This essay is part of Fashion in Isolation, a special issue on the intimate, contradictory, and ultimately inescapable relationship we have to what we wear.
The day of the Black Lives Matter protest in Dublin was the first time in three months I stepped more than 100 meters away from my front door, so choosing what I would wear fueled my excitement. Dress has always been the primary way I’ve communicated who I am, but the nuances of the day ahead required me to strike a balance between practicality, self-expression, and emphasizing a message.
The first item I chose was a pair of ripped skinny jeans, a light shade of blue that would accent my crimson hair. I paired this with an off-black graphic tee, with red gothic lettering and animated characters. The rest of the outfit was solid-colored, so I thought the t-shirt would add something more artistic.
The statement piece was a light and airy kimono—also crimson— one of my favourites. The color was almost identical to my hair. I kept accessories to a minimum and stuck with my trusted rose gold hoop earrings. I added a black cross-body bag and a leather belt, practical choices that would allow me to keep my hands free throughout the day.
Sneakers were the only option for this event, as it would involve a lot of walking. I chose my Air Jordan Futures, their light woven material making them perfect for long distances and twenty-something Celsius heat. Or so I thought. Soft fabric shoes plus a large crowd equaled a big mistake. They were ruined by the end of the day.
Most protest attendees wore all-black, a color that suggested purpose and power, and communicated a desire to be taken seriously. Exuding passion and confidence, my vibrant reds made the same point.