This is the part where I have to take deep breaths and count to a hundred.
1, 2, 3…
Who else is sick of the whole misconception of fashion being “dumb” or “irrelevant”? I’ve heard this many, many times but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t taken aback by mister so-and-so’s attitude. I was flabbergasted. Shocked! Appalled! Indignant! I was ready to sacrifice my new French manicure to cause him bodily virtual harm in the form of an anger-text (Ur a hat3rrr!) but it also got me thinking: What is with this stereotype and why does it exist?
It’s true that at times the fashion industry can be terribly superficial and simply not looking the part can be grounds for dismissal, but being a history buff, I’ve always been drawn to fashion because of its historical value.
Fashion is essentially a visual, wearable documentation of how our times are changing and evolving. Take the YSL Le Smoking Suit that came out in the 1960s. At a time when women were still fighting for gender equality, the designer made it OK for women to adopt menswear as their own and take on a position of power.
You can argue that this power was illusory, after all, it’s just clothes, right? But you can’t deny the effect it had. Gradually it became acceptable for women to enter the workforce, make their own income, and break out of the domestic sphere. People often forget about how fashion is a reflection of social, political, and historical changes.
Saying fashion is unimportant is like saying we should do away with historical artifacts because it’s just clutter taking up valuable space.
And like in most real life scenario, I didn’t have that snappy comeback prepared, but at the end of the day ridiculing people for having an interest in fashion is just as bad as making fun of people who don’t.
[Cover Photo via ohsoglassy]
[Photo via amoeba.com]