Definition of Fashion

My last year of university has been for me the best one.

In Italy you have to do a last big assignment – called tesi di laurea – in order to graduate. It’s basically a book that you have to write  picking up a topic related to your field, researching about it and developing a theory.
Today, with the new university rules, it’s becoming more and more  simple and short, very similar to those assignment that you do during class. But I’m happy and proud it was still “old style” when I graduated in journalism.

I always thought I was going to pick a subject that I love, considering the time, energy and money that I was going to spend for my tesi di laurea. And guess what I picked? Fashion, of course!

Well, my idea was to analyze the world of women’s magazines, how they were born, developed, and how they are today. However, going on with my work and research, I faced so many different aspects – the differences of language style and codes, the use of photography, the influence on the society, the role of women as writers and readers – all so fascinating and important that I would have loved to study and write about all of them, without space issues.

I worked hard, and I loved it.

This is how I found myself in the position to define “fashion”. What’s fashion?
I found very nice quote about it:

“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months”.
Oscar Wilde

“Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit.”
George Santayana

“Fashion is a tool… to compete in life outside the home. People like you better, without knowing why, because people always react well to a person they like the looks of”.
Mary Quant

“Fashion is architecture. It is a matter of proportions.”
Coco Chanel

“Fashion is all about happiness. It’s fun. It’s important. But it’s not medicine”.
Donatella Versace

“Fashion is the science of appearances, and it inspires one with the desire to seem rather than to be.”
Edwin Hubbel

“Fashion is what you adopt when you don’t know who you are”.
Quentin Crisp

However they sound like abstract paintings where you can see everything and nothing, wondering if people would pay to see that if it was you to make it.

The truth is that, in the last 30 years talking about fashion became a trend, and this made the definition even harder.

To be safe we could say that fashion is a general term for the style and custom prevalent at a given time, in its most common usage refers to costume clothing style.

But personally I think that fashion and its perception is something so personal that it’s a mistake to have or look for a definition that suits everybody. It’s like religion. For me it’s not about brands or big names, and please try not to hide  behind them. Dressing all the same, showing off designers names it’s not fashion at all.

It’s like those abstract paintings, as long as you have your own interpretation and you don’t follow other people’s rules. Have you own taste, style build your own fashion personality, and then you could just become fashion, and say “I am fashion”.

What’s fashion for you?©

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2 responses to “Definition of Fashion”

  1. andrearodgers says :

    I completely agree with you! Personal fashion is the only real fashion. You should wear what makes you feel calm, confident, sassy AND comfortable, and that changes from person to person…

    I love your blog by the way:)

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