Monday, September 26, 2011

Back on my Soapbox


So, never finished the post that this post was about.  So, here it is as my 100th blog entry...

I hate this commercial.  Not just because I hate the hideous bag that is the centerpiece of the storyline, but because it makes fun of fashion.  That ridiculous bag would NEVER become popular merely due to hype.  There is always a reason why items/trends that look weird to outsiders might be popular within the fashion set.  There is a certain language, history & progression that exists--or even a swing of the pendulum if you will.  Even if you aren’t able to verbalize the significance of or why you are “over babydoll tops,” you might just feel it instinctively.  It never merely a result of hype.  This bag would never reach some sort of cult status. 

In “The September Issue,” Anna Wintour says, "people are frightened of fashion--because it scares them they put it down.  They mock it because they are not part of it."  I tend to agree with that opinion.  While it all may seem silly, frivolous & sometimes, silly, I have never worked harder anywhere else.  Fashion & dress is a part of culture--not just pop culture or modern culture, but every culture.  Every country has their own traditional dress.  Formal affairs follow a dress code.  Dress is part of a code of conduct & social mores.  It is not just a superficial game or an industry scheming to get people to buy things they don't need, as some may call "fashion". 

One of my favorite defenses of fashion is from "The Devil Wears Prada".  Miranda Priestley (played by Meryl Streep) gives this monologue:  “You go to your closet & you select...  I don't know...  that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back.  But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise.  It's not lapis.  It's actually cerulean.  & you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns.  & then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent...  wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets?  & then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers.  & then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores & then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin.  However, that blue represents millions of dollars & countless jobs, and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.”  

I feel people in, perhaps, more "intellectual" circles try to distance themselves from fashion, but there is also a uniform wherever you go.  For example, academic often attire themselves in suits or conservative "take me seriously" ensembles.  What makes a man wearing a suit more credible than a woman wearing this indisputably intellectually designed dress:   

What makes a documentary on fast food more credible as research or a source of information than this beautifully crafted presentation by Alexander McQueen?

Conversely, there is Anna della Russo who does not take herself too seriously, but loves fashion.  You can tell she loves it from her embracing of it.  Who else would reverentially wear these fruit hat?  

I just find that people make fun of what they don’t understand & they also don’t understand that fashion is art.  Just because it’s a consumer commodity doesn’t mean it is just a craft or just a commodity.  Function does not make it exclusive to the commodity realm.  

Now, back to the fun stuff!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this blog entry! Thank you!

    It reminds me of why I loved fashion as a child in the first place, even though it just felt instinctive to be in this industry. However, this blog entry also reminded me of why I'd love to one day find another outlet for my desire to create things I love because we work SO hard to make that happen when many of us get little credit for our effort.

    Great entry post...