October 19, 2012

Why Fashion Does Matter

Let us play a little game.

First, let's pose a hypothesis: fashion is a moral consideration.

No, not insofar as fair trade organic cotton fills your closet or you only buy handmade works of art to support local artisans (both noble goals). But because integration of life and ideals is a worthy goal and fashion is one of the best expressions of an Aesthetic.

Consider it from the point of view of philosophy. If metaphysics is to be anything more than an agreeable waste of time and intellect, it must have some baring on one's personal ethics, world view, and general lifestyle.  What use are convictions or beliefs if they are not practiced as well? After all, if we saw a person claim to love all life on earth, but go home each day and ruthlessly abuse her significant other, there would be some question to the validity of her claim. Hypocrisy in another word.

So, why don't we hold this same standard with Aesthetics? If you claim to love the Steampunk aesthetic, but your wardrobe consists of jeans and plain colored tee-shirts, why are you not branded as a hypocrite? Why is it acceptable to love a fashion or an ideal, but never express it in our daily lives?

The answer may lie in our perception of fashion: it is perfectly acceptable to have many different interests or styles of clothing where it would be reprehensible to have many different sorts of morals. Acceptable to dress as a Neo-Victorian one day, a modern celebrity the next, or search your closet for the perfect dress to match an event. But to put on one set of values to suit a certain situation and then replace them with another when the scenario changes and people become wary of your presence.

Is this distinction between Philosophy and Aesthetic a wrong one? Should faithfulness to one's aesthetic  be regaled as highly as one's monogamy to a certain set of values? If yes, both can and should evolve over time, but our current closet of hodgepodge fashions mingling next to each other shows a distinct lack of discretion and taste. Therefore, if multiple styles appeal to your Aesthetic, investigate further and discover the root cause for each. Find the first principles of your Aesthetics in a sense. Once done, embrace those principles and never deviate.

Clothing, then, is the easiest and most accessible way to express our Aesthetics to the outside world. Our choices of clothes, reflect our choices of what is beautiful or good as much as any action. Fashion does Matter.

No comments:

Post a Comment