Can a yellow button change the world?

Yarden Sopher-Harelick


How would you feel if you saw a button-down shirt with a single yellow button amongst its other white buttons? Would you approach the shirt like any other piece of clothing, or would the imbalance of color drive you crazy? The answer depends on who you are and what are you looking for in your wardrobe.

For someone like Yarden, who has struggled with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for years, small imperfections often irritated her. In her recent years as an FIT student, however, she felt inspired by her obsessions and decided to celebrate them in her final thesis collection.

Life is full of imperfections and Yarden’s approach inspired us. We all have a choice of how to perceive our imperfections and how to react to discomfort. Do we let it control our lives? Can we fight our demons while celebrating them?

In her collection, Yarden deliberately designed imperfect pieces, such as the striped button-down with the collar exposing a shoulder where one’s head would typically be. Additionally, the shirt’s yellow button may cause discomfort for many who find themselves wanting to replace it with a matching white one. Yarden created pieces that challenge her, the wearer, and the viewer by taking traditional everyday clothing items, like a basic button-down shirt in this case, and altering them in a way makes it seem like something is wrong at first impression. Details like the shifted neck and yellow button spark an urge to fix or change the piece but denies the viewer the ability to do so. As one gives the "imperfection" more attention, one comes to appreciate, and in fact enjoy, the item’s unique and creative features.

Yarden’s passion to pursue her artistic career stems from her family of artists. Her mother’s love of ceramics inspired her father to study the craft as well, leading him to become a potter. Both parents have always encouraged her and her brother, a photographer, to explore their creative side. Her love for fashion developed from a young age when her grandmother taught her how to sew. As a little girl, Yarden would spend hours rummaging through piles of fabrics, trims, and buttons at her grandmother’s house, leaving with a feeling of inspiration and excitement for future projects. 

Yarden hopes that this collection as well as others to come will be a way to reach out and show the world that life is not perfect and that’s okay. She encourages others to celebrate and embrace their imperfections with her. “I hope to address societal issues in a creative and accessible way. I think any form of art has the ability to open conversations, whether it be about mental health or other under-discussed topics” said Yarden. 

This is a collection that not only embraces imperfection, but also revels in its beauty.

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