by Meaghan Hurn
If you’re reading this, you’re most likely here for 1 of 2 reasons. You agree with the tagline and want me to prove you right, or you completely disagree and what to figure out exactly how you can bash me in the comments. Let’s find out…shall we?
While you’re sipping on your Pumpkin Spice and wearing your comfy fall sweater, the fashion industry has already shown its Spring 2019 lines. I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you, businesses have to stay ahead and plan accordingly so that they can stay relevant. Not all of us can wait until the last minute to get shit done. (I’m talking to you, December 24th shoppers).
We’re going to focus on this years 2018 Fall Line though. I’m not ready for spring, I’m enjoying my Pumpkin Spice and comfy sweater. So, for those of you who disagree with the tagline, let’s list the positive qualities about fashion that’s always toted when people slam the industry. I took the liberty of taking a few key points from , Ten Reasons To Love Fashion.
Just for clarification, I’m not knocking the article. These are the same positive attributes most people regurgitate when trying to prove their point. Now, for those opposing the fashion industry, let’s hear from an article titled; Fashion Is, Actually, Mostly About Vanity And Consumerism.
Again, I’m not knocking this article either. I did have a hard time trying to figure out what exactly to quote to show you the vehemence this person has towards fashion and the fashion industry. Additionally, the comments are hilarious to me. Most of them are either trying to sound intelligent or knocking each other. What’s that saying? If you have the tell people you’re smart, you’re probably not.
So, who wins in this debate between these two widely toted opinions? Honestly, no one. Both sides are right and both sides are wrong, ironically for neither of the attributes expressed.
TRUE OR FALSE?
FASHION IS ABOUT EXPRESSION
Honestly, it’s ridiculous for anyone to act like fashion isn’t about expressing yourself and your individuality. You always have a choice in what you wear, how you present yourself and the image that you project. There are so many affluent colleges that teach about this in their Business courses and Psych courses.
Equally, fashion can be used to show non-individuality, like when schools and businesses have everyone wear the same uniform. This is a form of expression. Businesses are trying to show you that they’re a team, and how they run their business. If the employees are wearing suits, then you know what level of professionalism to expect. If the employees are wearing booty shorts and tank tops, well, you know what kind of service to expect. It is still expression, an image.
CLOTHING COVERS OUR BODIES AND KEEPS US WARM
Yeah, OK, they’re not wrong, but that’s just a stupid thing to list. No shit it covers our bodies. Seems like they’re grasping at straws here to make their point and I think this is what’s wrong with the argument. Saying the obvious in this case just sounds uneducated and makes it seem like they’re already losing the argument.
FASHION BOOSTS THE ECONOMY AND CREATES JOBS
Yes, fashion boosts the economy and creates jobs, and in some cases it’s ethical. This is where I think a lot of the people against fashion get their ammunition. Sure, it’s creating jobs, in third-world countries that need the income, but at slave wages and poor living/working conditions.
My argument against people with this opinion is, while we know it’s true and we widely don’t think it’s right, the fashion nay-sayers are just as guilty. More so than most, because you KNOW that this is going on and yet you still purchase your clothes at Wal-Mart, Torrid or Old Navy, or whatever box store you shop at. That’s why they’re so popular and making billions. The same clothing you see on the runway ends up all the way down to the Dollar Stores across America, they are just tweaked to appeal to the demographic and made cheaply.
What if you shop at a Thrift Store? Where the hell do you think that came from? It was originally in a store when it was once brand new, and created from the fashion runway of old. Yes, there are ethical fashion practices, and you can always shop Etsy, (buyer beware-read the reviews first), or look up designers and purchase from them. Make your own clothes, whatever makes you happy. Just, make an educated decision and stand by it.
I don’t think Fashion itself is to blame for this, it’s mainstream media and the big businesses that are picking up these lines and mass producing them. It comes down to profits for them and this isn’t new. The designers themselves are artists trying to be the next big thing. The same as any painter, musician, writer or sculptor. They create all those runway pieces by hand and I think that’s a talent to be admired. The same as any other artist that puts their heart and soul into a project.
FASHION IS CONSUMERISM
Yeah, I’ll give you that. Fashion is consumerism. So is the makeup industry, hair, sports, travel, food, alcohol, education, and literally everything else. Everyone wants you to buy from them, be it small or big businesses.
FASHION IS ABOUT VANITY
Fashion isn’t vain, people are. I repeat, FASHION ISN’T VAIN, PEOPLE ARE. This is the point that I think irritates me the most. Fashion, now more than ever, has been an expression of the social climate. If you only look at the surface of something, you will always judge by what you see, and I think this is a fatal flaw in everyone. There is always more to the story, the expression or vision. We all have a story and often times, a designer’s story doesn’t always get told. People see the weird runway designs and assume these people are nuts.
This years 2018 Fall Fashion Line has been full of political statements, social expression and support of all the movements happening now.
The industry is no longer being dominated by men. This years runway toted amazing female designers that are taking the reigns and pushing the boundaries further. Stella McCartney, Sarah Burton, Natasha at Chloe, Claire at Givenchy, and Mary Gracia at Dior. These are HUGE steps for these designers and the female movement across the globe.
For the #MeToo movement, Chanel showed their collection called, “Leave Me Alone”, in response. While the designer is male, he created everything to project this strong yet feminine look that showed courage, character and strength.
A lot of the top designers have chosen models for their fluidity. In many of these runway shows you can’t tell if the model is male or female and that’s on purpose. Many of the designs, to include head gear, are designed in a way to take the question of gender out of the equation and give you the person inside. I think that’s really remarkable.
The world is changing, and it’s doing so at an arresting clip. Time’s Up, #MeToo, Everytown for Gun Safety, NeverAgain, Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and many more activist organizations are dominating conversations in America and abroad. Fashion can’t ignore the world around it, especially when people of all strokes are becoming more and more inspired to use their appearances as a form of visual protest—from the black dresses at the Golden Globes to the orange bandannas of Everytown.
In many ways, this season seemed to be one less about the actuality of a garment and more about the person inside it. Which is exactly what the climate the world over is currently about.
So, from a person who generally wears all black, at most wears mascara, and sincerely doesn’t own anything designer, I vote for fashion. I vote for expression, artists and the right to show where you stand and who you are.