Fashion at its base level is the choosing and wearing of clothes and accessories as a way to communicate a particular sensibility. What you wear and how you wear it ostensibly serves to define not so much your tastes and preferences but how you desire to be perceived. Ultimately fashion isn’t so much about what you fancy but really how much you want to be fancied…Yet here is the crunch, in our collective rush to be adored, to be part of a particular clique (which will accept us and yes adore us ) there inevitably comes the creation of the fashion idol.
The fashion idol comes in various guises. But before we describe this ephemeral sensibility let us define what it is to be a fashion idol. A fashion idol can be described as a look, a strut, a hair do, a swagger, a suggestion, a tight pair of jeans on a peach ass or simply an iconic figure in our cultural landscape that we instantly recognize and after a while try to emulate without even being aware most of the time we are emulating them. In short it is every designer’s wet dream to create a fashion idol or let us say persona that you will sacrifice lunch and dinner if need be to get there. Yet some like Karl Lagerfield, John Galliano, Anna Wintour to name a few have gone beyond creating fashion idols to becoming fashion idols. Fashion idols that are instantly recognized, revered and copied the world over, because somehow they have been deemed the necessary must have attitude and symbols of our collective times.
Here we get closer- if fashion is really a sensibility, a perception, an attitude then what are the most desired attributes we seek at any point in history or time? In the seventies it was all about dissent, counter movement which fostered the punk doctrine, first seen in the streets of London and New York and then appropriated in music(think ‘The Ramones’), literature, art, movies (think Robert de Niro in ‘The Taxi Driver’).
I think the question isn’t whether I painted myself into a corner but whether fashion itself has painted itself in a corner- as you correctly allude fashion has for a great part lost its soul and become wayward in many respects just like the wayward culture it serves to reiterate…
great writing style but a horribly dissapointing ending! did you paint yourself into a corner?
fashion for the sake of itself is shallow and that’s where we are existing right now.
the best of times are and come out when fashion is a tool of genuine self expression. That’s what made the 70’s & 80’s so beautiful and visceral – authenticity! That’s what makes the remakes and redos from american apparel, F21 or wherever so hard to take. but maybe in remembering my youth i’m giving it a pollyanna gloss.
either way my question to us is how do we become a more authentic and genuinely self-expressed society? in that utopia i’m certain we’d all be chic.
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