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Zee Fashionista: More than the dress


More than the dress

A friend recently asked me why I love fashion. “I am a fashion blogger after all right; I should be able to answer this question in record time?” I thought to myself.

I didn’t. In fact, it took a solid three days of introspection for me to come up with my answer. Naturally, I pored over the recent spring 2012 collections of some of my favourite designers, hoping the answer would come to me.

It must be the out worldliness of Greek designer Mary Katrantzou – those jaw-dropping man vs. nature inspired prints, and that finale dress. Yes, that finale dress. “A whirlwind of metal,” she calls it, with tin cans, rivets, metal flowers and sequins – this must be love!

Mary Katranzou, Spring 2012 (Photo credit: Mateo Volta)

Or maybe it’s Lanvin. That daywear mixed with debonair, dressier pieces, with slits in all the right places. Those snakes coiled around some of the dresses and down some of the pants – a collection whose essence is captured in Alber Elbaz’s words: "Power you can buy in a bank. I prefer strength."

Lanvin, Spring 2012 (Photo credit: Fashion Gone Rogue)

No, my love of fashion lies not only in the clothes. It lies in the way fashion inescapably influences and reflects our lives.

"Fashion has always served as a cultural barometer, measuring the zeitgeist of any given period." So too says Charty Durrant, former fashion editor of British Vogue and The Sunday Times. Zeitgeist, German for "spirit of the times", refers to the cultural, spiritual, and ethical ambiance among a specific group or nation, and a quick look at the history of fashion, confirms Durrant's sentiment.

Fashions themselves are promoted and perpetuated by our collective consciousness - take blue jeans, for example. First considered vulgar and a denotation of poverty in World War II, they became fashionable in the 1950s as a general anti-establishment statement emblematic of the times. Today, blue jeans are accepted as a classic style.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York City (Picture credit: Metropolitan Museum)

My love of fashion comes from the way women’s styles of dress map the most explosive expressions of the zeitgeist. It lies in the way hemlines rise and fall with the stock market. In the way we continue to swoon over Alexander McQueen’s recent retrospective at the Met Museum, Savage Beauty, not just because the man was quite simply an artistic genius, but because his outlandish gowns embody the beauty, the vulgarity, and the darker side of the postmodern world.

You see, fashion is far too powerful a cultural artefact to ignore.

Why do I love I fashion?

You literally live in fashion, so you might as well make the most of it, right?



At November 7, 2011 at 3:01 PM , Blogger LocalCeleb said...




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