IS FASHION FRIVOLOUS?

Kristen Dunst - David La Chappelle

I recently, finally got around to watching The September Issue – I know shame on me bla bla, it was released years ago etc, etc… Don’t worry there really isn’t any self-shaming left for you to think up that I haven’t already done myself.

Moving away from that… midway through the documentary there’s a short interview with Anna Wintour’s (editor-in-chief of American Vogueartistic director for Condé NastVogue‘s publisher) daughter Bee Shaffer. She says something that I couldn’t help but continue to ponder on – she implies that Fashion is not a ‘serious’ subject and that she herself doesn’t want to work in Fashion.

Whilst talking about Vogue, she goes as far to say… “People in there act like fashion is life. It’s really amusing, but if that’s your career – there are other things out there, seriously.”

Well and truly this is the attitude of a lot of people, some of which happen to be friends of mine. They don’t really get my excitement over tartan or my agonizing over finding the perfect outfit. And it’s fine really, I don’t need them to understand or relate to it. However, what does annoy me is the way fashion is often disrespected whilst other artistic fields are given their due.

I wonder if it’s because fashion started out as something that appealed to mainly women and let’s face it throughout history, women and their ideas and thoughts weren’t exactly celebrated. Nevertheless, in today’s world I expect more respect, when we’ve paid witness to the genius that was Alexander McQueen and when photographers like Annie Leibovitz and David La Chapelle are constantly capable of transporting us to another dimension in editorial after editorial, how can we not call it art?

Whilst I agree with the statement about there being other things out there, isn’t that true of nearly any career path chosen? Short of becoming the President of the United States, I fail to think up other careers that encompass the entire range of world issues.

So why pick on fashion? Yes fashion is fun, it is creative and a form of escapism, it is most definitely expressive and artistic, but fashion has never been and never will be frivolous.