The fashion industry confuses me. They say that fashion design is art, and I believe them wholeheartedly. But what I don’t understand is how a form of art can be so narrow-minded.
When I think about art, I think about imagination, innovation, and creativity. I think of artists as people who push boundaries, are curious, and who ask questions. I also think about art as being a reflection of life. Sometimes that reflection might be raw and real, or sometimes it’ll be crazy and fanciful. What I don’t think about when it comes to art is it being all…..one note. Fashion design is all one note to me because it’s all about one body type.
I understand that in designers’ collections the clothes are often unique and different, but the people wearing them are SO the same. All very tall and very thin and very beautiful, by conventional standards (their standards, I guess). And it’s not that there’s anything wrong with that body type, but I’m always left wondering “Where is the imagination and innovation and creativity? Where is the reflection of the diversity of life?” I mean, I thought this was art!
To me, designing for only one body type is like painting on only one canvass, a canvass that’s always the same size and always the same dimensions. And I wonder, as artists, don’t fashion designers ever get curious about what their art might look like on a larger canvass? Or a smaller one? Or, fuck, doesn’t anyone ever want to just get out the spray paint and paint on the nearest brick wall? I mean, why not really push the boundaries? It seems to me that designers are interested in extremes when it comes to body size, but why only one extreme? What about the other extreme? What about the in-between? And why are they all doing the same thing???
Now, I realize that there are plus-size designers out there, and the more I learn about plus size fashion, the more I get to know them, and love them. But they feel really few and far between, and their work definitely doesn’t make an appearance in my everyday life, like I wish it would.
The thing is, I don’t understand why anyone hasn’t started to really challenge the status quo in design. If designers set the trends, then can’t they do whatever the hell they want? People don’t have to like it, but if people are never exposed to anything different, then how can they decide?
Yep, I feel like it’s the dark days of fashion, people. I guess it’s up to us to show them the light.