May 6, 2011

The Fashion Religion

One month from now, sartorial virtuosity will be accumulated in 5 days. The kingdom of appearances will be celebrated by a court of fashion industry people, dominated by a sea of silhouettes which are patterned by geometric planes and fluid waves - made buoyant by architectural severity on feet. - Daryl Chang

While I was curating my outfit for next week, the same sentiments I had last season kept bothering me. It's a philosophical question - is fashion really liberating or enslaving? This post is an updated version of the one I did last season.

People assert their individuality through their clothes. I like to defy silhouette and fluidity so my "trademark" has always been a scarf and multiple layers of accessories since I was in high school. (tried to tame it down in college unless the occasion requires). This season, I'd like to play with textures and prints.

Through and, we have seen a lot of fashion icons emerge. The internet has allowed fashion bloggers to inspire other people and shatter their chains from being slaves of the ordinary. We assert our individuality even to the point of being actualized. A vision is created and displayed through our clothes.

But there are these temples around the globe which houses the likes of Aliona Doletskaya (Russia), Alexandra Shulma (United Kingdom), Franca Sozzani (Italy), Immanuel Alt (France) and their head deity, Anna Wintour (United States). These gods together with their creative directors dictate what to wear. With their blessing, new designers are catapulted immediately high up the bejeweled fashion ladder.

Here in the Philippines, fashion shows don't start without Pauline Juan and I guess Sari Yap too. We were dressing up the models for a fashion show last year and we had to sacrifice the planned schedule because Pauline Juan wasn't done inspecting all the clothes for the runway. They are dictate through their inspirations from the west, what designers here in the country should do.

From the runway, these designs will trickle down to trend-stealing-unoriginal-black-holes-of-creativity stores like Zara and Forever 21. (Although we need them) And here comes a shopper who wants to assert her individual style as a chic power bitch who'll purchase a Givenchy-patterned leggings from F21 and a Chanel-inspired bolero from Zara, never knowing that these trends are dictated and their quest to assert individuality is just an illusion.

But of course, there are those Herculean fashion icons who are stoic or at least adapt effortlessly to these waves of trends. They are those who live by Yves Saint Laurent's words "fashion fades, style is eternal" and I hope these modern day heroes of individuality will continue doing what they do best - staying fierce and fabulous. They are being immortalized right now in the sartorial heaven.

I did an interview before where they asked me to define what fashion is. More that being an expression of one's self, fashion is a mechanism for us to cope up with the harsh hardness of reality. Designers are the most insecure people I know so they use these internal hurts/pains/passions and channel them into masterpieces. Alexander McQueen, according to Karl Lagerfeld flirted with death a lot. You can see it in his designs. Look at where he is now. Still he remains immortal.

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