I was caught by a post on Gertie's New Blog For Better Sewing the other day and if you don't follow her you definitely need to. She wrote this fun post about the amazing costumes in Wicked that took the stance of defending clothing as an art form, as something carrying "symbolic and emotional weight". This led her to ask:
"Which brings me to the question of the day: are you ever made to feel shallow for being interested in fashion and garment construction? Do you think that fashion is a powerful art form, or is that overstating it? Do share!"
So I think I will share! Now, I completely agree with her that clothing plays an immensely important role in the visual representation of a person. Think about going to a job interview or a first date? Are you going to wear your sweats or even just a t-shirt? I don't think so! Well, at least not if you plan on being taken seriously.
Your clothes matter whether you care about/pay attention to fashion or not. Do I get made fun of for caring about clothes, fashion, and style? Sure, all the time. And when I do I probably deserve it because there are certainly aspects of fashion that are frivolous but this is where I think it is important to distinguish between style and fashion. Yes, they are different, but not mutually exclusive.
Fashion, to me, is an art. There are people who devote their lives to studying it, working with it, and predicting it. So when I get made fun of for loving something like this Alexis Mabille evening gown am I nuts? NO! Err, no, of course not. Obviously I know I there would never be an occasion in my life that would allow me to wear this, but I can still admire it for its structure, detail, and beauty.
Style is uniquely you. Style is what you've taken away from fashion and decided to display to the world as "you". Everyone has style, some just have more appealing style than others or trendier style than others, but it's in every one of us for the very reason I mentioned above. Your clothes matter. You can think fashion is the most frivolous thing in the world, but at the end of the day people will still judge you by what you wear. So why should you not embrace it and make it the most uniquely "you" thing possible? It's true that the first thing people see (besides your face of course) is what you're wearing and if you look like a bum, people will think you're a bum.
However, fashion and style will never be separate beasts. They have to forever intermingle because from fashion comes style and vice versa.
I forget where I heard this, but somewhere I heard a great piece of advice: Dress everyday like you're going to meet someone important, because you never know when you will.
Advocating personal style and embracing inspiration from high fashion is why I started this blog, it's why I read fashion magazines, and it's why I'm writing this right now. So, yes Gertie, I think that Fashion is a high art which is why couture is so expensive, but it also breathes life into the everyday outfit and for that I never feel frivolous or silly (even if other people think I am).