I've been really busy-slash-lazy-slash-unmotivated-slash-too post America trip depressed (since June…yikes) and so I've really just been dawdling online thinking about what I could address or blog about. A few days ago I was asked about the relevance and contribution of the industry to society and I was in a humour-ish mood to reply (hence the gif). Just today I sat down to re-watch Devil Wears Prada for the nth time and found myself really musing the well-spoken and loved speech that Miranda Priestly gives. (I know I've referenced her in one of my past posts before… hmm.)
I thought about the question I was asked a bit and I thought, I'm not just defending the industry because I'm someone interested and working in it, but because there are legitimate reasons for the industry's relevance to today's society. I wouldn't say I hate, maybe just really dislike people who think that they don't have anything to do with fashion, and that the industry is just a load of shit. The relevancy of the industry to society it doesn't always have to be about the clothes, in my opinion at least.
1/ Empowerment to the women
It's well known that within the industry, as 70% of the world is (lol), men take control of the designing, the production, the creative spark and pretty much how products are put out for women to buy. In a time such as this, there needs to be a sort of empowerment for women- what better way than the fashion industry? Important women within this industry include Vivienne Westwood, Miuccia Prada and Rei Kawakubo who very much so contributed to society and impacted positively. What did they do? Challenged the feminine idea within and outside the industry through the creation of fashion. Garments and ideas that merged menswear and womenswear to give the modern-day woman confidence and power. It's so strange to this that within the industry aimed at women is run by men when the role that women play is so important- past, present an future.
Within the industry, there would be no (fashion)photographers, no seamstresses, no stylists, no writers or copywriters or editors… basically there would be no jobs in the industry without the industry. These are just some of the few people in the big industry that provide us, as consumers, audiences and enthusiasts with beautifully made magazines with editorials and give us insights into the closed off aspects of the industry. These people work so hard to get to where they are so I personally couldn't imagine esteemed photographers doing anything else. (Maybe except Miuccia, she's got a degree in everything lasiodfjskldjsf). People who are interested and passionate about the industry would be forced into taking jobs that they aren't interested in and it'd be a hell of a demand for jobs and income. Some 'I-don't-want-to-associate-with-fashion' people believe that people in the fashion industry should get a real job, like a doctor or a lawyer, or a teacher, or something with a secure income and occupational ground to be safe in. No offence but if there was no seamstress making that doctor's coat, I wouldn't want to go see them if I was sick.
3/ Fashion contributes to and is influenced by a bigger social culture
If someone is insulting or disregarding the fashion industry as useless, might as well they consider the Mona Lisa or Beethoven useless shit too. (With all due respect.) In a way, fashion is a creation of art and is influenced by art; designers create with a concept or aesthetic that could be more for an artistic pleasure instead of consumerism. Fashion is a way to explore, express and communicate (try too at least) a concept visually through the use of clothing. It is practically art- and from painting to sculptures to literature to music, the industry makes the world a bit more beautiful, enriching and I suppose, provoking. Honest to God without art in general, we'd all be really boring. I have to admit yes, the industry doesn't necessarily feed the hungry, cure any sicknesses or stop crimes (rather it causes more, Bling Ring tbh.) but it is a way of nonverbal communication that people use to express interest or aesthetic.
That's pretty much it. It brings people of all cultures, ideas, genders and beliefs together to express and communicate a common purpose of enjoying the very art that is fashion. Whether someone wants to spend a large sum of money on the latest tweed jacket from Chanel or they'd just rather look at it, the industry allows people to come together to universally and essentially keep the industry alive.
As a society, people are taught not to judge a book by its cover and yet here some people are, with some kind of double standard where they judge the industry as superficial and useless without really considering what kind of good it's done for society. All I can say is that you shouldn't judge the industry because you think Prada is associated with the devil, there is more than meets the eye.
I feel like I could go on and on about why the industry is so important and I feel like every time I argue with someone about why I want to go into this profession, I get so tired of trying to explain myself because all I get in reply is that I'm a materialistic and selfish person because (real conversation btw) "in the end we all die anyway, what is the point of buying such an expensive jacket?"
Well I'd like to die looking expensive. :---)