I really appreciated the discussion on Thursday about the Fashion rules. However, at the beginning I had difficulties in finding examples because I hadn’t realized immediately what kind of Fashion myths clichés were concerned… I just thought about the social and cultural widespread code which consists in wearing a specific colour for mourning period. I say a “specific” one and not naturally black because, as anybody knows, each country and culture has its own and typical rituals.
The most significant instance is especially the colour of bereavement. Indeed, people in Occident are used to wearing black outfits for this disastrous event, and it seems for us totally natural and undeniable that the black colour is associated to the death, the opaqueness and a morbid universe in general, it’s deeply anchored in our culture, our history, our customs.. Whereas in some countries such as India and Japan, it’s surprisingly the pure, virgin and bright white color which is prevailing for the grief.
The symbolic impact of colours in this specific case is both strongly contradictory and meaningful. It shows how people do, think and act differently according to their own culture. Wether we want it or not, we are all conditioned and “formatted” by several entities of different natures and scales which compose our environment, from the closest and most intimate ones such as family and friends, to a more common, shared and formal ones like educational system and society in general.
There is no denying that we are constantly subject to plenty of other diktats and especially in the way of dressing. I found the perfect article that states the 8 most famous and widespread fashion rules as “no mixing prints or gold and silver” in terms of pictorial facet. But there are also physical and proportional aspects when rules dissuade small girls to wear long dress or big accessories for instance, because it is “not considered” or more specifically, “society considers” that it is not a proof of good aesthetic taste. Moreover, some fashion rules are directly linked to social and cultural codes like “no white after Labor Day” which I actually didn’t know because it’s not a French ritual.
Thus, we have lots of global fashion diktats in common but we also have local differences cut to our specific origin/country/culture… I posted a video from H&M previously on the blog which I strongly recommend because it deals exactly with these tons of stupid rules we should break and send them packing but we unfortunately respect and follow. I appreciated the fact that the voice-over goes against each common rule he enumerates, he doesn’t say “don’t do this or that” but “wear it and mix that”… He encourages people to break the rules definitively and not take care of others judgements and prejudices. We should always keep in mind these “commands” as wearing a skirt or a pink garment for a boy, and why not a pink skirt…
Fashion loves extremes and paradoxes, it’s its trademark , its essence. On one hand, Fashion is a powerful and wonderful tool for transgressing the rules and pushing forward the social progress as a synonymous of freedom. But on the other hand Fashion is a pitiless caste system which reduces rights and transforms people into slaves. Fashion is bipolar and is constantly fighting against itself and it is exactly this duality -that also lies in each of us- which attracts me unfailingly.