Thursday, June 5, 2008

Relevant (?) Ramblings

Fashion is pretty ridiculous, isn't it? I mean, who decided that it would be a good idea to attach sticks to women's shoes and call them high heels? And who thought that tying strips of fabric around men's necks for formal occasions could be anything other than absurd?

As much as I love fashion, I recognize that it's not to be taken too seriously. I think that the reason people have an impression that fashion is so shallow is because they don't understand that humor is involved, that there is more art in it than practicality.

Fashion is closely entwined with body image, which is pretty ridiculous as well. We live in a society where people consider foot-binding horrific, but are perfectly conditioned to nose jobs and six-inch stilettos. It occurs to me that a woman who has had a nose job and wears cripplingly high heels is not so different from a woman with bound feet; both involve breaking bones, pain, and the inability to walk very well for the sake of beauty. The only difference is that the heel-wearing woman has access to anesthesia and pain-killers.

Go figure.

Just some musings, feel free to discuss. . .


WendyB said...

You're talking about very recent history. Men used to wear heels too. Nobles had the right, in France, to have red heels. Louis XIV was known for his heels. In the 1500s in Venice, women started wearing the chopine originally to keep their shoes out of the muck.
Here's a chopine link:
Here's a history of high heels link:

Emily said...

While, as the above commenter said, lots of fashion probably has roots in sensibility, we've managed to go completely nuts with it these days! I'm wearing a pair of wedgy heel things that KILL my feet - practicality? What practicality? They look great!

Over on hel-looks sometime recently, a girl said "I buy every pair of shoes that make me laugh," and I think that's probably the proper attitude to have to fashion.

Daphney said...

I totally agree with you especially about the fact that it shouldn't be taken seriously. To me fashion is about having fun and experimenting.

The Clothes Horse said...

I see what you mean. But establishing these rules and developing our clothes is a sign of our culture and removes us from other animals--an outward reflection of our inward mental complexity. I think fashion can be as serious and meaningful as we make it. It's not just shopping and it's not just clothes, the outward image is deeply tied to our mental image of ourself and a reflection of our culture and time. Ties are formal for certain cultures, but not others. In some foot-binding is still attractive (and we also have surgeries to make your feet smaller, which is a similar practice), while these might be labeled as "ridiculous" they are a reflection again of culture and time--meaning and history...

MR style said...

but who said fashion was serious !!!!? hahhaha hilarious ! it's so superficial baby

Jenni said...

I always found it interesting that our society largely frowns upon body modifications like tattoos, facial piercings, and stretching, but encourages modifying one's natural dental structure with the use of metal brackets that put pressure on the teeth to move them over time for the sake of vanity. Braces are actually one of the most hardcore of the body mods if you think about it!

vanessa said...

I think real style is bout working with what you've got and highlighting best assets... cheesy but true. And I have to say, the choice to wear high heels is reversible and a choice made by grown ups! No debate that people do change everything though, even with something as harmless as makeup you can totally change your look.

Paris said...

fashion also deals political issues and the world around us. For example, at the moment with the recession, designers used lots of black solid shapes for fall 08. And remember the military jackets were in fashion at the time when the troops were in Iraq. It associates with serious issues, which is one of the reasons I love fashion. What is going on in the world is one way of forecasting future fashion xx

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