In Christopher Breward’s foreword to Fashion Studies, he uses many aphorisms to describe fashion. I explained two and reflected on what I thought about them.
“Fashion 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 histories, fashion scholars need to look and question.”
Fashion isn’t like traditional studies that have original, genuine documents. It changes with trends and cultures. It needs to be analyzed and studied because if it is ignored we will never realize the full potential that it can bring us. I think the study of fashion as a disciple in very interesting however I’m not sure how it compares to other studies like philosophy, history, etc. It definitely is a reflection of the culture of a certain place and time and is therefore intertwined with cultural studies. As mentioned in Fashion and Cultural Studies by Susan Kaiser, “Fashion is both a social process and a material practice.” It involves a physical and emotional aspect that differentiates it from other disciplines.
“Fashion can be 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.”
Fashion is about self expression and how we want others to view us. It’s about how we want to portray our identity and in doing so we expose ourselves and become vulnerable. It is a means of understanding others and ourselves which can result in judgment. I totally agree with this. In choosing what we wear or other ways in which we want to express ourselves we are exposing ourselves to the judgments of others. Judgment can be really hard to deal with since their’s no right or wrong when it comes to fashion and self expression, yet some people feel the need to assess whether you do it correctly. Their is a lot of ridicule and harsh treatment towards people that don’t follow tends and want to stand out.