Chasing the Shadow of Fashion: More than Garments
All right, so let's talk about fashion. No, I'm not talking about the hot-off-the-runway Paris couture week collection, nor am I pointing at your ultra chic sneaker collection. Instead, let's think of fashion beyond garments, beyond the realm of clothes. Yes, the word fashion sounds like it is dedicated solely to those pieces of fabric we wear, but what if I told you there's much more to it?
Firstly, the term fashion, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is defined as "a popular or the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration or behaviour." So yes, it's not only about clothes, but it also applies to various aspects like hairstyles, décor, or even our behaviour. On a deeper note, fashion is an expression of our individuality, our culture, our aspirations, and even our values. It is a canvas that goes far beyond the boundaries of minimalism or flamboyance, crossing over into the world of art, environment, psychology, and sociology.
Art on a Necklace: Fashion as Art
Okay, here’s a hilarious yet somewhat insightful anecdote from my life as Mr. Delamere. One day, my wife, Elodie, comes home beaming, holding a necklace resembling what I can only describe as modern art. I initially laughed, thinking she was pulling a prank on me, but soon realised the seriousness of her expression. "Baby, it's fashion," she said, in her effortlessly articulate way. That, my friends, was when I knew fashion was more than just clothes—it was art.
Today, we see painters collaborating with fashion designers to create garments, accessories, and even shoes that are less utilitarian and more art. Picasso's prints adorn modern dresses, Van Gogh's Starry Night is recreated on stylish handbags, and abstract expressionism inspires bold jewellery designs. The merging of fashion and art is like a symphony orchestra—each element on its own is astonishing, but when combined, it creates a harmonious spectacle that leaves you amazed.
Green is In: Fashion and Environment
Did you know fashion has a significant impact on our environment? Today, the fashion industry is one of the top contributors to pollution worldwide. This realisation has led to a surge in sustainable fashion—clothing made with eco-friendly materials and processes. It's a significant and essential shift from fast fashion, making 'green' the new vogue statement. But it’s not only about clothes. Think of the statement you’re making when you carry that quirky tote bag made with repurposed fabric. That’s fashion too!
Moreover, the emergence of plant-based cosmetics or 'clean beauty' is another aspect of fashion where environmental awareness is making a splash. From cruelty-free makeup to sustainably sourced skincare ingredients, fashion is leading the charge in being more environmentally responsible. And if you're wondering, yes, Elodie uses them too, and the glow on her face is bright enough to light up our backyard!
The Psyche of Stripes: Fashion and Psychology
If you've seen me sport my favourite striped shirt or my always-in-hand black sunglasses, you've seen fashion psychology at play. The clothes and accessories we wear greatly affect how we feel about ourselves. This field, known as fashion psychology, explores the relationship between our clothing choices and our mental state, emotions, and self-perception. It tells us how a colour can psyche one into confidence or how geometric patterns can be calming. But remember, it's not only the clothes—it's the accessories, the makeup, and the hairstyle too.
On a fun note, choosing to wear Roscoe's matching bandana is enough to lift my mood (and also makes for an adorable Instagram photo). Now if this isn't fashion psychology, I wonder what is!
Cultural Tapestry: Fashion and Society
One aspect that’s overlooked when we talk about fashion is its relationship with society. From the traditional Aboriginal cloths of Australia's indigenous tribes to the diverse fashionable attires of the multicultural Australia we live in today, fashion has always been a mirror to our social and cultural shifts.
Traditional Indian sarees, African Kente, Chinese Cheongsam, or our iconic Aussie Akubra hats—each carry messages about identity, tradition, and community values. These are embodiments of fashion deeply intertwined with our society and culture. Also, have you seen Saffron, my daughter, put a feather on her beanie because it's all 'the rage' in her school? I see that as a beautiful blend of tradition and trend, and of course, a fashion statement in its own right.
Powerful Affair: Fashion and Power
Finally, fashion can be a means to exude power. It is why lawyers have their crisp suits, politicians their power ties, and the military their uniforms. But it's not just the garb—it's the right pair of glasses for a subtle intellectual appeal, a bold red lipstick to exude confidence, or a distinct cologne scent that leaves a long-lasting impression. Fashion is indeed about these details just as much as it's about clothes.
So, there we have it—a deep dive into the broad world of fashion beyond clothes. It's not just about what's hanging in your closet; it's far, far more. In essence, fashion intertwines into the very fabric of our lives, quite literally! I guess Elodie was right after all: that necklace wasn't just a piece of metal—it was art, expression, psychology and so much more.