“I think perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things humans make, I
want so see scars, failure, disorder, distortion. If I can feel those
things in work by others, then I like them. Perfection is a kind of
order, like overall harmony and so on… They are things someone forces
on to a thing. A free human being does not desire such things. And yet
I get the feeling there are a lot of women who do not seek freedom;
women who wear symmetrical clothes.”
Now I don’t see anything wrong with trying to attain perfection. However, how often do we notice that originality, taste and excitement are being cast aside for the sake of scoring more retweets, hypes and likes? Or am I the only person who thinks that internet fashion is too pretty, perfect, and most importantly, so much alike?
The democratisation of fashion promises a vast wealth of information for outsiders to tap into so that we can all be inspired, get out and do our own thing, instead of being told what to do by the magazines. While it does hold true to a certain degree, the power of influence did not disperse completely. It shifted from respected publications (by respected I don’t mean any of those Cosmo crap) to ‘fashion leaders’ of the online community. We admire them, wish to be them, and want their popularity. As a result, we see too many girls sporting dip dyed hair, wearing pyjama pants, and strutting around in the shortest ‘jorts’ (?) topped off with the tallest platforms, or the latest Alexander Wang heels.
In order to prove that I’m not making a far-fetched claim, I made this collage out of some of the most hyped looks from Lookbook.nu this week:
Just in case you need more evidence, here are some collages I found from Blueisinfashionthisyear. The site does a good job in documenting the latest trends to grace the internet.
I do realise that a big part of fashion is to be aesthetically pleasing, but it is also a celebration of the human body, of expression and creativity. Many of the most revered designers are not afraid to redefine the established ideas of beauty. From Rei Kawakubo, John Galliano, Alexander Mcqueen, Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, Nicolas Ghesquiere, to Issey Miyake, just to name a few, all of them have very unique aesthetics, but what places them in the same league is their fearlessness in breaking the boundaries, to get tongues wagging, to excite and give hope to fashion connoisseurs that fashion is perhaps not dead. (I must confess that while researching for this essay, Issey Miyake’s works almost moved me to tears). As cliched as it sounds, these designers garnered loyal followings precisely because they bring us out of our comfort zone, challenging us to appreciate something new.
Wanting to look well-put together is the primary reason why we read so much into fashion, but by golly we should be doing it with a bit of fun. Take for example, Susanna Lau of Style Bubble. I remembered when she first started, half the comments she received for her loud sense of style weren’t positive. The brave girl never once gave in to the pressure to look conventionally pretty, yet she’s now become one hell of a respected figure in fashion blogosphere. I have to admit I wasn’t taken with some of her choices but I appreciated them nonetheless because they made me think.
It is of course our prerogative to choose whichever path we take, whether it’s maximalism, minimalism, avant garde or anything else in between. Whatever your taste is, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be trend whores. It’s no fun when internet fashunz looks like one large elitist sorority group. Fashion should be celebrated in its own merit. It should not be dictated by the potential number of strangers you need to impress but by us and ourselves only. Therefore the question we should be asking is, do we really love fashion, or are we doing this to earn the approval of virtual fans?
EDIT: I love the discussion that’s trickling in. If only I could reply to individual comments separately. Is there an option for blogger for that?