A project I’m working on is based on/inspired by the world of high fashion and I’ve been trying to get up to speed on what “fashion” is all about. I’ve had some help in this process (hat tip to a ghost amongst others) and I think there’s some key things I feel I should note here.
The most recommended things to watch about fashion are documentaries, both set in New York (Paris plays a role too).
The first is Paris is Burning about the drag scene in the late 80’s. It’s interesting the connection of identity, class, race, and gender all intersecting around one event: “the Ball”.
The second is The September Issue about Anna Wintour and the making of the most important issue of the year for Vogue magazine. Wintour is the considered to be the god of the fashion world and she has the power to make or break someone’s career in the industry; she also has a reputation of having a cold heart.
That idea of the cold heart is better captured in the fictional tale The Devil Wears Prada. This movie actually covers the only story that the fashion world (or at least its followers who aren’t in the industry) seem to want to listen to: “ugly/ unfortunate” woman accidentally gets a job at a fashion magazine/house/company and everyone thinks she’s incompetent, then she proves herself to her coworkers and gets tied up in the industry. The story ends with the now-competent and well-dressed woman realizing that the fashion world is a shame and inner beauty is what really counts (but looking good still helps).
This has been true for every fictional fashion movie I’ve seen except maybe Zoolander.
It’s also worth posting this amazing product that can revolutionize the fashion industry.
Here’s another fun video exploring why men’s fashion TV shows pale in comparison to female-focused ones.
After going through this exploration of the popular conception of what fashion is and represents I’ve really come to terms with what interests me most is the eye for design. The next step for me is understanding the design choices made and I think that’ll be more interesting.
Keep an eye out for The New Aesthetic, even though the project is over the debate rages on.