mood uplifter for women. Doing the best you can means you are there for yourself, to surprise, to impress. In the space of the home, sometimes it is worth wearing high fashion even if you will be the only person to witness this  unusual act.