Friday, August 20, 2010

Is Fashion the Business of Airheads?

Vogue Italia photoshoot, pic from

The refusal by some to acknowledge fashion as an art is a shame. Fashion is often found wanting when it comes to ethics but sometimes I think people tend to overexagerate and seek to portray fashion as something far removed from our daily lives.
I'm particularly refering to Vogue Italia's controversial oil spill shoot; a reference to the worst environmental disaster in US history. The fact that it is making people talk is, for me, an achievement on the part of those who executed the idea.
Creativity, by it's very nature, often challenges accepted norms and stretches the boundaries. If it didn't then it wouldn't be valid, now would it? Fine artists often find themselves running into trouble with politicians; Zapiro, for instance. There was also, more recently, Yuill Damaso whose painting of a dead Nelson Mandela put him at odds with the Mandela Foundation. Methinks he achieved what art is meant to do; again, challenging social norms.
If fine artists can do this sort of thing, why is fashion condemned when it speaks to social issues. Why, for the love of God, should fashion be seen as an ignorant section of society that should not be allowed to express itself through the depiction of world events, disastrous or otherwise?
The notion- which fashionistas are guilty of not caring to confront- that people in fashion are detached from the rest of the world is one that we must seek to challenge and eliminate. Fashion is an art and very much a part of humankind. Fashionistas also have brains and opinions. And if a fashion editor wants to express their consciousness through a fashion spread, so be it! Political journos and observers are not the only ones who have the right to comment on social ills and the like.


thiseponymous said...

You and I touch on similar points with respect to this editorial. Why is the message more credible when it comes from other sources? Fashion and life co-exist - by keeping it in the realm of fantasy we implicitly undermine it. Read my comments at Stephen Meisel & Vogue: Troubled Waters:

Nice piece!

Sandiso Ngubane said...

Hey Amanda
Thanks for the comment. I'm gonna go read your post right now. Surprisingly a lot of fashionistas oppose me on the issue. I sticking to my guns regardless!