Friday, 21 June 2013

The pointless pursuit of fashion

She visits numerous art museums every month, copious operas and the kind of events where champagne in crystal flutes are handed as she glides through the door. She lives in a fairly large house and rides horses in her free time. She enjoys reading Jane Austen and the occasional modern novel, as long as it's intellectually stretching. And she most certainly does not bother herself with the trends that flitter in and out every season. Fashion is after all, an inconsequential, trivial and altogether irrelevant fact of life. She's the archetypal well cultured woman, the kind of person you would never find wasting her time flicking aimlessly through the pages of a fashion magazine.

It's undeniable that we live in a world more full of culture clashes than at another time. We're constantly presented with the opportunity to absorb the wonders that not only our country holds, but the world as a whole. Collectively we strive to learn more about music, theatre, art and culinary wonders. As a whole, our current situation in terms of culture is remarkable. However, I do think there's one rather huge factor of our everyday culture that gets frequently pushed to one side. Of course I'm talking about fashion.
As a fashion blogger it's hard to believe this to be the case. We tend to surround ourselves by trends and clothing on a daily bases so that it all merges into our own little worlds. How could fashion possibly be considered, well, pointless? The truth is, people underestimate the power and affect that fashion has on their lives every day and label it as sheer vanity.

A lot of people like to think that they steer away from fashion due to its frivolous nature. However, one must question whether they've actually put much thought in to such a life statement.

As much as you may like to think that you don't hop on board with "mindless trends", most of us shop on the high street. We buy from Topshop, Newlook, Primark, M&S and Miss Selfridge. Where do all of these shops get their inspiration for new collections? The catwalk. Those pastel colours you wore last spring were inspired by Louis Vuitton, you have Dolce and Gabbana to thank for the jewel encrusted tops of autumn 2012 and the neon rope bracelet you picked up got its colour from the catwalks of Stella McCartney. So, as it turns out, a lot of our wardrobes are likely to be full of high fashion descendants that we're entirely unaware of.
Even if you are one of the few people that cut themselves away from the high street, steering clear of garish colours and the unneeded glamour of fashion, then it's still something that will affect you on a huge level. Perhaps not now, but after we've all left this earth, our culture and what was in vogue will be a huge aspect of how our lives are examined. Historians will look at what trends were big during particular times and how they effected the population in general. Among the study of art, theatre and food, fashion will remain as a prominent marker of each generation.

Those who create beautiful music and art are commended regularly by the press and the general public. It's undeniable that music and art creation is something that takes a plethora of talent. Yet, outside of the small circle of high fashion lovers, those who are capable of creating a whole collection of pieces for their fashion houses seem to get forgotten. They spend hours designing, sewing and creating; I would argue that they are artists themselves.

Regardless of this, there will still be many people out there who will chime in with comments such as "but fashion has got ridiculous, some of the things you see on the catwalks these days". And yes, some of the clothes that are flaunted down the runway are truly insane and I would never wear them. I do however, adore them. Much like winners of The Turner prize whose art work you wouldn’t want in your home but appreciate, I'm able to acknowledge the work that goes into the extravagant pieces I wouldn't choose to have in my wardrobe.

So now, if you take a look at fashion, the way it effects our lives daily, the effort that goes into each individual item and the legacy it will leave us with, I must question whether it could still be classed as a vain pursuit? As far as culture goes, isn't it one of the ultimate landmarks?

Bethany Paige X

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