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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fashion Nerd

Though it has only been a week, it seems as if I haven't posted in ages compared to our every day maybe even twice or three times a day posting that went on last month. In this special post, I would like to share with you something I recently wrote for a school persuasive essay. It's not my best, but it's definitely relevant to this blog. I hope you enjoy it :)

xoxo Elise

"Fashion is [art]. It is a matter of proportions." -Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” She saw what fashion truly was beyond the high priced dresses and superficiality. She also noticed that fashion is integrated into everyone’s lives whether or not they believe it. So then, what exactly is fashion? Is it a representation of people? Is it meant to be a status symbol in society? Fashion is art. Just as people who study and purchase art see it as an outlet for emotions and an opportunity to learn aspects of other eras or cultures, fashion provides the opportunity to express oneself and to become a part of their own culture. And mind you, not just popular culture as is expressed in films, television, and magazines, which sometimes portray the industry negatively, and feature followers of fashion or members of the industry as girls who live off of their privilege. Like art, it is not merely meant to be flashy and ostentatious; it is meant to be appreciated and reflective of our values, our tastes, and our time.

The world of fashion, just as that of art, has changed throughout time by creating new movements, new ideas, reflecting personal feelings, and catering to the tastes of the people. In fact, fashion has quite the history of social activism. From the beginnings of time to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, fashion’s main purpose was to be a status symbol. As time went on and the feminist movement came about, women began to dress differently to open themselves to the new opportunities they would gain in their home lives and the work force.

They began wearing pantsuits and comfortable clothing as opposed to the traditional skirts, corseted dresses, and itchy, woolen fabrics that were characteristic of earlier times. Even now, we as society have changed our manners of dress to better suit our purposes whether it is a uniform for school, a modernized yet functional ensemble for breaking into the professional world, or a magnificent work of beaded, lace trimmed, and tulle-filled art for evening events.

Through the progression of clothing and changes in dress, designers, especially those involved in haute couture, such as Yves St. Laurent, Coco Chanel, Ralph Lauren, and Oleg Cassini, began to view people as more than consumers and walking status symbols. A person became a canvas, a means of displaying the designer’s skills and personal tastes. Designers, like artists, began sculpting beautiful curves and body shapes to flatter the silhouettes of men and women with fabric, as opposed to the artist’s clay, marble, or stone. It is truly remarkable to see how simple drapes of fabric and pin-tucks result in an amazing, flattering, and especially individual look, like a designer’s equivalent of an artist’s signature on a prized masterpiece.

Many people, though, do not see the push toward individualism that fashion makes. A majority of society believes that fashion is meant to create uniformity. What they do not quite understand is that if designers wanted to make everyone look the same or wanted to create a whole season’s collection over and over, they would have, and fashion would not have become the phenomenon it is today. We would not have sections of prestigious museums putting gowns and other famed fashion creations on display like the art that they are. We would not have magazines capturing gorgeous looks and designers’ newest creations in film for an international market. We would not have an industry at all.

Fashion, like art, is extremely special. It is reflective of the creator, and it contains a specific meaning to each person who looks at or dons the piece. Fashion and art are rich in history and in visual interest. Fashion is more than superficiality. Fashion is creative, fashion is individual, and fashion is art.

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