The Many Futures of Fashion
The future ain't what it used to be.
Who's been watching the 'documentary-series' by Alexa Chung for British Vogue? *raises hand* Good, good. I myself love a piece of Alexa Chung and was rather excited when British Vogue announced this little series on the interwebs.
I love the series, but think that the topics they raise could be worked out much deeper (but 'much deeper' equals more minutes, more minutes equals 1) more money to be spend and 2) most probably less viewers (we're talking Youtube audience here. They're not going to watch two hour long episodes time after time. I will, though. Sign me up!)).
Something that raised my pink finger was the topic of episode three, or rather something that psychologist Carolyn Mair from the London College of Fashion (LCF) mentioned in episode three. Since not so long LCF offers a course on fashion psychology. Now I'm not the biggest fan of psychology in general ("Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" Don't know. "Where do you see yourself in ten years?" *sighs* "Interesting, interesting..."), but psychology mixed with fashion? Now we're talking!
"Fashion is psychology because it's about human nature." Damn right it's about human nature! Finally someone's making sense. To get on the course you'll be needing to identify some issue within the fashion industry (so many to choose from!) of which you believe psychology could make a positive difference towards (again: so many to choose from!). One point I'd like to raise, and you're very welcome to steal this 'issue' from me (just add copyright to it), is the idea that clothes are gender specific.
The other day I was scrolling through my list of unread blogposts and a specific title caught my attention: "The Future of Fashion: where clothes are gender-less" (funnily enough the title of the vogue-series is also The Future of Fashion. There are many futures of fashion...). The big mistake they're making here is naturally that they assume that clothes have genders. News flash: they don't. There's neither a Willy or a Foofoo dangling on a skirt. It's society that has decided that one piece of clothing is meant for boys and the other for girls. (Same goes for society deciding that there are only two kinds of genders. Silly society).
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
Clothes don't have genders and aren't gender specific. Blaming them of being gender-related isn't going to solve the 'issue'. As a collective, we, humans, have attached those words onto the clothes. The clothes haven't, they can't talk (yet. Probably something that's already added to the list for the future). To change the future, or at least to influence it, you'll have to be part of 'the now'. To speak out on such name-calling (how can a cute dress ever be the badguy in this situation?), to be part of a 'movement' however small and share those insightful thoughts. We are part of society, we make the clothes and we wear the clothes. (I almost added 'we are the clothes', because the way we dress mostly fits with the way we are. So, we aren't a skirt or a dress or a pair of trousers we are [insert name here], whatever that may be... to quote my dear ol' pall Shakespeare: It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves).