Fashion utilizes the power of myth to summon archetypal energies and present spellbound consumers with temptation. Can this power be harnessed for our own personal gain?
Fashion and Fashioning
Our fantasies and dreams directly influence reality. If we made a "closer reading" of reality, maybe we can understand how to make real change.
Gender roles and literally dressing as the correct sex.
Fashion is about sex appeal. In fact, you could say it literally refers to a desirable state of the sex organs.
Think of a suit: the long, rigid, straight lines. The starched button-up shirt; no one likes a floppy collar. The tie—an arrow pointing directly at his…
Now try and recall all of the flowing dresses and ruffled blouses in female fashion. If you’re seeing what I’m seeing, then it’s the engorged lips of a vagina.
“I would say any woman who isn’t well dressed should consider it her own fault, or, and the only other reason, because her husband won’t let her buy clothes.” (The Fashionable Savages by John Fairchild, page 65.)
You Are What You Wear
It depends who you ask...
Fashion is an archetypal costume. Actors reveal this dynamic particularly well—what stops any person from becoming any archetype or role in life? Commitment, study, practice; in short, rehearsal.
“Clothes are systemic and chaotic, transient, archetypal and highly individual. They serve multiple functions and perform as unruly signs.” [Response (to Cuttings & Pastings by Alistair O’Neill) by Barry Curtis, Fashion and Modernity, page 191]
The “signs” indicate aspects of characterization such as success, wealth, insecurity, or distinction. Whether people dress with the intention of characterization or not, they will be judged.
Fig Leaf: First Fashion
The cultivation of taste.
With a taste of an apple, the first man and the first woman created the first fashion. Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden dressed as equals, each in a fig leaf. Of course, the fig leaves served the explicit purpose of modesty and were not yet subject to creative experimentation.
“Fashion is temptation and thousands of busy minds and busy hands are at work.” (The Fashionable Savages by John Fairchild, page 3.)
At some point post-Eden, Adam and Eve were either too cold or sick of wearing foliage. They developed preferences and cultivated a personal taste for expression. The creative extension of the practical and sometimes necessary nature of clothes evolved fashion into lifestyle, confidence, and clout. It is everything that isn't essential, only as real as gods. Disasters happen, lightning strikes and they are said to be caused by invisibles.
In a post called "Fashion in Literature," from the blog Thread for Thought, Tove Hermanson states:
The forbidden fruit cultivated a “taste” or preference for stimuli already available. It allowed for the distinction between good and evil. Adam and Eve weren’t stripped of anything, they became aware of their nakedness. You could say the fruit and the cultivation of taste serves to “add depth to what is already taking place.”
Roles We Dream to Play
We manifest internal growth in changing our appearances.
“Dress for success,” “look the part,” or “keep up appearances.” When we feel confident and attractive, we are more motivated to succeed. What is the secret behind snazzy threads, capable of influencing our behavior? Clothes have power and the styles we choose are part of the spells we cast.
From an evolutionary standpoint, it seems that temptation might be necessary for the intellectual development of humanity. What tempts us inspires action, invention, exploration, or wisdom.
Fashion instigates closer examination of who we are. When we find a style or article of clothing attractive, our opinion could serve as a launch pad for investigation.
By developing the knowledge of our personal taste, we may find insight into who we are becoming. Just like the apple, in order to evolve we must first be tempted. We must first idealize who we want to become to begin exploration and the pursuit of acquisition.
|Fashion and Modernity|
This book tests the very definition of modernity and enhances our understanding of the role of fashion in the modern world. From top hats to locomotives, dresses to retail ...
|The Fashionable Savages|
|Fashion in Fiction: Text and Clothing in Literature, Film and Television|
This book examines the ways in which dress 'performs' in a wide range of contemporary and historical literary texts. Essays by North American, European and Australian scholars ...