Fashion Studies Aphorisms

After reading Christopher Breward’s forward to Fashion Studies I found his aphorisms to be quite true, as aphorisms should be. I felt Breward’s second aphorism of the piece to be one of the most insightful ones as it describes the fact that, “Fashion is about confirmation, of self and others. But it is also about anxiety, ambiguity and worry. As an aid to understanding psychological complexities it is unsurpassed”. This describes the fact that every fashion participant dresses themselves on a scale of expression, often unconsciously. Those who dress to fit in and those who dress to stand out all do so driven by an anxiety to represent conformity or to break it. Though they hope to express their aesthetic desires they also dress to rebel or adhere to something that causes them anxiety, therefore doing so with some fear. I also feel strongly that the fourth aphorism is extremely relevant. This aphorism reads, “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 relived, and futures foretold”. This describes the experience we all have of using our fashion to speak for ourselves. It is one of the only outward reflections of yourself that you can fully manipulate and control the appearance of. Through fashion you can depict your personality to a group of people who may never truly know you, yet may be able to understand you from a distance. Through fashion we can pass down relics and memories through families or even give a very personal gift to a loved one in the form of a hand me down. Ultimately fashion allows us to curate a distinct personal appearance through which we can communicate our outlook on the world around us and our role within it.

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