Picture A: The STL Cardinals moments after winning the 2006 World Series. (Just thinking about it still brings a grin to my face)
Picture B: A lineup of the models from Marc Jacobs’ Spring 2009 show at the Lexington Avenue Armory. (Interesting, but doesn’t elicit quite the same reaction as picture A)
On the surface, it seems like these two pictures have absolutely nothing in common with each other. That’s because, on the surface, they don’t. But if you dig a little deeper, and look into the minds of the people obsessed with one or the other (or both in some rare cases), they turn out to be not so different after all.
I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis, commonly known in the sports world as Baseball City, USA. Baseball is much more than a sport there; it’s a lifestyle. You eat, sleep, and breathe baseball. Your favorite seasons are spring, summer, and fall because they mark the beginning, middle, and end of baseball. You hate winter simply because there is no baseball. You spend the year dreaming of a “Red October,” and if the dream doesn’t come true, you immediately start dreaming about next year’s season. If you’re under 27, 2006 was the best year of your life.
Ask me almost anything about baseball and I’ll know the answer, but I’ll readily admit that I don’t know much (re: anything, really) about fashion. That’s the forte of my coworker EK though, eerily enough, our male coworker MT often gives her a run for her money…..Anyway, I’ve never had much of an interest in it, as I found it much too girly and useless (have you seen some of those “creations?” They’re hideous! Who would wear that?!), but EK has given me a bit of a new perspective. It’s not so much about how it looks(though looking good is a definite plus), it’s about making a statement and pushing conventional boundaries. What seems ugly and out of place today could be the norm tomorrow. If no one had ever pushed society to think outside of the fashion box, all us girls would still be wearing corsets, petticoats, and reasonable heels. Not to mention, some of the creations are quite inventive as they make use of architectural elements as well as blending the traditional and the modern in ways never seen before. It’s actually all quite fascinating.
Alright, so baseball is a lifestyle and fashion is interesting and inventive. That still doesn’t explain how they’re similar. The fundamental connection between them is actually quite simple: passion. Without this one little word, neither would exist. Go to any baseball game or fashion show and tell me you don’t see passion in the faces of the people present. It’s those people who make these two worlds rotate, and make the industries successful. I may not understand EK’s obsession with brand names or her ability to rattle off the long, awkward European names of many designers, and she’ll likely never understand why I have Game Day loaded on my computer from the time the game starts until it ends, or my ability to rattle off the names and stats of players, but I think we can both understand the passion in the other’s face when we get to talking about what we love.