Monday, January 30, 2006


What fashion means to me
Fashion is a funny thing - fickle and ever changing, much like my moods, most of the time. I think its meaning or significance to me is in large part attributed to the fact that it has always played a role in my life, and from a young age, I always considered it important, for reasons at the time that were unknown to me.

I remember as a young clothes horse, when my maternal grandfather died, my main concern when attending his funeral, was what was considered appropriate wear to such an occasion. I remember asking lots of questions - most of them about as considered and tactful as a young clothes horse of about five could manage. (truth be told I was so young I can barely recall how old I was or the year in which he died ..)

I remember being fascinated by the response my mother gave me, which was (predictably) that people often wore black to funerals - sombre colours, because you weren't celebratory or happy when you went to a funeral, clothing was not supposed to be showy or bright.

Ironically, this decree to wear non-showy, subdued colours was a problem as being a kid meant that I was lacking in the non-colourful department - and I recall being torn between what was appropriate, what I owned, and what I wanted to wear.

Fashion is to me, mostly about the freedom to make choices.

Why fashion is important
Aesthetics! Colour! Cut! Fit! Tailoring!

In a nutshell, fashion is important to me in a similar way that the visual arts are important. I don't consider art as merely decorative or trivial. Nor do I consider fashion trivial. Choices in fashion are some of the most important decisions many people make in their daily life. Scoff if you like, however, I think you would be hard pressed to find those who don't make fashion choices that aren't dictated by some important factor.

Few people simply wear things because they are there, because they have to.

Even those who claim to dress purely for comfort and practicality are making fashion choices, though theirs are driven by somewhat more "sensible" criteria.

I don't think the decision to wear something because it looks fabulous is any less valid.