Monday, January 25th, 2010
Last week, an article called ‘Why I Hate Fashion’ appeared in The Guardian. The writer, Tanya Gold, bitches about how liking fashion makes you a shallow, vapid, insecure little girl. Oh and apparently, fashion also kills people (a girl wearing heels fell onto a train track and died. That’s the evidence for the argument. Cause of death: fashion). Needless to say, I have a thing or two to say on the topic.
In my experience, it is always a certain kind of woman who feels this way. They’re usually slightly overweight. They put on a few pounds, don’t feel as good about themselves, clothes aren’t fitting as well as they used to and perhaps the fellas don’t glance their way as often as they used to. So, they decide they ‘don’t care’ and because they ‘don’t care’, they will put down anyone who deigns to give a crap about their appearance (mainly because those people look better than them, which does nothing for their downward spiral of insecurity).
Firstly, I’d like to challenge the notion that these people ‘don’t care’ about how they look by putting forth this argument: BOLLOCKS! Of course you bloody do! I’m assuming you shower daily, no? You wash your hair and brush it. You moisturise your skin, hell, you may even throw some makeup on. Unless you live in a nudist colony, I’m assuming you still buy clothes. You may not buy them because they’re ‘in fashion’ but you might like the colour, the feel or the way they hang on you. All of that says you care about how you look. So please, spare me. It’s not that you ‘don’t care’, it’s that you’ve given up.
When people give up, they try to say fashion is just beneath them. It’s childish to care about such nonsense. They feel we who care about our appearance judge them, so they judge us right back; we are shallow, unintelligent morons.
Let me set a few things straight about taking pride in ones appearance. I do not spend my every waking moment traipsing through Topshop, clearing out my wardrobe every season or laughing in the faces of those whose style choices I consider to be inferior to my own (I mean, I do that last one fairly regularly, but not every waking moment). I don’t care for trends, what’s ‘in’ or ‘out’. But I do have a sense of style. I know what colours, shapes and styles suit me and I take pride in the way I dress myself. I see no shame in that.
I don’t blindly follow fashion. I don’t buy fashion magazines. I tend to steer clear of the high street when shopping. But I look at how women dressed in the 40s or how my grandmother dressed her whole life and I’m in awe. I can look at that wonderful collection Hussein Chalayan did in 2000 with the table that turned into a skirt (skip to 4:30 mark in the video) and appreciate it for the wonderful visual it was. I consider Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood to be artists more than a ‘fashion designers.’
Having an appreciation for these things does not make me shallow, vapid or insecure. It is one aspect of who I am. It it not the whole story. Why knock someone because they choose to express an element of themselves through clothes? Fashion isn’t just everything you think Vogue represents.
To put forth the argument that you must be either fashionable OR intellectual is completely ridiculous. I think I’m pulling off both quite nicely thank you.