August 13, 2009

Fashion and Antifashion

Anti-fashion attempts a timeless style, tries to get the essential element of change out of fashion altogether. - Daniel Miller, Consumption: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences
The longer I work in "fashion," the more I am obsessed with the idea of "anti-fashion."

Basically, whereas the former is about trends and change, the latter is about a way of dress that is seasonless and conceptually driven. I'm not talking about a punk aesthetic or the denunciation of clothing and consumption; rather, it's (for me) the appreciation of core products for my lifestyle that are well-designed, well-made, and will last for many years within my wardrobe. I like the idea of replacing pieces because they're worn out, not just because I've experienced visual fatigue of a particular trend (boyfriend jeans, for example).

For that reason, one of my favorite brands -at least theoretically speaking- is Mary Ping's Slow and Steady Wins the Race. Based in New York, the label aims to "push and produce interesting and significant pieces from the simplest fabrics and materials" and "yield a limited number of fresh pieces in a regulated pace throughout the calendar year. This accelerated pace is a commentary on modern fashion’s temporal nature." Each series focuses on refining (not revolutionizing) beloved silhouettes in fashion, resulting in simple, crisp designs that are visually appealing and yet familiar. The idea of seasonal trends is rendered obsolete - in fact, I've been wearing the wedge shoes pictured for two years and it's never gone in or out of style (although they continue to garner compliments frequently). Styles from each series are simply sold until stock runs out!

This is perhaps the other side of the "fast fashion" coin.



Charlene said...

i completely agree with you on feelin fatique towards fashion. i am a fashion comm. student and m currently doing my degree project. my topic is somewhat talkin about that- how i feel that all the extensions of fashion, ie campaigns/media/runways..are taking away/diluting the true impetus of fashion, which lies in the creative expression in making, having concepts and aiming to poduce smtg substantial. i mean, i cant fight the nature of fashion and i still enjoy it, just that perhaps it wd be better if it was driven more by artistic impulses

fashion in theory said...

i guess it's hard, Charlene, because there is the fashion as art movement...then there is the fashion business ie if you are a designer at the Gap...maybe the two can be separate and it's OK?

writerspet said...

Love this idea, but feel like I'm not personally fashionable enough to avoid the influence of trends. I think it's one of those "master the rules before you can break them" things.