“Cerulean” the blue descriptor will go down in pop culture history as the epic read Miranda Priestly gave to a naive, dowdy Andy Sachs.. What made the scene so very good, aside from everything, was for the first time there was a solid rebuttal to the most cynical of arguments on the vapidness of fashion. Within the texts of a simple comedy, Miranda in terms that anyone can understand, drew a distinct line connecting fashion to all of us and the basic processes we share. While the word fashion brings up feelings of defiance against the superficial. There are basic processes that are hard to ignore. Consumerism is just a process of the cycle of finance. Art, and the appreciation of it, is a process of human reception. Self-perception is an unavoidable process of the human ego. Consumerism, Art and Ego anchor “Fashion” as we know it and as we live it.
As the stylist led fashion industry is in its formative stages, it is easier to differentiate fashion from its offspring terminology. Styles, Trends, Clothes, Dress, Etc. Observing a Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane show I become so acutely aware of the power of identifying with an aesthetic or more simply – reaffirmation. Are you investing in clothing you love or investing in entry to a community of “Saint Laurent girls”? Are you simply paying your membership dues? At an odd frequency, I find myself revisiting a line from the adorably simple romantic comedy, Definitely Maybe. There is a corner store conversation between two main characters about whose cigarette choices were more logical, In this scene the protagonist, Ryan Reynolds responds to Isla Fishers “healthier” cigarette brand choice saying “I think what you’re actually paying for is the picture of the eagle and the pretty pastel colors. some reassuring idea about your lifestyle”. It’s true of a great many of our daily decisions. What does this choice say about who I’ve decided I am?
Recently, I was in Barnes and Noble mindlessly perusing as I always do. I saw a book called “How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World”. Immediately after I got past my personal feelings of being a writer and living in a world where a writer can write a book like this and get published – I got to thinking about the power of alliance. There is an old, horrible expression that says “I don’t stereotype because I’m prejudiced, it’s just quicker”. With “fashion” it is most certainly easier to identify with a mapped out school than to just wing it. Are you a Marilyn or a Jackie? As trite and commercial as it sounds its a way of thinking that is easily spread amongst the general buying population. So, as Miranda so eloquently pointed out, even your defiance is a peg in the wheel of fashion. Defiance, as well as obedience is worked into the system.
At the root of it all, fashion is art + identity. Its no wonder styling has become the hero of the business. At the end of the day, black slacks on Leandra Medine and black slacks on Kendall Jenner are two completely different experiences.
Cerulean. Its bright. Supremely blue. It has undertones of lavender and a blast of white light. Pantone about Cerulean “Surrounding yourself with Cerulean blue could bring on a certain peace because it reminds you of time spent outdoors, on a beach, near the water – associations with restful, peaceful, relaxing times. In addition, it makes the unknown a little less frightening because the sky, which is a presence in our lives every day, is a constant and is always there. That’s the dependability factor of blue.” What a mind f*ck is that? What a targeted and calculating use of psychology? Who are you really if you are immune to the overwhelming, factual, life-giving powers of Blue? After all, it relieves the fear of the unknown. There are systems in place to take fashion genius and force into all of your lives. Suckers. The industry depends on our allegiances. This is what the witch doctors of Pantone and others concoct seasonally. It’s no scam, its the natural progression of cultural standards. Just like visual art, film and music fashion is a pillar of cultural standards, thereby deserving of a diversified audience, public immersion and documentation of rules to be followed and broken. All the stepchild terminology of fashion has its place but fashion at its core is the connector, no? There is industry some may curse, there is style that is individual, there is retail that may trap some of us and there is design some may dismiss but ultimately Fashion is the part of recess we all play in. Willingly or otherwise.