Beauty in the Eye of This Beholder

by BRITTANY SENSEMAN, LPC-S

Recently I visited “The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta” exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. I should start by saying that I have no fashion education, and I am quite certain this limits my ability to truly appreciate the art I witnessed. So, I ask those well versed in the world of fashion to please forgive my potentially amateur observations. Now that I’ve made my disclaimer, here goes!

First: Wow. I’m in awe of the beauty of those garments. The intricate details of each piece were fairly mind-blowing – type of silhouette, variety of influences, fabric, thread, applique, beading, and on and on!

I have always been jealous of those gifted with the ability to create from nothing. It is truly a spark of the divine! My best artwork came when I was in 2nd grade… I won some kind of rodeo contest, I think. I was thrilled and though I’ve taken art classes occasionally since then, I’ve never been able to repeat that early success. But I digress…

So why would a person like me with no understanding of fashion spend time and money on a museum exhibit like that? Well, to be honest, I needed to see beauty. This world gets so ugly so easily – failing bodies, weighted souls, broken systems. Sometimes the world looks dark, but what a miracle it is to find beauty – to see what creative genius can do. It comforts the soul to hear great music, taste delicious food and, yes, see amazing fashion pieces!

There are times when art and beauty can seem pointless and perhaps even wasteful. I don’t pretend to know where the balance of art and function should lie, but I do know that we must have beauty in this world. I believe it points us to hope for something greater than ourselves.

I know that experiencing beauty isn’t going to solve any problems, but I’m grateful for it anyway. I’m grateful for the miracle that people are gifted with creative talent and the miracle that I can experience it. I’m thankful for reminders of hope and light and that beauty exists!

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