Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fast Fashion

Recently, a former influential fashion magazine editor (gatekeeper) Charty Durant, renounced today’s “fast fashion”, the system in which we are constantly moving from one trend to another, leaving a trail of discarded clothing behind (or in the landfill). In Resurgance magazine, Durant said “As a fashion editor of twenty years' standing I have found it extremely uncomfortable to admit that the seemingly harmless fashion industry is actually driving our demise. It is at the heart of all that ails us; pull at any social or environmental thread, and it will lead you back to the fashion industry.”

In my opinion, no company represents “fast fashion” more these days than Forever 21. With a constantly changing inventory and clothing items starting at as little as $2, it’s easy to see how some people might shop their weekly, or daily, for a little fashion fix. However, as we read in Forever in Trouble by Chuck Byun, a revolving door of trends comes at a price, not only with knock-off designs, but also with tremendous abuse of the workers who produce the products we covet for a day.

I’m sorry to say but I recently broke the compact challenge, and I broke it with the devil, Forever 21 (it’s 100 degrees Professor! My wardrobe really needs adjustment). There were some things that I was able to refurbish in my closet to fit the weather (I cut the legs off of ALL my pants to make a good variety of shorts) but none of my summer dress are current (meaning they were subject to an odd trend or they just don’t fit). So I went to Forever 21 because I only had $80 and I wanted to get everything I needed. Granted, I could’ve slowly purchased one item at a time that were a little more expensive each, but then I wouldn’t have looked so cute last night!

At think that Durant analyzes my awful reasoning best with this quote: “As the ‘trend frenzy' deepens, we can see that fashion is no longer about style and self-expression: it is primarily about judgment – self-judgment and judgment of others. A toxic media reporting how women ought to look, and celebrity obsession further enforce this strange new paradigm...”
With magazines everywhere telling us to look like celebrities, and with celebrities being scorned in the media for wearing any clothing item twice in public, it seems only natural to me that people will be influenced to expand their wardrobes likewise.

If anything, this is what I would critic about the articles we read about designer knockoffs (the lack of analysis into the psychology behind the desire for designer brands). As we learned in Melissa A. Decker’s Knockouts of Knockoffs, the Internet has globalized designer counterfeiting, and this I think is greatly influenced by the fashion blogs that abound the web, tracking the designs that celebrities wear daily. When, with the click of your mouse, you can own a replica of something worn by Lady Gaga (I don’t know, is she hot right now?), and for a reasonable cost, why wouldn’t you indulge?

(I'm so sorry I forgot to write my name! Stupid!)
Alison Tanner
Blog #3

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