Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bit-O-Inspiro 39

When innovative academic work on fashion first emerged in the 1980s, the ground was broken by Elizabeth Wilson in a book called Adorned in Dreams. Although Wilson was a committed feminist, she challenged those who rejected fashion as trivial or symptomatic of false consciousness. Fashion, she suggested, has the power to mark out identity in a way that we should embrace rather than distrust. It even has the power to subvert. “Socially determines we may be, yet we consistently search for the crevices in culture that open to us moments of freedom,” she wrote. Fashion, she continued, acts as a vehicle for fantasy. “There will…never be a human world without fantasy, which expresses the unconscious unfulfillable. All art draws on unconscious fantasy; the performance that is fashion is one road from the inner to the outer world.” Immense psychological and material work goes into the production of the social self, and clothes are an indispensable part of that production. This is what makes it so compelling but causes us to react to fashion with ambivalence as well. - Found in 'Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland' by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart

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