Friday, September 4, 2009


Each morning, in preparation for daily life, we get dressed. Well, hopefully, anyway. For some, there is no philosophy behind the day-to-day ensemble; it is merely a reflection of practicality, affordability and climate. For others, however, dressing is an expression of their inner self. Clothing can be used to evoke feelings, inspire sensations and garner reactions.

In considering the possibility that there is a large population identifiable with the former (and surely not reading this blog post), questions abound: What is fashion, and what should it be? A practical warping of fabric for function? A pretentious, self-indulgent industry swimming in false importance? Or, as I prefer to think, is it merely an aesthetic representation of the time in which we live? And, for that matter, can fashion be all of these things at once?

Whether you’re of the mind that Rei Kawakubo is a genius or a quack – or you think that’s some sort of Japanese noodle dish – there is one element that can surely bridge this distinct divide. That is, the element of history. Fashion, like art, can often form a basis for historical reference. The clothing of a given era reveals many things about its wearers. Who wore what where? How much money did they have? What do they do for a living? What did they do for fun? What were their political leanings? What music did they listen to? The list goes on.

One of the most validating trips I’ve taken of late was to the Fashion & Politics exhibit at the FIT Museum, which completely justified my regular psychoanalytical fashion babble. The showcase, “a chronological exploration of over 200 years of politics as expressed through fashion…not only refers to the maneuverings of government, but also encompasses cultural change, sexual codes, and social progress.”

Despite the museum’s no-photo policy, my gorgeous friend Tom brought a bit of the exhibit back for you, via his stunning fashion illustration skills. Check-out his handiwork above – proof at the very least that to create fashion, one must appreciate art.

No comments: