Fashion as an art

“She is such a fashionista!” “He’s super stylish!” “Those accessories are trendy, where did you get them?”  Our conversations today are filled with phrases like these. We comment on those that manage to set themselves apart from the crowd and idolise their style. The people we refer to as fashionable are able to use fashion to transform themselves “from ordinary to eye-catching with a few skillful tweaks to their wardrobe”.

The word “fashion” is thrown around so often that we often forget what it actually means. In reality, fashion is simply the manner in which something is done.  Today, however, fashion has come to mean a collection of the latest styles of clothing, hair or makeup.  When a style becomes popular, it becomes a trend. It becomes “fashion.”

Most people chase after what they consider fashion without any regard to their own status or appearance. They believe that copying trends makes them fashionable. On the other hand, there are those who cross all boundaries while attempting to look “unique.”

Seeing these distortions makes me think of Oscar Wilde who once called “fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months”. To some extent, his statement holds true. When people chase after fashion or disregard it entirely, they end up degrading instead of enhancing their personality.

Fashion is not merely what is trending. To me, fashion is a supreme form of art. Fashion is subtle: it is a collection of skills and finely honed senses that enable a person to present themselves as cultured and decent, yet unique. At its core, fashion is a mask for all our shortcomings: the look we are unhappy with, the figure that haunts us or even our unsatisfactory height. It blankets our insecurities and makes us look and, more importantly, “feel” perfect. I hold those who really understand the meaning of fashion in high regard. The people who have a superior sense of fashion are able to hide their shortcomings and present their personalities through style alone. They communicate their individuality through their clothing and appearance, and in doing so, demonstrate confidence and social skill.

Splurging money on expensive, branded clothing does not make a person fashionable. Being able to create a trendy outfit with only a few bucks to spare is the true spirit of fashion. After all, one only needs knowledge (not money!) to groom oneself properly.