There’s a small piece in the Sunday Times this week about, of all things, leggings. I didn’t even know what leggings were, but fortunately there were pictures. Turns out my daughter wears them all the time. And she’s not the only one. Seems there’s a bit of a leggings craze happening right now on the streets.
But the meat, and hilarity, of the article was about the pictorial comparison of women’s outfits today — and those found on men…in the 1400s.
Duly noted with images of stained glass and paintings from the Met and the Cloisters, the resemblance is strong. Sometimes identical. And if I’m not mistaken, leggings have re-surfaced in the interim as well. Take the 80s, for instance. There’s always a new bell, a new whistle…a twist on the original. But the original is still there, staring us in the face.
I don’t think it’s news that cultural fads move in cycles, but seeing this blatant display of ‘the repeat’ reminded me that there’s a reason for it.
We return because something worked and/or because it felt good. Take the leggings, for example: the legs have to be covered — jeans work, canvas works, corduroy works, bell bottoms, jodhpurs, leggings. Regardless, the legs must be covered.
In our work, the ‘legs’ are the message and ‘covered’ is its delivery. And it must be done. There are so many ways to do it, we look at what worked and what felt good. Storytelling, teaching, imagery, myths, music, legends, interactive…they all work, they all feel good. They’re timeless, as long as they cover those legs. (and complete the outfit)