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suffering for fashion?

Today I spent the day at the studio where we were given an illustration of a top and asked to pattern cut it. This was really difficult and everybody seemed to struggle. Pattern cutting really is bloody hard! Lots to think about… silhouette, volume, fit, length, darts, crikey I hate darts.

The afternoon was spent with the head of the fashion department who gave a lecture on ’suffering for fashion’, which explored the lengths women go to so that their bodies are changed to fit prominent styles of the time. (Corsetry, and that kind of thing.) I’ve always been shocked, horrified and disturbed at changing one’s shape to conform to an ideal. Earlier last month, MJ of Dreaming Spires wrote a brilliant post with concerns about trends in womanly curves or evidently the sheer lack of them, and since then I have questioned my own design ethos in terms of manipulating the aesthetics of the body.

Fashion will forever be controversial , and perhaps that is one of the greatest assets it has, but I think it is important for designers and others involved in this industry (yes media, I’m looking at you) to take responsibility for the emotional effects that can stem from body ideals.

Take the AW10 Comme des Garçons collection which featured fun elaborations on the female form. The designing is spectacular and the body shapes created are so out of reach that we as consumers can just enjoy the designs whilst still embracing our natural shape.

Yes, the body is the base for fashion creations but shouldn’t it just build upon what is naturally there under the garments, rather than trying to mutilate the figure?

commes des garcos suffering for fashion?

Comme des Garçons AW10

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3 Responses to “suffering for fashion?”

  1. “Yes, the body is the base for fashion creations but shouldn’t it just build upon what is naturally there under the garments, rather than trying to mutilate the figure?”

    One would hope! Do you think that in that attempt to mutiltae and transform the figure there’s… a kind of laziness & practicality behind it? Since bodies are SO different and it’s hard t be universal, fit them all, that if we manipulate them to fit the clothes it’d be easier?

  2. MJ says:

    Oh wow, thanks for the shout out! I definitely feel like this about fashion – there’s no point saying ‘boobs are in’ or ’skinny androgyny is in’ because there’s NO WAY anyone can change whether they’re in or not. Not much inclusiveness in fashion there…

  3. styleontherun says:

    Ashe, great point! That is an interesting view on this that I haven’t thought about. Maybe designers and brands should focus more on specific body types perhaps; there are some petite and tall collections but we don’t just differ in height!

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