I don't like fashion. I like style.
I like people and I like looks and I like variety and I like clothes. Even. But I do not like fashion. I don’t like the term fashion faux pa, nor the deconstruction of outfits, nor bland descriptors, nor the word nice and i don’t like the inane and unthinking consumption of item upon item of consumer goods thrown up in online ‘hauls’. How can this rabid dissection be anything but gratuitous when it’s done so compulsively at such a rate, so widely to such armies of devotees? It feels wasteful. If not mind numbing. If clothes come in the bucket load, how can they be appreciated? If fashion is an immaculate science where is the fun? Where’s the room for the person?
And yet, seemingly conversely one of the most interesting things about a person can be their clothes, their stories of specific items, the image, the pointers that an outfit achieves. Are they an eccentric character? You would assume so initially from their dress, their hair. A person’s image can reflect a masterpiece within (hyperbole all the way) but if every detail is observed examined and stamped with approval as on trend or not, chic or not, JUDGED where is personal freedom, where’s the room for deviance from ‘ok’. How can a kind of pants be ugly if they’re on a cool person. The coolest person. It is a superficial art. It may be a ‘true’ analysis, but I have the feeling it should be invisible to the majority of eyes, a judgement that goes unthought, the ‘person’ being a unique enough entity to triumph most majestically, most superlatively and most naturally above the rest.
There are some who may rubbish this argument, point out it’s unrealistic idealism in a superficial capitalist world that the majority of the time only slightly guiltily idles luxuriously in it. Why make apologies for the way of the world? And believe me, my aspirations do not fall on the self-flagellation of the human race side of things. I am of no self-effacing design. My goals, for I am as prone to fetishising new clothes, new shoes, make up as the rest, are modest. I may appear sanctimonious in my reasoning only because I am wistful for the roots of why we find style such a good use of our time. I value style. I revere it. And I believe it is because of the person that we revel in it, that the person has inspired us not purely their image. The Guardian’s outfit dissection page featured in their Saturday Weekend magazine is a fantastic example of this, featuring a fascinating person and their clothes each week, however wacky or plain they me be. We value this art because we have bought in to a character, a lifestyle, a possibility of being and we want to reinvent, to assert ourselves newly or more pertinently upon the world or to simply learn and appreciate another’s. And that ought to be applauded. When I dyed my hair black and only wore polo necks for the entirety of year twelve, I wanted to be a beatnik and was obsessed with the work of allen Ginsberg and his contemporaries. I adopted a sullen but (I hoped) highly intelligent demeanour and continued about my business. It was a phase, I thankfully grew out of it, but one, nevertheless essential to my style development. As Grimes recently posted on her tumblr page (http://actuallygrimes.tumblr.com/post/95579832514/the-current-look-is-young-marge-like-in-the) anyone, anything can be an influence. It’s there to be valued. We are being absorbed by an anxiety to stay safe and on top of things and it must be resisted. Personality and personal style. This is once emphasis and one art form and the ruthless conversion of it in to a science is ringing the creativity from it, separating it off at a youtube pace from the human beings and making it distinct and opaque and while addictive, as consumption tends to be, lacking heart.
Look at those ugly harem pants, but don’t I look a fascinating person