Fashion, Art, and Buttons

April 27,2009
Talia's Blog
Talia Rivera( )

Talia Rivera is a 33-year-old mother of two. As Executive Director of Villages without Walls, she works with high-risk gang members in Boston. [Read more]

Fashion is like Vincent Van Gogh’s painting, “Sunflowers.” The painting expresses a characteristic style – “bold use of color and composition.” Likewise, fashion frames one’s persona – clothes, shoes, accessories, hair, and (even) cell phones paint a portrait. Fashion, like art, varies depending on the artist. A young contemporary artist’s fashion is high-priced Michael Jordan sneakers, True Religion jeans, a gold chain, bamboo earrings, and flashy finger nail polish. A mature artist wears a collared shirt, slacks, and a pair of flat (but comfortable) black shoes. Yet I have discovered a fashion accessory that transcends age. The accessory is two-to-four-inch buttons which picture murder victims. The buttons are worn by the elderly, baby boomers, generation Jones and X, teenagers, and children. They are seen on jean jackets, baseball caps, book bags, and purses. The buttons’ faces are a constant reminder of all the young people we have lost, of all the red paint spilt on once promising canvases.