Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Argument on Fashion

There is a difference between fashion and style. Although most believe that one is synonymous of the other, this is simply not true. Fashion is primarily antiquated by the runway shows and models who weigh approximately 60 pounds despite being over 6 feet tall. It doesn’t really matter if they are in New York, Paris or Milan; fashion exists solely from the solidified image a designer has for a particular season. Its more of an art than a lifestyle. Style on the other had, is very different. Style is more mainstream. Whether or not one has bad style versus good style is not the question. Style is of the individual. However, one’s may be not in fashion. This is where the line is drawn.

For instance: I have always been fashionable. It has always been the same style and it has always been influenced by the same three major factors: My Parisian Grandmother, the Jazz era, and the fact that my puberty existed during the days of grunge. As a result, I have never worn sweat pants out of the house, I love sheath dresses with long necklaces, and I resort mostly to the color black when I am trying to look sexy. However, the fact that I have my own style does not in any way render me as cool, popular, or even stylish in the sense of society norms. In fact, until I was about 21, my sense of style was not popular. From adolescence to the beginning of college, I never chose to wear anything that happened to be popular with my peers. This made me dorky. When everyone was freely advertising for Abercrombie & Fitch my sophomore year of high school in 1999, I was paying attention to the runways. I followed Miu Miu, who’s models sported preppy A-line skirts with turtle necks and v-neck solid tees. I even added a bit of Louis Vuitton, who was slashing ‘The Rachel’ hair cut by having all his Spring ’00 models wear their flat, straight hair in a low ponytail and a side part. I followed this spring sensation to a tee and I learned what I looked good in. However, despite my valiant effort to follow Vogue’s finest choosings, I was not accepted warmly by my 15 year-old counterparts. I was made fun of for dressing weird and looking like I was from the 1960s (yes, Mod was in style in spring 1999 and yes, I got a lot of my clothes from the local Goodwill). So I had style but I wasn’t cool. Luckily, I never cared and by the time I hit my early twenties, I was being complimented for my choice of outfits.

My point is that one can follow the runways and be a fashionista but it doesn’t necessarily give them a ticket to the cool crowd. And I know someone is going to retort about the girls on Gossip Girl, The Hills, etc, etc. Those people don’t count and (ding, ding), they aren’t real. Maybe if your parents are millionaires in New York, following the runways is the acceptable and expected thing to do but, in normal America this is rarely the case and guess what, that is OK.