When we think of fashion in the 21st century, it is hard not to consider how it has come to be such the powerhouse of a global social entity. Perceptively, fashion has consumed our lives: we are it, and it is us. Consumption is the key word here; with high powered corporations reaching unparalleled economic height, and the global populace (America specifically) serving as the catalyst for the demand side of the supply paradigm, consumption is IT. So, with the task of contemplating this compact challenge, it has come to mind that the notion of conspicuous consumption has consequently hit a pinnacle. Perhaps we should call this new era of marketing, media and fashion an age of hyper consumption/commodification.
In essence, conspicuous consumption and agitated commodification (to the hyper state) have driven fashion to entrench our daily lives. Yuniya Kawamura talks about this idea of fashion dispersion in his book, “Production, Gatekeeping and Diffusion of Fashion,” when he infers that designers are not the only producers of fashion; advertisers and marketers are also pivotal to fashion spreading to the masses. With this respect, we see how we our conditioned to think of the fashion industry as a normal part of daily cognition. We see, hear and talk about fashion to the point that it becomes a way to associate and socialize with people throughout the world.
Check out this little diddy of a pun pic on this topic at: http://vancityguy.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/conspicuous-consumption-i-shop-therefore-i-am.jpg
This brings me to one of my key thoughts beginning this challenge. Why do we hyper-consume and commodify AND what is the affect on the planet. Well, the first is a combination of advanced capitalism and humanistic greed. The extent to which this helps the economic and individual mentality is up to debate; so we must delve further. The second rationale is what this whole project is all about. In Kim Robinson’s book, “Sixty Days and Counting” and interview, he emphasizes the theory that hyper-consumption does not raise happiness or the economies of the quality of life. Furthermore, the damage to the environment supersedes any of the previous concerns.
So, here we go. A quarter of challenging ourselves to compact. Contemplate the consumption. To shop or not to shop is no longer a question; and that sounds easy enough. To be true and consider the implications of consumption and commodification is the morale of the story.
"I Shop Therefore I Am" VanCityGuy. Retrieved 1 May 2009 http://www.linktv.org/video/2389/kim-stanley-robinson-on-hyper-consumption>.
Blog # 1