With the frenzy of Fashion Week finally behind us, New York City has returned to its regular rhythms. This grand arrival and sudden exodus of models, designers, bloggers, editors and spectators, each dedicated to the hope of uncovering what is beautiful for the human form, has waved in and out of New York, London, and Milan. This week, Paris will now host the grand milieu of ardent designers focused on staging their best creative visions of what is grandeur, beauty and allure.
But should we care?
I was raised in a fairly conservative church where we frequently extolled the beauties of God’s creation evident in nature and beasts and men, but viewed the changing styles in women’s fashion as a symptom of our sinful vanities. To be so absorbed by physical appearance seemed ungodly, unnatural and unreasonable. Asserting that strong narcissistic themes of beauty are not enveloped into the madness of fashion today would be untrue. However, the core of what drives fashion is more than sheer vanities. It is a hunt for glory and a beautiful admission that we are more than mere beasts of the wild.
At the heart of fashion is the designer’s desire not simply to create an object of beauty but to create an object of beauty that elevates the beauty of the person. I cannot imagine a designer who could be serious about his work but saw humans as simply ordinary. They dedicate their life’s work to the question of how to best adorn and make majestic their neighbors. Just as no one would be as foolish to throw pearls to pigs, no one could be so ardently focused on clothing someone whom he considered to be prized at less than the cost to construct and envision the garment. Fashion’s objective to clothe women as most beautifully as the imagination can conceive is an expression of love. It celebrates her as worthy. Though the aesthetics of a collection can seem to contradict what the materialization of majesty might be imagined as, the amount of attention, thought to detail, creative energy, and laborious time dedicated to how best clothe her, is evidence alone of love and an admission that she is valuable.
In our world today of disordered loves, we commonly make the mistake of honoring materialistic goods above the humans who should harness them. Fashion has undoubtedly difficult hurdles to overcome, especially in seeing that the desire to behold should never come at the price of objectifying. Yet, I am very hopeful in where fashion will take us. At the core, its undercurrent is a declaration that we’ve all been made for more. From this season’s glamorous creations by Alexander Wang, Rodarte, and Prada to the haunting beauty constructed in past collections by artists like Alexander McQueen and Thom Browne, there stands the dream that we are greater than mere flesh and bones and should live as creations that resemble something greater than just ourselves.
Photo credit: www.style.com
Excerpts of Spring 2014 Ready-To-Wear. From left to right, top to bottom: Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Emporio Armani, Derek Lam, Erdem, Burberry Prorsum, Jil Sander, Mary Katrantzou