Fashion wants to be taken seriously and I want people to take it as seriously as I do. Psychologists consider it a mere capitalist manipulation of the masses. Economists think of it as “the opposite of rational”. I disagree with all of them. I believe those who don’t take fashion seriously are misunderstanding what fashion truly is. However, I have my own doubts about fashion’s ability (or inability) to send a cohesive message to the world about its credo. There are inconsistencies not only in what we understand fashion to be; is it the product or is it the change? There are also inconsistencies in what fashion stands for. Perhaps this is why it is so misunderstood. Here are just few of the fashion inconsistencies that trouble me:
FASHION’S TERMINOLOGY IS SO MISLEADING.
The shows presented at fashion weeks in New York, Milan, and Paris are considered prêt-à-porter (ready to wear) but some designers use these opportunities to display only their creative skills as a marketing ploy for their brands. In other words, they use these shows to debut collections that serve more as an art form making a statement, rather than clothing that’s truly “prêt-à-porter.” I know it’s hard to shock anyone on the streets of New York City, but I believe my jaw might drop at the sight of anyone wearing this.
FASHION SAYS ONE THING, BUT THEN DOES THE EXACT OPPOSITE.
Fashion magazines—self-declared progressive voices that are supposed to promote change and empower women—seem to be completely gaga these days over a prince charming fairytale and EVERY SINGLE OUTFIT that Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex wears. Isn’t that just a little hypocritical? How exactly are these magazines empowering girls? I am not joining the ranks of those saying Meghan Markle was a bad feminist for giving up her job to pursue this marriage. I am only saying that the fashion industry is not doing her, or us women, any favors diminishing powerful women into nothing more than fashion influencers. I understand their motivation to also sell products featured within their pages, but I wish they’d quit pretending they are doing it to save us.
FASHION IS SPELLBOUND BY STREETWEAR.
I personally don’t understand what streetwear’s superpower is. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that it’s taken over luxury fashion and that even chic preppy grandpa Ralph Lauren has not been safe from its influence. Virgil Abloh of Off-White fame and more recently named artistic director at Louis Vuitton men’s wear collection said, “Streetwear is what is worn on the street and it’s how real people wear clothes, sneakers with a dress, a hoodie—it’s mixing genres.” If the purpose is to democratize fashion, I am even more confused; how many people who flaunt “streetwear” on a daily basis can actually afford a rather simple looking blue anorak for $1390? If they can, I certainly don’t live on the right street.
I love fashion and I think the time has come for fashion to be taken seriously. It is economically and culturally significant and much can be learned by studying it through many different lenses. I believe there is truth to fashion’s lack of sense of humor, but if fashion wants people to quit laughing, then it’s time for fashion to address the emperor’s new clothes… season after season after season.
What do you think?
Posted by Mirela Gluck at 09:37 AM
bargain news , Insights , Our Views and Opinions |
We live in an interesting time.
The same thing was also said amidst the boom of print media, especially when haute couture glossies first hit the market and the whole fashion industry became more of an “event” as opposed to a utilitarian means to an end (read: being clothed).
I’d argue that when online blogging hit the scene roughly 15 years ago — the late ’90s — fashion underwent a notable shift. Once “the people” received a megaphone (in this case, the Internet), their amplified voices slowly began competing with the opinions of fashion designers and magazines across the globe. Don’t get me wrong, to this day designers and glossies certainly have a huge say regarding what we wear, but the whole social aspect of the Internet indubitably turned the style world on its head.
Fast forward another five-ish years or so — into the early 2000s — when “all about me” social media websites such as MySpace were at their height. The early 2000s also marked the dawn of the Facebook era, a website which has a bigger influence on the world than most even realize. It was also around this time when deep and thought provoking online diaries shared between close friends (hello, LiveJournal) lost their luster and lifestyle blogs gained momentum.
Today, you can’t go anywhere on the web without running into a blogger or a niche website that focuses specifically on fashion/style or beauty. And with the prevalence of smart phones and Apps (fashion-focused and otherwise, including Instagram), we can’t even pick up the phone without seeing what other people are wearing or buying.
This social media/Internet whirlwind frenzy makes me wonder: Are we better dressed now compared to 10 years ago?
The Stylish City’s own founder, Mirela, says: “Everybody — stores, bloggers, fashion magazines, etc — has “looks” to draw inspiration from. There are literally thousands of bloggers, personal stylists, celebrities and reality shows we are exposed to every day.”
This undoubtedly affects our decisions when we walk into a store or peer into our closet. With the potential for more people to see how we’re dressed, are many of us less apt to throw on scroungy sweats even while sauntering around the house? And do we make better fashion choices now as a result of being exposed to the more fashionable who want to put themselves out there for the world to see?
Another question I have, in regard to the Internet/social media influence: Do we approach fashion on a more “individual” level these days? Or does the influx of online/media inspiration cause us to all sort of look like each other?
Personally, I think cities such as NYC, where there a lot of people coming from all walks of life, are more likely to dress individually, but there’s still this “NYC vibe” that permeates all fashion in the city.
Perhaps the boom of social media has made us dress better as a collective whole, but with that have we lost a sense of individuality when it comes to fashion choices?
What do you think? Have your wardrobe decisions changed over the past 10 to 15 years as a direct result of the Internet and social media? Has it gotten worse? Or have you sort of shrugged your shoulders and not changed much at all? Share your comments below!
By Wendy Rose Gould
Posted by Wendy Rose Gould at 10:00 AM
Fashion: Trends, Style, and Business , Opinions , Points of View , Style , The City |
Here in the grand ol’ USA, we take for granted our overwhelming supply of thick fashion glossies, myriad department stores and loads of Internet sites that’ll ship to any state. Literally, whether you’re in grade school or nearing your 90s, there’s a magazine catered specifically to you. We’re also lucky to have hundreds of stores and fashion venues to peruse at our leisure. From Saks to Bergdorf’s to entire streets lined with drool-worthy shops (hello Rodeo Drive and Fifth Avenue) and everything in between, we Americans kind of have it made.
That’s not to say, of course, that other countries don’t have their own versions of the same. Perhaps it’s not as ample a supply when compared to the land of red, white and blue, but non-yankees certainly aren’t left to dry.
Take Romania, for example, where The Stylish City’s founder, Mirela, grew up. She says that Romanians didn’t exactly have access to Condé Nast Magazine or luxury department stores, but she does looks back fondly on Burda, a magazine that continues serving as a source of clothing inspiration even today. Mirela says that she and her peers, mothers, grandmothers and inexpensive corner tailors would sew outfits from the patterns provided in Burda. It just goes to show how important creativity is in the fashion world.
As mentioned, Burda magazine is still thriving today. It even has a website. Their recent April issue showcased summer styles and provided patterns for menswear along with others. You can check them out here.
If you’re not a US native or currently living abroad, we’d love to hear what kinds of fashion influences you have today and/or had growing up. Did you have to get creative when it came to fashion? Did you ever sew your own clothes from purchased patterns or self-created patterns? If so, we’d love to hear about it or even catch a glimpse of your handy work.
Also, check out some of the awesome seamstresses and pattern-makers they highlight at the end of the article. All are members of the Burda magazine network.
By Wendy Rose Gould
Posted by Wendy Rose Gould at 12:00 AM
Opinions , Places , SHOPPING , Stores , The City , Trends |