Fashion Week: If You Don’t Know, Say So

Fashion Week madness has prevailed across the most stylish cities in the world the past few weeks. Some love it, some hate it. Often, among those who don’t ‘get’ fashion, it is seen as a bit of a joke. You may have already seen the above clip from American talk show host Jimmy Kimmel’s show where they interviewed people around New York Fashion Week, dropping the name of designers they’d made up to see if these wannabe fashionistas would take the bait. They all did and it makes for a rather cringeworthy watch. It made me wonder: why we can’t just admit when we don’t know something? If you don’t know, say so.

I’m not one of those bloggers who scrambles to attend Fashion Week. There are plenty of others more qualified, with more to say than me and I’d much rather read them. But I appreciate the importance of it all. Despite the naysayers, it does have social and cultural value. ‘It’s just clothes’ is not an argument I buy into. What we wear, how we choose to style ourselves is an expression to the world of who we are and what we’re about. I get that some take that more seriously than others, but I definitely believe even those who say they don’t care about fashion, absolutely do on some level.

Thanks to the interweb, fashion is now much more accessible than it once was. Opportunities have opened up and you don’t have to be part of the elite to get your slice of the pie. Suddenly that dream of being part of the fashion pack isn’t so distant after all.

Those people featured in that Jimmy Kimmel video, I imagine are just some young upstarts desperate to get their foot in the door somehow. They’re in the learning phase (a phase which never stops really), but a fair few of them don’t seem to recognise that in themselves.

See, no one wants to admit they’re a novice. No one wants to say what they don’t know. Everyone wants to be seen as an expert.

But if you haven’t put the groundwork in, studied, learned the basics, you’re just never going to pull that off. This goes for any industry. Take time to learn your craft so you don’t show up at an event and make a complete douche of yourself. And this is where the internet, fast fashion and the like have come up short. People think that simply having a passing knowledge of things will suffice. Following a couple of fashion editors on Twitter does not make you an expert by proxy. You do actually have to know what the hell you’re talking about to get ahead in any given industry. I watched the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi recently (definitely worth a watch) about a master sushi maker in Tokyo and people have to apprentice with him for 10 years before they’re even allowed to touch the fish! I bet none of those apprentices have shown up at a sushi fair and tried to talk about a fish they don’t know about.

I say all that to say this: it is OK not to know stuff. Take your time, learn your craft. Do that, and you won’t have to fluff and make stuff up. When you don’t know something, admit it and be open to learning about it. Better to take your time and get it right than to be one of these people in this video making a complete twat of yourself, eh?

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