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Intro to Fashion

After reading Christopher Breward’s aphorisms from his foreword to Fashion Studies, I found two aphorisms particularly interesting.

In regard to the quote, “fashion is not necessarily spectacular (though it often conforms to the theory of the society of the spectacle), it can be demonic, ordinary, mundane, routine and humble. It is the stuff of the ethnographer and the anthropologist”, it can be taken quite literally (fashion is not as glamorous as it seems) or quite metaphorically (fashion is hell).

While reading this aphorism, I thought it could be directly applied to the design process in fashion. I agree with the aphorism. The fashion industry is large in whole, but I re-read this after a six hour pattern-making class and I thought of the tedious time put into making one garment. When most people who are not in design hear I study fashion, they think it sounds fun, adventurous, spectacular, easy, and innovating. When in reality, fashion can be just like the aphorism states: long, tedious, ordinary, and can feel more like a routine rather than innovating and creating. During my busiest time of balancing a job, interning, classes, and homework last semester, I thought homework was a chore. I was going through the motions with no passion to improve. I understood why we had the work but I was not passionate about creating something innovative. Doing homework seemed like another thing to cross off as part of my daily routine. Contrary to what I thought last semester, I realize that all of the ordinary, not spectacular, blood, sweat, and tears that go into designing one garment pay off as it helps increase experience and knowledge. When I see a finished look being photographed, with the help of a team, in a photoshoot, it takes my breath away and I become overjoyed with how my vision is coming to life. That is spectacular.


Another aphorism from the foreword, “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”, caught my attention.

I agree with this aphorism. Poets can utilize poetry as an outlet for expressing their esoteric experiences, just as artists can utilize fashion, and even more specifically, how designers can utilize fashion design. I agree because there may be an intensely personal relation, background story, process or reason to creating, and the art of both (poetry and fashion) is that the personal aspect can be either hidden or shown. I tend to express my feelings, intentions, and personal story through my designs, the way I sketch, drape, pattern, draft, sew, and photograph. Every decision when creating is mine and it builds character when I learn from my past. In all creative fields, the opportunities to express personal relations is endless through the use of these mediums.

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