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Intro To Fashion – Week 1

Choose 2 of Christopher Breward’s aphorisms in his Foreword (handout given in class and available on Canvas under lecture 1 on our recitation page).

As in class. use your own words and explain to me what the saying means and why you agree or disagree with it.

An aphorism is a ‘principle’ that can be paradoxical, and one can understand the same aphorism in different ways.

1. Fashion is made manifest in material forms. It demands study in the same way that ancient artifacts are made meaningful by archaeologists through careful excavation.

I believe this aphorism is comparing fashion to ancient artifacts, which should be treated no differently, and should actually be examined and learned from, as an archaeologist would do with ancient artifacts. I find this to be very true, however I think that legendary designers, such as Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Cristobal Balenciaga, Mariano Fortuny, Jeanne Lanvin, and many more play a slightly bigger role in this because of their position in the world of fashion. They all created timeless pieces, or designs that made a permanent mark in the world of fashion, in which people today continue to study and look back on to learn from, get inspired from, and so much more. The aesthetics that were used to create these designs could be studied, the placement of seams, the fabric manipulation, the draping, and much more are what makes these pieces like ancient artifacts. It is something that although can be repeated, will not have the same value as the original. These pieces are exhibited in museums sometimes, just as they should be, and should be appreciated and cared for just as ancient artifacts are. Although things can be restored, they cannot be recreated with the same hands as the original.

2. Fashion is intensely personal, in the same way that poetry is intensely personal. It is a medium through which personal stories can be told, memories re-lived and futures foretold.

I believe that they are saying that fashion is a way of expression. People use poetry to express feelings, thoughts, and actions This aphorism is comparing the two, saying they are similar, and that fashion can be used as a way of poetry. Collections can be made from personal stories, memories, and almost a forecast of the future. I agree with this in a way because fashion really can be used to express ones life story, memory, or emotion. However, I disagree too because when you see fashion from some very fast fashion brands, things are so redundant, copied, and nothing special, which one can then question how is this a way of expression. However, there are designers that create collection which very successfully do create a story, from memories and personal stories, like collections from Chanel, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Valentino, and other high end fashion labels.

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