30 July 2008

because you can only do so much

The hipster post (which the comments are wicked fun to read, btw. Add your two cents in if you'd like) got me plenty of emails, none all too nice but an eye opener to read. I knew it was going to be controversial when I posted it and I like controversial topics / debates / hatemail amuse me.

It got me thinking...labels. What are your labels? I refuse to believe society doesn't label; that's complete bullshit and even if you're in fashion you label. Geek-chic, geek, goth, preppy--fashion can be considered a label oriented industry as much as an industry that goes beyond them. But really, what defines what and who determines what goes where?

I used to consider myself pretty non-conformist when I first started the blog. Which of course is exactly the opposite--I started the blog because of the trends and other bloggers. Not because of my own ideas on fashion, but my opinions on other blogger's and their perspectives on fashion. An odd reason to start blogging but a reason nonetheless. By now, I'm still not clear on my own purpose or niche when it comes to personal style and fashion but I can admit that fashion is by no means or definition, cookie cutter.

Is it shallow? Maybe at first glance....but only first glance. Take into account the references and history behind what you're wearing on your skin, the style of your hair, your makeup, your accessories, how you perceive yourself. Everything has it's own value and meaning to the madness, no?

Which brings me back to labels. What value do they bring to society? From what I can tell, they're only there to make life simpler, so people can identify trends and people. But in the end, there are always blurred lines and misconceptions about people behind the labels. What goes in what category, and why is it such a big deal if people point it out?

This is by no means a post in defense of my previous post. I don't feel like I need to defend myself. I'm just wondering, if we are still so self-conscious about what we're labeled and we call other people assholes for calling us those names... aren't we to blame as well? At one point or another haven't we done the same? Who made it alright to label, and aren't we allowing ourselves to be labeled?

It's not a new idea, granted. We shop at places and read books that are supposed to cater to our demographics, that's how the market is run. It's cause and effect and people make money off of it. The Industry loves controversy and since labels are an age old one at that, sometimes people have double standards on the subject. They hate to be labeled, but they describe something as geek chic, or they think a runway is too punk, etc.

We can choose to ignore the labels and break free of them or let them get to our heads and dress accordingly. Similarly, designers choose to use a story or a person and their lifestyle as a muse and work around a label. I guess it's all a matter of your perception of yourself and your stance on it.