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Magazine Article on Why Fashion Matters

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?Magazine: British Vogue Age Group: Mid 20's-Mid 40's Gender: Female They Can Pay The Price. We Can Buy That Camel Coat. "Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months." Yet, even Oscar Wilde would be forced to eat his words if faced with the question of individualism, culture and content; Amy Condliffe reports. As this year's splurge of catwalk enthused outfits hit the high street stores, the regular onslaught of fear and loathing resounds across the nation. Social observers and columnists- mostly women - announce, yet again, that fashion sucks. They hate everything about the world that is fashion, from the extravagant nature, the eye-opening prices, its manic neophilia, the company's frenzied eye for making a profit, the corruption and its exploitation of women; and with that, revulsion seems to manifest itself within their voices. Once again, they announce that they are not actually interested in fashion. Although it's true that some aspects of the business undeniably deserve this treatment, is it justly fair of mankind to make such a statement, when truly, a woman who says she is tired of fashion is pretending, or else she is misleading herself? ...read more.


From when our togas needed that exclusive strip of purple dye, or when those Panniers were the 18th century must-have, how you look says a lot about us, in every culture. It is not simply a matter of whether we're wearing last year's Prada boots, or declining this month's camel coat, but it makes a vast difference to how we belong, our feel for the times and the way people distinguish us. It addresses the fundamental human need to belong, to identify ourselves with a group of others like us - whether it's a lifestyle, a religion, a profession, or an attitude. Not a single person can afford to ignore that. Besides, however we look, we cannot help but give out a credible communication about ourselves as an individual. These messages - some voluntary, some involuntary - show that fashion is, quite literally, what we make of ourselves and how we fashion ourselves (including how we don't). Auspiciously, fashion is a whole host of different aspects such as the widely imaginative and sometimes excessively over-the-top, but striking couture and high-fashion that at some point, will, ultimately, influence the rest of the fashion world. ...read more.


And then there's the fact that, even though we are living in the 21st century, there remain a few dissonant voices that shriek that caring about fashion means you are unquestionably shallow, vain and self-centred - to which the only reasonable answer, it seems to me, is: "Maybe, but you're dressed like someone's gran." Although it is understandable, we cannot help but feel sorrow for the individuals who don't understand our need to feel chic and attractive. Secondly, for those solemn few who maintain their 'vain and self-centred' comments, the lesson that needs to be learnt are that fashion is not just about what's so called 'in', but rather about self- expression, fantasy, projection, self-worth, identity. Others may call these things frivolous and shallow; I'd call them having a pulse, recession or not. What the truth boils down to, is fashion remains the key to individuality; whether we follow the Haute Couture herd, or chose to ignore the trends completely, fashion is not only a lifestyle choice; at its best, fashion is an art form that transforms the craft of the entire clothes trade and that will continue to matter in our society until the very end of time. ...read more.

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