Jul 29, 201411:11 AMAn Element of Style
A Thought on Perspective
A few weeks ago, I was dining out with a friend at a particularly elegant venue when the topic of my ongoing writing projects was approached. I’ve been maintaining a personal fashion blog since 2009, and it’s only been within the past few months that I’ve sought to expand the horizon of its writing content. In the past, I typically rambled about fashion or casual occurrences in my life for a brief paragraph or two before signing off. My readers were encouraged to chiefly focus on the visual images I published, not the writing content itself. A month or two ago, I felt inspired to write a particularly in-depth post, venturing beyond the outskirts of more conventional fashion blog content. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of positive feedback that said post received and have since then strove to deepen the content of my personal writing.
This column however, is strictly fashion-oriented and has no place for philosophical ranting. Or does it? Style is not just material. It is a state of being. Painters, musicians and sculptors are mentally inspired; their inspiration is manifested in the various material forms of art they choose to create. Watch any documentary or read any book concerning a famed artist, and you will find that their thoughts influenced their material work. They did not simply create these masterpieces with zero mental energy. Style is no different. The physical and tangible articles of clothing upon your person are simply reflections of what is floating around in your mind.
Too often, the topic of fashion is soiled with a tacky materialistic stereotype. The word fashion, in and of itself, does not pertain to clothing. “Fashion” is simply a very new and Western way of saying “in fashion”, which basically means “what is popular.” Designers create lines of clothing that are segregated into very specific and seasonal collections. The clothing that these designers create subsequently influences the annual and seasonal trends to which the majority of the American population is exposed. From higher end department stores to your average Target, the overarching styles of the clothes that are available for purchase are dictated by a handful of designers among the top ranks of fashion. The general public is then faced with a myriad of trends that they may or may not have naturally chosen to wear. Far too often we succumb to peer pressure and instead gravitate towards what’s popular and socially acceptable instead of listening to our gut animal artistic instinct.
No wonder that those who love fashion are so often given the negative reputation of designer bag-toting, latte-clutching, magazine-worshiping blasé snobs. Yes, there are plenty of people who fit that caricature, but I implore you not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. An entirely different type of “fashion person” exists, and this type of person is someone who does not sacrifice her style. Those who fit into this latter category of clothing fanatics may integrate a few specific trends into their wardrobes, but only if those trends happen to spark a key note in that person’s natural artistic preferences. These types of people look beyond what is fashionable and popular; they do not dress to fit in with society nor to please others; they dress for themselves alone. These people are what make style an art form that indeed possesses a certain philosophical quality.
Other forms of art often inspire and herald writings pertaining to more in-depth subjects of discussion. Likewise, style and the way it has evolved throughout the centuries can also relate to the way in which we contemplate and process other areas of life. The more complex the ideas we can associate with the original concept of style, the more valuable and respected style becomes in and of itself.