there's a fine line between being awesome and being a reckless idiot, it is called being a teenager


Abigail and I had a debate about fashion and its practicality today. Of course, she won, because when you think about it, fashion isn't very practical. It's fundamental base is luxury and frivolousness, yeah? I could go on and on about how the biggest and oldest brands we know of today have survived by becoming commercialized, but I don't like being cynical. I talk about how fashion has changed (I'm not certain the word evolved is so much the word, right now, anyway) with my mom and dad all the time. The conclusion of the conversations are that they don't give a shit about fashion anymore (my mother wears crocs now) and quality isn't what it used to be.

I agree, but I think in order to survive in a fast fashion world the Houses had to change. What makes Marc Jacobs so brilliant is that he made the change suit him and his business mind is just as brilliant as his fashion mind. He survives because he thrives in the current world where a business mind is just as important -- if not more so -- than your artistic endeavors. This fact makes the longevity of Comme Des Garcons all the more brilliant; Rei has very seldom (and only very recently) thought more about business than she did her design aesthetic. Even then, the H&M collaboration is all CDG in the design. It's not very mass-market, which makes the limited edition aspect of it all the more covetable.

Again, which bring me back to practicality. I will not lie to you and say that fashion is practical and by loving it, I am researching a cure for cancer nor am I solving world hunger. I love clothes. I love even more than clothes, thinking about clothes and how they came to be and what they represent. I love thinking about clothes and analyzing them. It is genuinely fun to me. I love the people who make clothes, style clothes, talk about clothes, sell clothes, wear clothes, and dream about clothes.


Fashion isn't practical. You don't go into it as a career for the money; there can only be one Anna Wintour.

You go into it because you love it, you breathe it, and you are willing to live in a shithole 250 sq ft apartment for an obscene amount of money and juggle 2 jobs and an internship because you love it. You want to be surrounded by it and you feel offended when someone does not love it as much as you do. Deep down inside, you might even pity them for not being graced with the knowledge of fashion. You want to out-fashion everyone else.


It's not practical. But either is love. And where would we be without the irrational, kind of annoying and absurd thing we call love and happiness? Abigail says she'd rather live in a world where everyone dresses the same and feels comfortable in themselves (they would all be wearing jumpsuits, apparently) and I am glad she is not God because I would hate that world.

Anyway I definitely sound pretentious and maybe possibly deluded. Also maybe you shouldn't take me all that seriously because I like to dress like a hippy llama herder in my spare time. Going back to mandarin homework now. Bye.

41 comments:

Sam said...

dude... i totally agree fashion is a frivolity, but it is also a love. something that I, will always cherish in my heart, and i think to struggle for something you want you should want to live in a shithole apartment, which i will never do because hello, aunt on the west side... but Fashion is life and i do pity the ffol who does not find something as close to their heart as fashion is to mine

hazel said...

fashion is practical in that it makes people think about clothes in new ways then never before.

haven't you seen a collection and though "hey, i could make that if i just got..."

you know?

rebecca said...

you know, i totally agree with you, fashion is not something vaguely frivolous, at least not to us people who think that it's basically a way of living.
i also don't want a world where everyone dresses the same (thats what highschool uniforms are for anyways), beacuse fashion allows people to express themselves.
what matters is that fashion is individual and we are allowed to dress however we want. fashion moves my world, and i bet it moves yours too.
p.d. i am totally addicted to your blog, hehe

InstantVintage said...

I love a person with passion. And being a teenager with so much of it, I think you're going to make quite a name for yourself.

louise or valentine said...

its kind of like to each their own. it's not delusion, just what you enjoy.
i mean fashion is considered an art form, and also an outlet of creativity and personality though it is also commercial, ie the brands selling themselves to generate money. but most art is commercial if you think about it, cos it all needs to generate income.
i'd rather live in a world where every one doesn't wear jumpsuits...well maybe if sonia rykiel made them but even then...thats too much of the same thing.

Amelia said...

This is a really intelligent look at fashion. Of course it's not practical. Fashion is an art like painting or literature; it just happens to be art that we wear on our bodies and that we use to protect us from the elements (well, you could use books to do that, as well). It seems kind of unfair that fashion is so often confused with clothes. Clothes are really just the medium for expression. Anyway, great pictures!

Isma said...

You sound like that boss from The Devil Wears Prada.
Exactly like that.

Like how you think about clothes and all... yeap. You're going down that road :)

Arabelle said...

i'm only writing about my own definition of fashion. xD'

bewkworm said...

we agree to disagree

Chessie said...

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes..... yes. I agree. Completely. Are you reading my mind right now?

Wendy said...

I love your bling Arabelle!

ETL said...

This is an amazing post (with a great title)...it completely expresses how I feel about my life and fashion- I love it, and I can't imagine my life without it! Maybe it's shallow, maybe it's too judgmental of others, but I really don't believe so.
Fabulous blog- keep up the great work =]

Anonymous said...

great great post. you only mention your parents in passing, it'd be interesting to learn more about them.

Hayley Lau said...

Although fashion is something that is seen as frivolous, I definitely think that clothing lines can make a positive difference in the world, beyond the scope of making people look pretty.

Slogan tees can raise awareness for important issues. Sustainable or recycled fashion sends a good message about the struggle to slow global warming. Sweatshop free clothing gives customers another option instead of endorsing unfairly treated workers.

And fashion enthusiasts can make a difference, too, by educating themselves on issues like cotton pesticide poisoning, the damage that new clothes has on the environment, and neglected worker rights. Horrifically so, in some cases. We choose who and what we support with our purchases.

If you support the eco-friendly businesses, the others will take note. If you shop secondhand from thrift stores you support charities. If you avoid sweatshop made goods, you're helping the rest stay in business.

Mer said...

I really enjoyed reading this and I think this "Abigail" character is wrong and you are right.

LJ said...

It is not frivilous in my opinion. It is about self respect and self expression. Everybody needs to express themselves somehow. Some write, some play sport, some become players and reject long term relationships. Others dress the way they want to be perceived. It's also a creative outlet. As you say yourself, fashion is like art and it is inspirational at times.
So I disagree that it is not practical. It is a way of finding and projecting your identity and it gives us the power to express ourselves

Anonymous said...

what does your mum and dad do?
or at least did.

fashion designer, fashion intern?
wahhht?

bohobum said...

ug, I love you. that's all I have to say

bohobum said...

but not in a strange stalker-y way

the way I love lagerfeld when he says something particularly ludicrous
or the icecream man on a really humid day

Bicycle Pirate said...

My mum has started wearing crocs too...and she is trying to get the whole family into them, but i am holding tight and refusing no matter how comfy they may be. I love fashion so much but i always remember my 3 F's: Fashion is Fun Frivolous and at times Fake. But what a horrible world it would be if everyone wore crocs and tracky pants!

J.Yo said...

can i copy some of your writing and post it in my mom's bedroom wall? >.<

cos that is exactly what i need to say to her as frequently as possible, because she sometimes worried to much about my decision studying fashion.

fashion is expression of art and mind. art and mind aren't always practical. because if they are, they would've been called LAW and RESTRICTION.

Anna Pope said...

I love fashion and clothes and shoes and everything so much that for me, that's all that matters really :)

I love how you think.

Prada*Princess said...

It's so true. I will do (almost) anything for fashion. Not many people understand that fashion is an art, it's self-expression,and it's exciting. Most people I know look at me like I'm insane for spending $700 on shoes when I can barely pay my rent, but they'll never know how much fun it is to get all dressed up with your girlfriends just to stop at a teahouse and catch up over biscotti. :)

Isabel said...

This post really struck a chord with me, Arabelle. As someone at school for 'Environment and Resource Studies', I basically learn about human activities are plunging the world down the shitter. So I take solace in the frivolity in fashion. I can't handle being serious and intense all the time, you know? I can't help if if one of my loves it at odds with my other great loves.

hazel said...

i just realized that all the people that i know that want things to be practical are really boring and are not creative at all.

TheSundayBest said...

Compared to finding a cure for cancer almost nothing is practical...and yes, the world would be a better place if we all focussed on helping each other. That cannot be argued.

But then I accept that for a world less kind and less just I get novels by Donald Barthelme and paintings by Mark Rothko. Does it have to be that way? I don't know. I only know that art is rarely kind.

belle.chantelle said...

You're just the right touch of cynically funny.
I love the post, especially since you bring up very valid point. C'est jolie ton collier!

Hannah Cheeto said...

I agree, when it comes down to the cavemen level (yeah I make sense) there isn't much real use for fashion, but I love it anyway. I'd hate to live in a world where everyone dressed the same! And I love the random photos dispersed throughout.

seralouise said...

first time reader here . love ur blog ! really enthrawling ( i cant spell sorry ) xx

WendyB said...

I don't know why fashion has to get all this abuse :-) Art isn't "practical" either. But who would dare call painting or ballet a frivolity? People DO yearn for beauty in their lives. I would say that's part of human nature. Fashion actually is more functional than many of the arts, if function matters so much all the time.

Johanne said...

Great post Arabelle! I really enjoyed reading it, and I could'nt agree more with you. I live for fashion. It's what I think and breathe... seriously! And I don't care if I'll be broke and hungry and overloaded with work 24 hours a day, if I can someday make a living of it. That's my plan:D

Toodles<3

J. said...

That was a really excellent post - I definitely see what you're saying, and I totally agree. And the llama herder outfit is really cute.

Leah said...

"You go into it because you love it, you breathe it, and you are willing to live in a shithole 250 sq ft apartment for an obscene amount of money and juggle 2 jobs and an internship because you love it."

thank you, and many other people, for agreeing with me on this and for believing that it is truth. it isn't for the money. you don't sell your car and move to new york because you want to be rich. i love this post.

Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauren said...

I adore this post because I love it when people are passionate about something and admit that it may not be adored by the masses but at least you are catering to a select audience of people and you are willing to take what comes for your love of it.

I'm a classical musician, and let me just tell you, at least everyone HAS to wear clothes. No one has to listen to music if they don't want to.

Jillian B said...

this post=amazing
fashion is art, and it's a method of self-expression

Fashion Fille said...

wow this is such a fantastic post! i love the pictures and your writing style is superb. great flow! you should use this as an essay for a contest or something...hahahha! anyways, amazing.

susie_bubble said...

Right on! That's all I can muster up right now.... but you've got it spot on....

boubou said...

Love the photos so amazing...Come to see my french blog from an algerian-parisian girl ... have a nice day Arabelle and see you around !

Emily said...

I pretty much completely agree with you. I am in to fashion, not nearly as much as you, but this post completely sums up how I feel about opera.

trina's reality said...

agreed. ;]