Fashion & beauty: Opening of Antonio Ortega's boutique

I. love. clothes. Whether I’m sporting a tunic from La Baie I’ve been obsessed with for two years or rocking a pair of shoes with something of a unique red bottom I splurged on during an NYC trip, clothes make me happy. No shame. No guilt. No foul.

However, I’ve been trying to explain to my husband for many years that fashion is not vanity. Wanting a specific legging for that satin skirt or needing an asymmetrical top fastened a particular way is not unhealthy obsession - it’s creative passion.

Pause: I am aware, however, that clothing can be used for evil. If you are buying name brands, for example, to keep up with Kylie and Kendall or you are choosing outfits in an attempt to obsessively control the way other people see you, yes, your preoccupation with fashion is slowly destroying you from the outside in.

But today, that is not my focus. Instead, I want to shine a light on the healthy pride, high self-esteem, and self-authenticity that can come from fashion. Validating, nurturing, proclaiming, and exploring your likes and dislikes is a way to hold and maintain a birth-righted space for yourself in the world. It’s an exercise in self-expression, identity formation, and self-love. You are real. You exist. You are entitled. And so is everyone else.

Tonight, I had the pleasure of attending a fashion show by Mexican-Canadian fashion designer, Antonio Ortega.  And everyone attending tonight got a show alright – we had the honour of being presented haute couture world premieres, only to be shown next in Paris in July.  What a thrill, let me tell you. 

Antonio Ortega.  Talk about allowing your heart to lead the way.  Talk about becoming an artist people celebrate.  Talk about authentic genius.  His eccentric, bold, confident designs tell a story.  They are intricate, they are complicated, and, sometimes, they just don’t make sense.  But that’s the point, isn’t it?  That’s the beauty in all of this, is it not? Following your heart is imperative and, sometimes, you communicate well and sometimes, your s**t gets in the way.  It’s just normal.  It’s just the truth.  …and if people want to ride on your surf board, great.  If not, …all good.  To me, Antonio Ortega’s designs represent freedom – the freedom to love and respect yourself.  Thanks for the therapy tonight, Antonio. 

Anna-Maria Tosco, or our Sassy Psychologist, has two masters degrees in the field of psychology and has studied and worked coast to coast. She has worked in both psychiatric and community settings in some of Montreal's most respected healthcare organizations and institutions, and has also given a variety of talks and workshops on neuroplasticity, meditation, and uncovering barriers to love.