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The Collective Conscious of Fashion

Posted by Amber Rose Jimenez at Oct 07, 2011 03:05 PM |
What do Milanese youth, the Editor-at-Large for Vogue Japan, and Kanye West have in common? With a distinctively stylish aesthetic, they all happen to catch the eye of esteemed fashion photographer Scott Schuman, author of the popular style blog, The Sartorialist. The site, alongside a myriad of similar digital style hives, offers viewers a glance into the collective fashion conscious of cities across the world, forever altering the relationship between people, place, and self expression.
The Collective Conscious of Fashion

Stockholm Street Style

Amberblogginghead1.jpgWhat do Milanese youth, the Editor-at-Large for Vogue Japan, and Kanye West have in common? With a distinctively stylish aesthetic, they all happen to catch the eye of esteemed fashion photographer Scott Schuman, author of the popular style blog, The Sartorialist. The site, alongside a myriad of similar digital style hives, offers viewers a glance into the collective fashion conscious of cities across the world, forever altering the relationship between people, place, and self expression.The Sartorialist

The SartorialistIn decades past, culture addicts, fashion aficionados, and sartorial insiders were typically the first to interact with the designer worlds of high fashion and  global trend setting- and the first to solicit their fragmented conceptual analysis (and dilution) of runway, resort, and seasonal collections. What the lay person encountered was a fringe distillation of the inspiration and brilliance of international talent, offered at the whim of a handful of venerable publications, media celebrities, and the inventory at local clothing stores. Not to mention the more rural, isolated communities of distant nations were kept distant-- unless one traveled abroad, no immediate cultural exchanges pertaining to fashion, self expression or utility were had en masse.

Stockholm StreetstyleToday, in the same browser window, individuals can watch live streams of Fashion Week on youtube, scope out what's trending in London at Facehunter, and act as personal stylists using real models and current designer (or otherwise modern) pieces on Looklet. The proliferation of recent trends in expression, merchandising, and identity is astonishing.

Technology has removed the iron curtain of fashion. Although Schuman was initially excited by the opportunity of facilitating a "two-way dialogue about the world of fashion and its relationship to daily life," many of his contemporaries have developed concepts that range from featured street wear stemming from the pride of place, as seen through Stockholm Street Style, to the borderline-megalomanic-invite-only-international-blog Lookbook.

This instant access to global community through the simple communication venues that blogs and websites create and inspire have caused similar recent revolutionary responses in music, politics, and ideology. Chillwave, the Arab Spring, and Occupy Wall Street are excellent examples of how the collective consciousness of our digital age has also thrived by supporting movements, immediate calls for action and exchanges of information.

Self expression is no longer restricted to place, limited production lines, or the dictates of the fashion industry per se-- instead, it is guided and unleashed by you, me, and our extended global network. By taking cues from one another (and the runway, of course), we may not only inspire boldness, creativity, and open-minded dialogue, but we are also able to uncover new ways of understanding the relationship between ourselves and the world around us.

Oleg says:
Aug 22, 2013 06:34 PM

Excellent post! I've been thinking of asnkig my students to look at great speeches and respond free-form to what they found powerful. (I figure it's a better way of talking about persuasion and word choice and all that English Language Arts-y terminology). I think I'll add your links to videos to the bank of them I've been building.It's also a great excuse to expose them to new ideas, ideas they haven't heard from Tea Party or religious right parents. (I asked my students the same question about the motive of the original Tea Party, and the kids had no idea!) I have been teaching 11 years now and I'm noticing the students regurgitate whatever they hear from home or their small parent-approved community. I think the first step to free thought is to hear ideas different from your own and that challenge you to rethink why you believe what you believe. Hegemony only "works" if there is no dissent or if dissent is quashed.I also was thinking that the ideas you emphasize here in this post about sacrifice and vision for the future, with less emphasis on the pleasure in the present are ideals that sports and music and drama can teach. Ironically, these are the programs being cut in our schools due to budget concerns.But I will not be discouraged. I also read as much of Larry Ferlazzo's blogs as possible-- check him out when you can. In the last few weeks he posted a (Washington Post?) write-up of some research about delay of gratification being the key to future academic success-- the marshmallow study. I plan to look at his links for helping my high school students some delay of gratification. Perhaps we can make some difference and these kids can help put the country on the right track?

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