LP Post 1: Aphorisms

Choose any 2 of Christopher Breward’s aphorisms from his foreward. Explain what each of the two aphorisms means in your own words and explain why you agree or disagree with them.


Fashion moves in space and time. It shares in the complexity of physics and mathematics, making patterns and networks, forming mazes and constellations. Through its forms we have an opportunity to re-write art and science and to heal the rift of the two cultures.


Even though fashion is very visually based, to understand fashion requires more disciplinary knowledge than just art. How patterns are made require mathematical equations and formulas; knowing how the machinery functions and run require mechanical engineering and technical skills; knowing the process of creating textiles and constantly innovating requires science, creative problem solving, and a production force that can test and execute the sample. In the history of fashion, there has always been an inclusion of other areas of study and development to bring new ideas to life, such as zippers, bras, sewing machines, new man made textile innovation. And today, designers are taking science and fashion to a new level, from 3D printing, laser cutting, microbial fabrics, LEDs, etc. The softwares designers use, such as 3D modeling or specialty machine programs, differ greatly from the traditional pen and paper. Just as fashion is moving forward, it is because designers are pushing it forward, with people such as Iris Van Herpen, Neri Oxman, and Ying Gao.


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


Fashion cannot describe one thing, as it is ever changing. Even as we saw when defining it during the lecture, it is very hard to fully encompass what fashion is in a few sentences. There are so many nuances and holes that make up what fashion is, that you can simply chalk something else to be just fashion. Of course what example given can be a part of fashion, but to be defined as fashion, then it needs to be just as complex and multifaceted to truly be “fashion”. Can one object or a certain time/place/person be an expression of individuality, a form of communication, a business, a weapon and shield, a reflection of culture and politics and social constructs, a physical manipulation, an art form, and everything in between? Can it both critique and be critiqued, be timeless and a passing trend, a personal memory and allow access by all? If something can encompass all of these meanings and juxtapositions, then fashion can define it, but for something so broad and controversial and complicated, it demands others to analyze and critically comment and define it.

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