Fashion and creativity

I have to be honest. Most of the time when I encounter the fashion world in the form of Vogue, the celebrity “red carpet," and Fashion Week, I am reminded of this quote from Edie Sedgwick.

"Fashion as a whole is a farce, completely. The people behind it are perverted. The styles are created by freaked out people, just natural weirdos. I know this because I worked with all those people while I was modeling."

I can’t be the only feminist to ask: is fashion is just a clever redirection of women’s potentially revolutionary creativity into something safer and a lot more ephemeral? “Find me attractive!” is a legitimate wish, but how often do we really mean “Take me seriously”? I suspect that women sometimes become obsessed with expressing themselves through style, when what we’re really hungry for is to express ourselves verbally and politically. 

But on the other hand, I am, as anyone can tell you, completely obsessed with jewelry. Antique, vintage, artisan, all of it. I will gleefully tell you that I have identified the perfect eyeshadow (Cover Girl Brown Smolder and Mink, fyi). And I agree with Tavi Gevinson when she says this.

…to me, fashion is a form of art…that's strictly what I find it: it's not necessarily about simply looking "good" or "chic". The designers that inspire me don't focus on designing clothes just to be clothes; the looks they design are art! WEARABLE art, which is more fun than pretty paintings in a museum that you can't touch. My ignorance aside, it really bothers me when silly ideas like "Fashion Do's and Don't's" and "Fashion Police" are established, because that takes all the fun out of putting together an outfit. In my opinion, the most interesting fashion is the Anti-Fashion. No rules, no restrictions, no normalcy, no pleasing anyone. 

I will even admit that occasionally, in a fit of narcissism and 20-years-belated vanity, I want to make an appointment to get my colors done.

So lately I’ve been really annoyed with my wardrobe (why do I own so many ugly blue shirts? why don't any of these blacks match? what was I thinking when I bought all these asymmetrical hemlines???). I’ve been trying to whittle down my closet, to be interesting without looking ridiculous or shlumpy. And what I find most inspiring is definitely not the fashion hegemony of Anna Wintour et al. Instead I wander over to HelLooks and see what the youth of Finland are wearing. And they never fail to amaze and inspire me.

Sample quote: My style is a soldierly gardener. 

Warning: Don’t click over there unless you’ve got some free time.

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3 thoughts on “Fashion and creativity

  1. LOL! OMG, I didn’t know beavers came with handles! hahahahahahahahahahah I’m laughing so hard I’m crying. OK, wait, I have to go see what else they have on that site.

  2. OK, done giggling now. Those Helsinkians sure do individual well, don’t they?
    I particularly liked that so much of it was handmedown or second hand. That’s the thing that kills ME about fashion, and even knock off fashion, is HOW MUCH IT COSTS. Even the magazines for the proletariat (like Oprah’s) feature everyday pieces of clothing that cost upwards of $150! What the hell planet are they living on??? I finally sent O a letter cancelling my subscription. It was just too much.
    Dressing well without spending money shows real creativity.

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