What’s Your Style?
WHY do women always wear what is in the shops? Oscar de la Renta once said, “Fashion is all about dressing according to what fashionable. Style is more about being yourself“. If you bought a leather jacket today, is it because a shop sold it to you or because you really wanted a leather jacket?
I can’t count how many times I have succumbed to the fashion industry telling me what to wear. Now though as a student, I buy only what I need as I cannot afford anything else and this has taught me a lot. If I walk into any high street store, it is to buy staples: leggings, string tops and winter woollies. If there is a beautiful dress modeled on a mannequin I might stand a few moments to admire the outfit and wistfully imagine having cash to buy it. But then I go home and forget about it.
The fashion industry’s cultural influence on consumers has reached paramount and I don’t think the public fully realizes the implications of this. I’m going to demonstrate this with an example from The Devil Wears Prada. Miranda Priestly attacks her secretary Andy for her poor choice of clothing to work. On this occasion I had to agree with the fashion industry.
“‘This… stuff’? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select… I don’t know… that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent… wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets?
“I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.”
Even when we think we are making individualized decisions regarding our choice of clothes, it will always be part of this humongous industry that dictates the fashion each season across the world. Countless blogs, television shows and advertisements showcase the new look, ‘what’s in’ and the audience follows suit. We’ve all seen the ludicrous outfits put together on catwalks that look at times like a small building and at one point, we’ve all missed the point and hesitated over whether this new piece would be a fashion fad.
As a college student with low funds, I can attest that River Island can produce anything Rihanna has to offer but Rihanna is not going to make me buy that top because RiRi is stitched upon it. Neither will Cara Delevingne influence me to pay twice the amount of money for a pair of jeans as opposed to stores such as H&M or Penneys. I can live without those patterned tights and high tops in favor of basic pumps and plain black 60-denier tights, thanks.
I propose we ladies wear what we please. No more capes, feather skirts or crop tops unless desired. I will decide what I like and wear each day – not the industry.
Photos c/o tumblr.com, twitter.com