“I love it when young men eroticize themselves, and like Narcissus, are entrapped by their own reflection. Like: “Oh my God. I look so sexy right now.””
Have you ever stopped to consider the ethics of fashion? When I say fashion, I don’t mean style but rather fashion with a capital F. The fact that designers will create a completely different concept and collection every season. The fact of creating well-made, high-quality clothing, which will eventually be disposed of in a few years (if not a few months). It’s not as prevalent in menswear since menswear is more traditional and maintains stricter norms than womenswear, but the reality of trends still remains for both.
Designers might refuse to acknowledge that they create collections based on trends, but they’ll probably admit that they try to follow a certain zeitgeist or mood. Innovative designers may attempt to stay ahead of the curve and as a result create their own trends that others will follow. (Thom Browne?) Patagonia comes to mind as a clothing company who very vocally eschews trends and mindless consumerism. (See their “Don’t Buy This Jacket” ad campaign.)
But the fact remains: as a business, fashion companies need to generate and grow revenues. Maintaining a stagnant collection and encouraging consumers to buy less is counter-productive to the whole existence of a fashion business. (Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard wrote a whole book about how his company did it, but I’m still not convinced.)
As a younger, less well-off individual, I may scoff at $$$-priced couture garments or jeweled Margiela masks, but the question is still pertinent for lower-priced garments. (I’ve definitely bought stuff that I threw out later cause I was buying into some stupid trend.) Do I really need floral snapbacks or tapered sweatpants in my life? Can I use that money more effectively, like buying mosquito nets to prevent malaria in Africa or investing it in a mutual fund for greater return down the road?
Final thought: Are there any ethical issues posed by fashion — a business whose revenues are driven by consumerism?
Knock and the door shall be open unto you.
…and if it doesn’t, kick down the fucking door.”
In this Sargasso Sea of fantasy and fraud, how can I or anyone else hope to swim unencumbered? How can I learn to see with, and not just through, the eye? How can I take off my own motley, wash away the makeup, raise the iron shutter, put out the studio lights, silence the sound effects, and put the cameras to sleep? Can I ever watch the sun rise on Sunset Boulevard, and the sun set over Forest Lawn?
Will I ever find real furniture among the studio props, silence in a discotheque, love in a strip tease? Read truth off an auto cue, catch it on a screen, chase it on the wings of muzak? View it in living color with the news, hear it in living sound along the motorways? No, not in the wind that rent the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks; not in the earthquake that followed, nor in the fire that followed the earthquake. I think I could probably hear it in that still, small voice. Not in the screeching of tires, either, or in the grinding of brakes; nor in the roar of jets or the whistle of sirens, or the howl of trombones, or the rattle of drums, or the chanting of demo voices. Again and again and again. I long for that still, small voice – if one could only catch it.
The voice of truth.