By Roberto Del Rio on July 29, 2010
Feature photo by x-ray_delta_one
Clothes don’t show up on hangers at stores looking like they do on the runways. Runways showcase the high concept versions of ready-to-wear lines that will follow. Much like at conventions (and at the most relevant Comic-Con), a variety of different products showcase the newest innovation in that particular field. Fashion shows, in essence, are conventions for clothing. The more conceptual designers tend to be, the more they tend to be classified as artists. Their shows should be more likened to an art exhibition.
I understand where people can get a bit confused but the senseless anger and irritation it causes and echos throughout the blogsphere is astonishing. The fact that these designers are expressing themselves and reflecting different patterns and fashions on a broader scale really seems to frighten people. There are fashion week-timed slide shows devoted to mocking fantastic original runway pieces. They lash out and declare that it is just elitism or that people who enjoy this kind of thing must be frivolous and intellectually empty. In fact, people who pay attention to these frocks and rags seem to be more attune with their own opinions and intellectually stimulate themselves often. Most of the haters stimulate themselves often as well, just not so mentally.
It’s sad that people feel, I suppose, intimidated by the otherwise genius of this particular custom. It seems to me that people just don’t understand. And, as you’ve always heard, what people don’t understand, they fear. But the need to lash out is all but tenacious. However, I don’t think it is a fear. It is intimidation. The fact that they can’t understand what all these other people find so interesting angers them because it signals a factor of stupidity within themselves. These people are not stupid, just angry.
Also, there is a notion that they, those wily faceless designers, must be trying to sneak in subliminal messages that The Normals just don’t understand. And that is evil. However, the brain, regardless of what vessel it is carried in, is a very powerful thing. Subliminal messages don’t work because the brain exists as a tool used by advertisers. Although advertising has shown to have an affect on what you buy, it stops at that.
This leads me into the second reason I assume people have a problem with this avante garde flamboyance. Now, I am not saying all of these people live in red states, don’t believe in condoms, and are all heterosexual. Many a gay person scratches his or her head wondering: What the fuck? However, for the section of these people who disagree with high fashion, there is an argument that comes up again and again. That all these fashion designers are gay and spreading a gay agenda. In the effort to erase everything queer from society, high fashion is deemed flippant and, in essence, faggy. No one would bat an eye at hidden subtexts in the world of sports involving homoerotic touching and the overall structure of these games, yet clothes… they are an affront to family values. How dare these men-who-sleep-with-men taint the morals of society by creating clothes that do not solely exist to shield us from elements? It is an epidemic that rises and falls throughout the years and the message is always the same. The idea that homosexuals control fashion because a significant number of designers are homosexual is a fallacy. Designers do not control the industry. Fashion journalism is at the helm of the ship of the industry. You might think your dollars control it and they do, but by a tiny margin. Fashion editors around the world have the last say and a designer’s collection can be scrapped at the last minute if the likes of Anna Wintour’s (a heterosexual female) face shows the slightest amount of disappointment. It is true, men have ruled the fashion industry for years but the fact remains it is the editor, not the designer, that controls the flow and the movement. For most of that time, those editors were straight men. Their collective family agenda was thrust upon the women of the proto-Vogue era and attempts to market the home and the need for a husband were successful and vital. As attitudes changed, so did those employed at the levels of power in those magazines and as more people of the opposite sex and sexual orientation began to take positions of power, the more adventurous looks and ideas became.
In all reality, people who complain about not understanding or not caring about high concept fashion are simply too analytical or care too deeply about it. They misunderstand so much of what is trying to be said that it is completely missed by their own personal neurosis that struggles to keep up with how they feel as a member of the people relevant to the present time. Fashion does more to alienate people because they don’t know how to explore the realms of their own relevance. It is a question of mortality and worth that people tend to try and focus on. Fashion does not stop at clothes and, just as sports are a diversion and players are paid millions of dollars to run around with a ball for a period of time, so are these designers. They’re paid millions of dollars to parade men and women in a similar fashion, no pun intended.
People need to relax when it comes to the nonconstructive critiquing of fashion. If you don’t get it, that does not merit you to be angry at those who do. They are not the ones trying to make you look stupid. You’re doing that on your own quite nicely… and might I add, loudly.
Until next time Neanderthals, don’t be a stranger, but do be stranger.