Accidental Icon Takes A Reflective Approach to Fashion Week(s): Going Off the Grid
Usually when I look at my Instagram and blog feed I am visually inspired and prompted towards reflection. As it happens I will often feel both stimulated and soothed. However, something changes whenever it comes to fashion week and the same images or video clip content endlessly repeats. Sent out by different names but not at all in different ways. This occurs in such a way that for me the garments become blurred and lose meaning and identity. The context in which the clothing will be worn is absent because I do not know what will be happening in the world or in my life when I finally get to wear the clothing I am seeing today. The loss of distinction makes me feel overwhelmed and want to close down rather than take in. I feel a moment of empathy for the designers who work hard to have their garments matter, perhaps for more than a moment. In fact I read a post recently about concerns for the mental health of designers given the frenetic pace and pressures they work under. I think that fashion week is no longer for the designers or the clothes but more for the spectacle and the myriad of parties and social events that it generates. The clothes are no longer the celebrities of fashion week. This is not an original thought many others have expressed it more elegantly than I am today. I am not writing this to critique fashion week, I am using writing about it to reflect.
As a critical thinker I have to ask myself are you feeling this way because you are still an outsider looking in? Is this because you wish to receive invitations to be inside and haven’t gotten there yet? Being truthful would I love the experience of being inside, of course I would and hope to be in the future. Would I be there because of the clothes? Truth again, no I would not. I would be there for the experience and to meet new people. So what is this post about then? I realize that somehow in the act of creating this blog I have fallen hopelessly in love with clothing and those who design them. Those who if you do enough research and dig down deep enough, have passionate and compelling stories to tell us about themselves and their garments. These stories are full of inspiration, reinvention, creativity, sacrifice, grit, melancholy, serendipity and resilience. This makes the clothes signify the gamut of human experience and emotion and makes “reading” a collection more like reading a novel.
So to honor the stories, although I may take quick looks at my favorites, skim one or more shows, flag a few new faces, I am going to wait until the week is done before I really look at the clothes and read the stories. I want to study the details, experience the colors and embellishments, sigh over interesting shapes and silhouettes and see if the designer has a new story or is telling an old story in a new way. I will have the pleasure of imagining myself in the clothes, having daydreams about where I might wear them, what I might be doing in them, how they might express who I will be then and how I will tell stories on my blog wearing them. So, I will wander “off the grid” as I take time this week to reflect on the idea of fashion week and what it does and could mean to me.