Friday, September 7, 2007

Every week is fashion week

I read the New York Time web site like a holy writ. Frequently, coverage of some fashion show or another will make its way to the front page of the web site. I'm a sucker for anorexics, so I generally take the bait and click the link. Of course, being the sort of person who reads the entirety of every blurb in a museum (even if it's an art museum (even if the text just list the artist, year of creation, and the ever-popular name "Untitled.")), I actually read the article that accompanies the pictures of expensively dressed waifs and wastrels. So far as I can tell, though, these articles are as free of content as the carefully coiffed heads of the models.

The world of fashion seems to be predicated on some notion of progress, where styles constantly change and evolve. Certainly, there is some basis for a claim of development in other visual art forms. The style of paintings exhibit clear changes from decade to decade, and while I am no art critic, I can appreciate some of the evolving theoretical ideas which underlie the changes in appearance. These runway shows, in contrast, feature the same basic design year after year. Shirts are still shirts. Pants are still pants. The commentators will note that wool is a common trend this year. Last year there was very little wool. But seven years ago everything was wool. Does this make wool new or innovative?

What's more, I cannot for the life of me figure out whether anything motivates the cut of the sleeve of a dress or the choice of lining for a coat other than pure aesthetic preference divorced from deeper metaphor or meaning. I mean, a designer presents a line of coats which neither keep the wearer warm nor allow them a full range of vision. Fantastic. But why? Is this commentary on the position of women in society? Or the relationship of the individual to the technological and cultural artifacts with which we surround ourselves? Because it looks really weird and doesn't really function as clothing in the conventional sense. Even if you could manage to walk around in a high fashion outfit without tripping or running into a wall, your progress would be impeded by the baffled masses gawking at the such alien tactics for covering your nakedness. If runway clothing is so impractical that it cannot be worn outside of a fashion show (hence the necessity of distinguishing "ready-to-wear" fashion from its more cumbersome brethren), then surely these aesthetic flourishes should serve some higher purpose. Please enlighten me.


happy said...

I don't thin that it's possible to wear all the clothes for eg from the spring fashion week - but that's an art! Just designers have idea, images - so they show them in fashion clothes. Just enjoy! Like in museum:) I do that.

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