I want to start off by saying that all the problems I have with the community, in the grand scheme, aren’t that serious. This post isn’t meant to stir up controversy or to tell people what they can and can’t do. These are just little things that annoy me, nothing more, nothing less. If you want to read my bigger problems with the community and industry itself, be sure to read my post here.
1. Misuse of the word couture.
In the modern era, couture has become a buzzword, one that most people don’t bat an eyelash at anymore. It has become completely devoid of meaning; a lot of folks using it don’t even know the definition anymore. To put it in the simplest way possible, couture is the business of creating custom fit clothing. Decades ago, before fast fashion grabbed the market by its neck, couture was a word that could only be applied to houses approved by a select committee. I know that sounds crazy to some of you, but it’s totally true. So in short, please be a little less loose with your word usage.
2. Confusion of runway styles with ready to wear.
When a designer presents their new f/w or s/s collection to the world, more often than not, they aren’t intending to show you looks you could snatch right off the runway and wear. To me, runway shows are a showcase for designers to give you their best looks of the season and what maybe to expect their artistic vision to look like. A lot of the time, this is where colors, patterns, and fabric predictions for ready to wear come from. But, like I said earlier, this is in no way a direct preview of what you will be able to buy. Especially if you’re attending an haute couture or avant-garde show. Don’t think that Junya Watanabe wants you to walk down the streets of your local city with a space helmet on your head.
3. Thrift store stigma
This problem may actually be a bigger one, stemming from society’s view of thrift stores as a place for poor folks, but I don’t have enough evidence to back that claim up. In any case, you could stop 15 people on the street and ask them if they shop at thrift stores and at least 50% of them would say no. Why is this? Well, even in mainstream media, thrift stores are marketed as locations where clothing goes to die. They’re viewed as the island of misfit toys, housing clothing not even your worst enemy would want to wear. But is this really the case? As someone who almost exclusively shops at thrift stores, I can debunk this claim. While you do have to dig through racks and racks of clothing, you can find cheaper (not in quality, the way fast fashion is cheap) versions of today’s trendy clothing. You can also find a lot of striking clothing to start your own trends with. The world is your oyster and thrift stores are your pearl!
4. Infallibility of fashion designers
Every industry has those people who seem to be loved by all. They have a heavy following of folks who view them as gods and goddesses of their field, and who believe that they can do no wrong. Having a cult-like attitude towards a specific designer isn’t wrong in and of itself, but ignoring their wrong doings is what I have beef with. Those designers are real people, just like you and I, and should be looked at as such. Sure, their craft evokes emotions in you that may seem a bit strange to some, but they are not and should not be looked at as perfect beings free of problematic ideas. Hold that designer accountable when they do something wrong, and let them know when they’ve screwed up in the most appropriate way possible. Do not turn the other cheek and pretend it never happened. They can’t learn unless you let them know they screwed up, and why. Ultimately though, the will for change is up to them.
So, what are some of your annoyances with the fashion community? Do you agree or disagree with my points? Let me know in the comments below!