Saturday, May 30, 2009

For Others or For You?

I took the weekend off and flew down to San Diego to spend some time with my best friends. As I am staying in my friend's apartment, she was packing some of her clothes for me to bring back to the Bay Area in preparation for her move back. She comes out of the room with a pair of heels that she says she only wore once. I asked why she only wore it once and she told me that these heels hurt too much. She said these heels were only good for "walking from home to the car into the restaurant and back into the car." This brought a question to mind. Do people buy clothes for their own comfort and for themselves or do they buy clothes that makes them look nice and other people will like it?
As I was reading the article "The Aesthetics and Politics of Japanese Identity in the Fashion Industry" by Dorinne Kondo, I was especially interested in the parts where she mentions how Japanese fashion changed due to accidents and disasters. She talks about how Japanese fashion changed when the Great Earthquake happened in 1923 because a lot of the people's clothes along with their homes were destroyed. This gave them a chance to change their wardrobes into more westernized clothes. She also talks about how the traditional Japanese kimono was held accountable for hindering the people from safety or even causing accidents like the fire of 1932.
The kimono became less common due to the fact that it was very bulky and just inconvenient for daily routines. In the same light, was the kimono worn for an identity posed to the outside or was it for oneself to be traditional? Today, many people like my friend buys clothes because they look nice and fit with the occasion but they don't try on the clothes. According to the article describing the history of Kimonos, they were worn to uphold tradition to others in Japan. As technology advanced, they were being mass produced and no longer as expensive and extensive to make. However, they were fading out because they were very inconvenient. This is where the concept of comfort and ease overrules the outer appearance. The picture of the lady with the kimono display how much effort it takes to dress up in a kimono. It is also very inconvenient to move around in this outfit especially in daily routines. It is also very hard to escape in a emergency. Therefore, the concept of being convenient and comfortable is definitely more practical than being stylish.

1) "The Aesthetics and Politics of Japanese Indentity in the Fashion Industry" by Dorinne Kondo
2) Kimono History
3) Picture:

Carmen Yee Blog #5

No comments: