It’s a weird era we’re in. Increasingly, all ethnicities and body types are present on catwalks and in the media, and that is commendable. But out of this glorious crucible, there seems to be just an endless parade of flawless Fembots. Their similarity is the ultimate denial of fashion, although many of them are celebrated on social media as fashion influencers. As never before, individuality seems to be out. The dominant theme of our time may be the colorful variety of skin we were born in, but our second skin, which we wear every morning, our sense of style, is the same and dies out.
A single homogenized look of perfectly drawn eyebrows, a blank look, contoured cheeks and a pouty pout with a few fashionable parts from various fast-fashion manufacturers and a wide-brimmed hat are what a fashion influencer has come to say. Where does that lead? The repetitive content of Instagram reveals a striking lack of originality, and although we could be tigresses, sphinx-like and catlike like Kate Moss, or creeping and unpredictable like Grace Jones, we’ve actually lost our roar. Our style is simple, monosyllabic. Sites like Insta Repeat illustrate this lack of creativity in the way we present ourselves, and these more than two million daily posts,
Desperate for fashion
If you think about the last half of the twentieth century, there were certainly dominant beauty trends – from pointy breasts to fly-leg lashes, from voluminous hairstyles to sleek hair, from hourglass figures to boyish silhouette – but every decade brought significant fashion: The 1950s served beatniks, capris, rockabilly plaid skirts; the 60s brought Space Chic with fashionable plastic accessories and A-line dresses; The 70s came with their flared pants, velvet maxi dresses and psychedelic prints, only to be replaced by the 80s fashion with shoulder pads and power looks. The ’90s led to minimalist slip dresses, grunge, rave gear and deep-seated pants – all of which has been condensed into real fashion statements. But this millennium, that so far has been recorded with milliseconds of digital technology for milliseconds, shows less fashion evolution – leisure, Normcore, upcycling – but only physical transformations – big breasts and buttocks, Schmollmünder, hair extensions. The surgical improvement triumphs over the fashionable, so we emphasize the canvas, rather than the art.
Beauty and glamor are often termed ‘fashion’, but they literally scratch the surface of the potential and range of fashion. Fashion is not a mere entertainment. Fashion as art can provoke new thoughts, stimulate change and elevate the soul as a painting or a sculpture can; while glamor may be a temporary amusement or an everyday escape. A trip to Dover Street Market can pamper the visitor with the uplifting feeling of staying in a temple. Fashionable genius does not have to be replicable and true pioneers rely on their personal instincts, not on YouTube tutorials, they value experiments and understand the meaning of failures. The pursuit of flimsy perfection and conformity is an extinction of the art of fashion. It promotes style over substance, the last polish on the manufacturing process.
Like follows Like
The Like button is an integral part of modern society, but this act of expressing sympathy, liking, is the equivalent of using the word “nice.” It is not binding, harmless, harmless, unpronounceable. Anyone can be nice, and what is familiar will get more likes because we humans are habitual animals. A pleasing aesthetic is easier to digest than an outfit composed with disobedience and courage. Being an influencer of today leaves nothing but a fleeting impression – but should not we choose to influence sustainably? And should not we decide to exert the greatest influence on ourselves? The slightly more successful social media influencers, with sponsorship and contracts, are not unlike middle-tier corporate management in that they show up in their uniforms to do their jobs and make money by moving products to the masses. But who really loves fashion, will not claim the term “influencer” for themselves, but try to create something open, often imperfect and not afraid to touch others unpleasant – even deliberately provoke this reaction. Those who have such a relationship with fashion will also feel that clothing should not be a disposable item bought for an Instagram snapshot and then returned to the store or thrown away,The Bachelorette .
Authentic fashion designers are like unicorns: unique, elusive, spontaneous. They write their own stories and you can not tame them. The most popular of such characters, from designers to muses, did not belong to a cool clique, but had an observer role. They were outsiders, often even in conflict with the system: Coco Chanel was an orphan, Isabella Blow claimed she wore big hats to keep people at bay, Yves Saint Laurent was a quiet, reserved youth and a fearful adult, Martin Margiela chose anonymity and gave no interviews, and Giorgio Armani, now head of one of the few private luxury brands, told the Financial Timesexplicitly: “I have always been a loner”. The popular kids with thousands of followers are the opposite of those creatives who quietly create art that can bring society forward.
Recent reports indicate that Gen Z rejects the curvy, inauthentic version of the reality Instagram has created – the hair-behind-the-ear stroking pose in front of a wall in Millennial Pink. But the popularity of last year’s Huji Cam app, which makes photos look as if they were taken with a disposable camera, suggests they are simply looking for a different fake look. The process of self-discovery should be blurry, sometimes even unclear, but not by technological means. From teenage experiments to role-playing and the risk-taking of the Twens and beyond, trial-and-error mixed with courage and imagination can open up untold possibilities of self-expression and help us achieve the ultimate goal: an individual identity.
But for that to happen, it’s time to put the selfie stick aside and work on your own self-image.