Friday, 26 April 2013

Full of Faults

Over the past six months or so I have been tackling a feeling of disenchantment of the fashion industry. I will still stand by it if anyone questions fashion as an art form, but it is so completely full of faults that it would not be difficult to lose an argument for fashion. 

I used to really, really love Vogue magazine and I have a huge collection but everything seems very one angled in Vogue. The most cliched thing to point out is that all the models are skinny, but it is true that regardless of the Vogue guidelines set out last year I do not think we will see big models used any time soon. I used to defend this by saying that the clothes hang better on super skinny models but that is bullshit. You might as well take photographs of the clothes just on a hanger because these tiny models display no realistic interpretation of how the clothes will look on a typical body. I am not saying that every fashion shoot should use plus size models but I do not think that the fashion industry should be so elitist about body shape and size. If you buy a magazine like i-D or Pop you will still see  skinny models dominating most of the shoots, but their more artistic editorials feature a range of body types. Although the shoots that are solely focused on fashion still use skinny models, there are arty photography sets exploring different body sizes. This is a step in the right direction. It shows that, from an artistic perspective, some of the most beautiful photographs use larger models. There should be a place where all body sizes can coexist. I am not saying that skinny girls should not be allowed to be models but, it's sad that super skinny has become so aspirational.

I also think that it is crazy that the leather trade is still so widely accepted, when most people agree about how unethical real fur is. Of course, most fur used for coats comes from endangered animals hence it is frowned upon but it shocks and sickens me that just because we seem to have cows in abundance the leather trade is still so prosperous. Wearing leather is a perfectly normal everyday thing. Wearing wool is also a perfectly normal everyday thing, but most of the world's wool comes from Australia where they still practice the extremely inhumane process of mulesing which involves chopping off the skin of lambs and sheep to prevent flystrike when many more humane options are available. You can find out more and send an email to the Australian government urging them to end this cruel and unnecessary act here.

Sometimes fashion is just boring. This is the same with every art form. There are some people doing truly great things but others' work seems to be begging for a crescendo of yawns. It just leaves you thinking, 'but what's the point?' 

Then I pick up an issue of i-D or watch a Chanel show and I fall head over heels in love with fashion all over again so it is not all doom and gloom, but I wanted to put some of my feelings about the whole thing in order through writing. The fashion industry might be full of faults but most things are full of faults. I cannot penalise fashion too harshly because it always seems to be caught in the crossfire.

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