Fashion Studies – Christopher Breward

Aphorism 1Fashion has a tendency to construct its own canons. Like every cultural form these should be documented and then subjected to debate and challenge. Art historians are expert creators and destroyers of these canons, as surely as modernism follows romanticism. Like art historians, fashion scholars need to look and question.

Aphorism 2 – Fashion does not define. It is instead a term that demands definition.

I interpreted the line “Fashion has a tendency to construct its own canons” as the writer claiming that fashion is heavily opinionated and ideas presented in this form of design/art are more so loaded and forced upon the audiences.  I find that interesting as the writer described this form of art to have a tendency for doing so, it is an implication that the nature of this art form is very personal, more so to the designer, and ideologies were then forced upon users that resonates.  It is really true in my opinion, because fashion or clothing in general, in it’s own nature, is a label for identity, it brings out the idea of self.  It is very applicable in an era where we celebrates self expression, and with the increasing spectrum of what fashion encompasses (antifashion, glamour, streetwear, music, art etc.) it forms many different “canons” of some sort, as users who resonates with a particular style/designer would be more emotionally connected, and therefore would take these ideas more personally as it represents the users themselves, in that case there will always be constant power struggle between different ideologies.  That also brings me on to the next topic which I find interesting.   When the other aphorism says that fashion does not define and demands a definition, it is perhaps the most basic understanding of any type of art form, the same cliche idea that art cannot be defined.  It might seem easy to understand but it’s important is often neglected.  I feel like that aphorism presented an idea of fashion that is more relevant than ever.  Fashion to some could mean so many different things in different times, because it has to be understood within context.  As for now, I feel like fashion is all about the idea of “possibility”, an age where fashion is constantly redefined and reconstructed, just as I mentioned that the spectrum of what fashion encompasses keep expanding.

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