An article inspired by the fallacies of fashion.
| It was around noon and I had wandered into the exact antithesis of my very being. It was not by choice, I assure you, that I entered that fashion exhibit, pen and notebook in hand, prepared to explore the very thing which I understood the least. My editor had sent me here, with the knowledge that on the list of my social savvies, fashion is damn near last, if not last. This was no doubt a result of a particularly critical article I had sent him two weeks back. It’s topic was a particularly corrupt congressional candidate, whom unfortunately and unbeknownst to me happened to also be a particular favorite cousin of a particularly peeved editor. Needless to say, that article was never published, and I was now left facing the ire of the man who controlled my job.
So there I was, at noon exactly, flashing my press credentials to the ticket officials and strolling through the entrance toward what was sure to be one of the most arduously boring and perplexing events of my life. I had no notion of what fashion should be, nor did I even have the slightest idea of what fashion even was for that matter. With this lack of knowledge, it was hard to imagine myself writing anything of substance on the subject. To me, clothing was a necessity. In fact, considering the mild Los Angeles climate, I had no need for clothing as far as survival was concerned. It was a must simply because it was a law. Tracing in my mind the history and uses of clothing, I found it difficult to fathom how fashion became such a cultural obsession. A simple piece of cloth was enough to satiate man’s fashion desire for ages, and although fashion’s importance increased to a certain extent as time progressed, had man extrapolated at that time the impact it would have on our current society, he would have without a doubt destroyed all clothing materials in a bonfire, cursing it into fiery oblivion and launching human society into a state of complete nudity. Nudist colonies would today be the norm, and those who wore clothing would be outcasts, viewed with the same suspicion and abhorrence that “witches” were in our colonial period. Chanel would not be some sort of godlike iconic name, but rather a misspelling of the world “channel,” and rightly so. With the exclusion of our world’s obsession with fashion, man would not have to limit his comfortable and righteous nude Sunday football ritual to his own house. Our natural state – nudity, would be extended to all of life’s locales. The bar would be a perfectly acceptable place to catch the game with a beer in one hand and the absence of a nagging wife in the other, in the comfortable state of nudity – all perfectly acceptable behaviors in this Utopian society.
With this frame of mind, I was naturally suspicious upon entering the exhibit. I considered what lay before me to be the poison that weakened the very natural things that I loved. I walked to the main sign of the exhibit, all the while shooting furtive glances over my shoulder. Lord, I didn’t even trust the people here. I suppose it makes sense, though, if you think about it. If you detest drunk driving, then certainly your toes curl and your senses fill with rage when in the presence of those who involve themselves in that activity. The same applied for this situation…
The sign I referred to attempted to explain that fashion and architecture are in fact one in the same, and that by merging the two concepts together a new art form could be formed. Fashion that resembled architecture, architecture that resembled fashion…I was not impressed. I was born in the arid desert of Phoenix, Arizona. The architecture I was accustomed to as a result of this was adobe and stucco housing, built for practical purposes to keep homes cool in the sweltering heat of the desert summer. I found it laughable that the powers that be wished for me to take this style and apply it to the clothing I wore. An adobe styled shirt matched with stucco pleated slacks…No thank you. I’ll stick with my current look, if you don’t mind.
God, I had been here for all of five minutes and I was already feeling all sanity leaving my mental frame. It does not do one good to be in a place where pure evil resides, especially one of poor temper.
I walked slowly in front of a dress constructed out of a camouflage material. The dress contained more ruffles than this young man, hopped up on caffeine, had the attention span to count. I moved on to a video display that showed models walking down the runway wearing dresses that were made of blue screen. Videos were being played on these blue screens, and the models had therefore become objects of media entertainment. Hmm…So I searched hard in my mind for the practicality of this feature. Television is meant to be watched, and you certainly can’t watch what is being projected on yourself. I myself would be unwilling to stand in the outfit long enough for another to have time to watch anything substantial, and I’m sure others would agree with me on this. Therefore the outfits as projection screens are worthless, and as pieces of normal blue screen clothing that have no use as a projection tool they become of little appeal. These items had no pragmatic value and no flair either, and this is precisely what vexes me most about fashion. The fashion world is full of gimmicks. Things that are supposed to be aesthetically and abstractly pleasing to anyone of sense come across as simply absurd. Why do I need my clothing to resemble the Eiffel tower? I don’t, but they would have me think that I do, because it’s different. But isn’t that a contradiction in itself? If we all become fashionably different, then don’t we also become fashionably the same?
My body conjured up a sigh and with it a movement of the legs that brought me closer to my next mentally exhausting destination. Detesting what you must learn is never an easy feat. Think of the young schoolboy, struggling to conceptualize advanced mathematics. The subject is viewed with disdain, and this sentiment remains unchanged with the addition of more work. In fact, it is heightened. That is how I felt, and the condition was not cured by any means with what lay around the next bend.
I sidled up to the next display, feeling nauseous. This was really getting to my head…I had never before experienced something I felt so incredibly disinterested in when it came to a story. Even topics which I had no particular affinity had in the past been viewed with a zeal for discovering that which I had little knowledge of. Even the things I judged harshly were a pleasure in that they provided me something to criticize. This, however, this was just pure lunacy. I was going stark-raving mad from the heat of the room, the surroundings, and the unpleasant atmosphere of smug fashion elites who considered themselves to be the avant-garde revolutionaries of the 21st century, giving us plebeians a ray of high class hope to latch on to and nourish ourselves from. I was wearing a dress shirt and slacks with what I thought was a reasonable jacket, and though in any sane setting this would have been quite fine, I could see the wheels turning in their head as they scoffed at me in their heads for not fitting in. Imagine that! I didn’t fit in with a crowd whose current trend involves wearing clothing with “no form.”
One of the items on display in fact was a flat circular piece of cloth with holes for the arms and head, that was meant to expand for wearing and collapse for the purpose of travel. What bothered me most about this was not the clothing itself, but the simple fact that there were those out there who would look upon me less for what I was wearing now rather than their circularly fashioned orb-suit. Any man with working wits would surely not give his approbation to this concept. In a country where we are expected to at least make an honest attempt toward viewing important differences between ourselves and others, such as religion or race, without judgment, we allow these crazies to pollute our tolerance-based society with their mantra of fashion fascisms, all the while muttering maledictions over their shoulder at the real well-dressed men.
I had decided by that time that it would be better to make my way home and piece together some random and faked tribute to the art of fashion than to stay here another ill-spent minute. Perhaps this higgledy-piggledy assignment would not be received well by my authorities, but at least it would be completed and I would maintain some sense of dignity and sanity. I left the exhibit with one last important question to ponder. What did the fashion world have in store for us next? It could, for all I know, be something that steers itself back on the practical and necessary path that it so desperately needs. I have my doubts, but I’ve been wrong before…