I have a problem with fashion. It’s not a problem regarding how outfits should be coordinated, finding good quality pieces for cheap or understanding the latest trends—my problem is the way fashion has been trimmed too short of its worth & framed into a simple stereotype that makes those passionate for fashion appear foolish.
Recently I watched The September Issue, a documentary from 2009 that gives a behind the scenes look at the making of Vogue’s famous September issue. This is the issue that tells celebrities & fashionistas what to wear, where to buy it & highlights the best designers with one woman making the final decision, Anna Wintour. As Vogue’s editor-in-chief for over 20 years, Wintour is known for her blunt cut bob & oversized dark glasses that accent her icy demeanor perfectly. It was fascinating to watch the efforts of the entire editorial team prepping & deliberating which clothing pieces, accessories & photographs to present to Wintour. As editor, she controls every word, photograph & trend to be printed in the fashion bible praised by fashionistas everywhere.
There was one clip of this documentary that stuck out more to me than spikes on shoulder pads. Wintour talked about what her family thinks of her career. She started by saying that her oldest brother works in London finding low income housing for those in need, her sister works to support farmer’s rights in Latin America & her younger brother is a “brilliant” political editor of The Guardian. Compared to the humanitarian and politically engaged personalities of her siblings, Wintour’s success is described as “amusing” to them. Her icy demeanor melted into a hurt smile as she softly chuckled & repeated the words, “they’re amused.”
I feel that those with creative jobs are underestimated no matter how successful they become in their field. Arts have never been supported as much as mathematics or science. There is a hierarchy of programs in schools that may be listed to be something like: mathematics, sciences, languages, history & at the bottom are the arts. When schools need to budget, the first place they’ will cut the funding for is from the arts. Picasso said, “All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” The problem is we are getting educated out of creativity. This has skewed the view of artistry & it has undermined the importance of originality because as education systems steer away from promoting the arts, they are breaking the relationship between intelligence & creativity.
“You’re considered superficial & silly if you are interested in fashion, but I think you can be substantial & still be interested in frivolity.” ~Sofia Coppola
Fashion has a fascinating history that reflects the people of society. For those that may sense fashion as foolish, know there is math in measurements, a history of style & a fashion language to speak. It is not as thoughtless as the hipster may make it seem. There are those passionate about the history of fashion, the evolution of style & the creative minds that have designed the pieces.
Perseverance is needed to pursue a creative career. It doesn’t come with a linear route or a right/wrong way. I believe that we all have a creative streak that only those that are fearless and driven by passion will be daring enough to take the creative road that is less travelled & taken by those who can’t stop creating.
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