It’s fashion week again, and while I am quite thankful that I don’t have to deal with New York City’s freezing temperatures, a definite hint of jealousy grows each day as my Instagram feed is flooded with snaps of the catwalks, leggy models, haute couture gowns and stunning street style.
It truly is amazing that so many people in the fashion world—bloggers, designers, models and celebrities—manage to look so effortlessly chic while dealing with massive amounts of snow and city slush.
So many of these fashion gods (and Kim Kardashian) stepped out wearing sheer bodysuits, snug crop tops and strategically ripped jeans. Say what you will about these trends, but it takes courage to put your best stiletto forward as frostbite looms on the walk from show to show.
Despite the moveable feast of glitz and grandeur that accompanies the week, I can’t help but look at how divided and—dare I say it—out of touch the fashion world is.
The industry hinges on the new, the now and the fresh. Products are constantly being marketed as the item that will change your life, make dozens of men fall in love with you, get your mother to stop harassing you and help you get promoted to that dream job.
If these things do happen, though, it won’t be because you spent an entire month’s rent on a pair of Louboutins. You can thank a special blend of natural talent, dedication, hard work and a bit of luck for such successes.
The fashion world’s absurd claims about the newest trend really irk me. Obviously gimmicks sell—I get that, but let’s leave the absurdity to the designs.
As I was scrolling through my newsfeed the other day, I saw a post about the Alexander Wang 2015 fall collection from Refinery29, the behemoth of lifestyle blogs. The entry was entitled, “Alexander Wang just blew our minds: Alexander Wang Just Debuted Something That’ll Be Everywhere Come Fall.”
I excitedly clicked on the link, hoping that the designer had created something marvelous and fresh. The article opened with the praise the highly-coveted Wang usually garners, but to my dismay, the big reveal, which Refinery29 claimed would “stick in the fashion canon,” was a multi-button blazer.
Alexander Wang was being heralded as a creative genius for designing a multi-button blazer—a bit of a letdown, to say the least. To be more specific, his blazers had three buttons going across the midsection of the blazer.
Granted, some of the pieces had three rows of buttons and Wang placed his buttons horizontally instead of the traditional vertical, but regardless, I don’t think placing multiple buttons on a blazer constitutes genius—or does it?
Taking a quick glance across the history of blazers and coats, a multiple-button blazer is nothing to get too revved up about. It still seems as if the fashion industry is trying a little too hard to sell ‘genius’ items instead of selling the truth.
The fashion industry also gets a little absurd about trends. Harper’s Bazaar recently published an online article, “Styling Tips to Steal From The Fall 2015 Runway.” Articles like these can be helpful when they fit women with different body types and aesthetics, but Harper’s tips were laughable at best. One suggested that in order to keep warm and transition from summer to fall weather, women should wear their sweaters as scarves.
I don’t think even the most fashionable or the most beautiful of women could make wearing a thick fisherman sweater look good as a scarf; it would definitely cause some double-takes on the street, but not the good kind.
The magazine also suggested matching a bandana with an evening dress, wearing a crop top over an oversized button-down shirt, and—my favorite—pairing combat boots with mini-skirts.
The first two tips are pair opposites in the hopes of producing a miraculous and complimentary outfit. Fashion loves a good paradox, but wearing a crop top over a button-down shirt doesn’t look or wear well. Pairing these two together reduces the function of each as an individual item. Putting a tight and fitted crop top over a button-down causes that button-down to lose its structure and poof out around the hips, which completely negates its original and structural purpose.
The third tip, pairing combat boots with a mini-skirt, isn’t even newsworthy. Sixties mods and Punk rockers in the ’70s almost always paired boots with mini-skirts. Nineties rocker chicks and high school students alike wore combat boots with daisy-print or crushed velvet babydoll dresses.
This trend isn’t new or even that exciting: Harper’s could have at least found a new boot or a different style of dress to feature. It appears that the industry has run out of the new, and can’t seem to find away out of its all-too-familiar and circular narrative of quasi-geniuses, regurgitated trends and extreme pricing.
If fashion is meant to be a world of aspirations, glamour and artistry, I want a little more effort and a lot more creativity.