Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fad Cops

Just stumbled upon this blog, I rather like all the pretty pictures:

La Garçonne Noir

In particular, I think a recent post says what I was sort of trying to say in my last post only much more eloquently (as usual).

It's scary (for me, anyways) to think that things that may be under the radar today could so easily make their way into the spotlight of popular culture and mass consumerism next week. I don't want to sound like a complete lower colon and I am absolutely not a cool person or a trendsetter or anything like that, but here's an example: RayBan Wayfarers. About 5 years ago I lost or broke my pair of sunglasses (I only really have one pair at a time) and had to improvise. Rooting through one of my dad's many boxes of miscellania (full of such delights as childhood wind up toys, Groucho Marx spectacles, kangaroo-scrotum coin purses...) I found two pairs of original Wayfarer knockoffs, one tortoise-shell, one black. Their inherent, Top-Gun cool, the absence of a pricetag and that they were not the bug-eyed, Nicole Ritchie-esque sunnies so en vogue at the time made me pleased to have lost my previous pair. Not long after, Sienna bloody Miller started wearing sunnies of the Wayfarer style. Then kids at uni and work started sporting a new incarnation of knockoffs. And then they began appearing in different colours - red, white, spearmint..
(You know a trend has had its 15 minutes and then died if Mischa Barton is in on it)

This was was all supportable until a fried of mine, a self-confessed, hard-core hipster, pulled me up on it. "Are you only wearing those because they're...in fashion (those last two words dripping with distaste)?" I could have punched him. He, with his purple keffiyeh and skinny jeans. Instead, I fled to the comfort of eBay and found myself an attractive, unassuming pair of retro specs with faux snakeskin-look. And the other day at uni I spied a girl wearing something similar. Gargh!

There are plenty of moments when I wonder why the heck I still bother caring about something as supercilious as fashion. When I think that, realistically given my tree-hugging ways, I should just revert to wearing hand-hewn organic hemp or bamboo creations, regardless of how flattering they may be. Yes, my wardrobe does contain some such items. (I've even got babushka in on the act, having recently procured a few organic garments from Purebaby. But that's another post.)

And then there are moments when I feel like fashion is the most immediately gratifying way of expressing myself. I watched 'The Duchess' the other day (quite liked it) - in it, Georgiana says something about men having so many ways of expressing themselves, whereas women have only their dresses and hats. Not that that is the case today, of course, but women using the way they dress to assert their individuality and creativity is not an entirely new idea, I suppose.

This post is reaching essay proportions. Time to stop. Byeeeeee!


La Garçonne Noir said...

Thanks for referencing my blog!

I think the RayBan wayfarer is the perfect example of the ever frightening trend-hype, and how it can reach ridiculous proportions. I also loved your point of a trend being beyond the grave if you spot it on Mischa.

I also love what Georgiana says about fashion giving women that power to express themselves. As someone who enjoys writing, I realize I have many ways of expressing myself, but I really believe that fashion was the first outlet of expression for women. If you analyze her life, I think it was her popular and innovative sense of style that allowed for her to have such an influence on politics.

Anyway, I love you blog.

Iris said...

Thanks Laura! Here's to not being having to be an airhead to enjoy clothes!