Monday, September 17, 2012

Fashion vs. Trends

People often blow me off when I explain that I like fashion and style. People will tell me that fashion is stupid and shallow. This is a big problem for those of us who love fashion and style, because it is often discredited because of it's association with "trendiness" and movies and media that stereotype fashion as a shallow, vacuous world.
The problem with this thinking is that it associated "fashion" with "trend", which couldn't be more different, in reality. "Fashion" is really an art; it's when a designer comes up with an idea that is theirs. True fashion isn't always well received. Take the Marc Jacobs grunge line in 1992, and Mary Quant's mini skirts and short hair in the early-to-mid sixties. But they are still incredibly influential lines, and often the reason they weren't well received was because they were so revolutionary. True fashion is really about not giving a crap. People copy true fashion because they admire the people who have the guts to crate such extraordinary pieces, and this is how the fashion business works.
"Trends" are the opposite. A trend is something that everyone likes, something that is safe and "strong in numbers". The more people who follow the trend, the more likely it is to suck other people into it. Trends work because people care about how other people think and work. True, trends can also be incredibly influential (hippie, punk, grunge), but trends always stem off of something else, whether it's art or music or poetry or high fashion. Trends don't happen unless their is some original creation that they can copy.
Someone recently tried to convince me that fashion is not an art, and that it's only a business, and that it's solely about the money. And that is partly true, it is about money, and fashion shows can be incredibly expensive. But so can big-name concerts, and art museums exhibits. Yet all of those things are considered art and fashion is not, when in reality music and visual art is as much of a business as fashion is. Fashion is as much of an art as anything else, but it's discredited because it involved putting on clothing as opposed to picking up a paintbrush.
People make the mistake of thinking fashion is all about the clothes, and that's what makes it so vain and empty. But fashion is not just about the clothes. It's about the stories the clothes tell, the social climate of the time, and the circumstances surrounding the clothes. Fashion is about everything.


  1. WOW. are you reading my mind? I just cannot find words to tell how goddamn right you are. FASHION IS ART. Thank you!

    PS: I will print this out and hang it into my closet, definitely!

  2. i would also add that fashion is undermined as an art form because its one of the few female-dominated industries, but this. so much. thank you!

    1. That is soooo true as well. Of course, it's labeled as shallow and stupid because it's female-oriented.
      And people STILL ask me why we need feminism.