Saturday, August 7, 2010
"Fashions Fades, But Style is Eternal"
I have to admit that I have a fairly strong interest in fashion. For example, every time fashion week comes around, I'll spend quite some time examining collections – looking at commonalities and differences between various designers, picking favorites, etc. Therefore, I find the study of fashion-ology to be very fascinating, because it deconstructs fashion. According to Kawamura, fashion-ology is “a sociological investigation of fashion, and it treats fashion as a system of institutions that produces the concept as well as the phenomenon/practice of fashion” (1). Essentially, fashion is an ever-changing institution, with social networks (including everyday people, who are consumers) that function to reify fashion as a natural existing entity. Immediately, this reminded me of a famous Yves Saint Laurent quote, “Fashions fades, but style is eternal.” According to Refinery 29 (a tongue-in-cheek fashion blog), that phrase is “an oft-quoted old-world proclamation that every style-conscious girl posts onto their Facebook and Blogspot until they realize that every style-conscious girl posts it on their Facebook and Blogspot.” Humor aside, it is interesting how popular this quote is, because it is not exactly true. Fashion is an institution that is so deeply imbedded within society that it cannot simply “fade” – instead fashion will change as the society does. Furthermore, this quote promotes individualism through the notion that style is innate, that it comes from within a person. However, I do not believe that “style” can completely exist without fashion as a system, because one's personal taste/standards stem from ideals that have already been socially constructed. Therefore, is style really eternal? Or is it merely an extension of fashion (as a system of institutions)?
As for the compact challenge, I've already broken it. This is kind of ironic, because I haven't been shopping for almost the entire summer (no car, stuck in Davis) and right as this challenge begins, a friend of mine wants to go to the mall, and I ended up buying a book-bag for school. In my defense, my old school bag was completely falling apart, so it was kind of a necessity.
Source: Kawamura, Yuniya. Fashion-ology An Introduction to Fashion Studies (Dress, Body, Culture). New York: Berg, 2005.
Outside Source: http://www.refinery29.com/10-fashion-catchphrases-that-t.php