FASHION TRENDS OVERSTEPPING BOUNDARIES

From a student’s perspective, Candice discusses ridiculous fashion trends and their roles as capitalistic drives for the industry.

The line between the art forms has always been blurred and oftentimes disregarded altogether. When it comes to art and fashion, the line is even more misconstrued. From avant-garde fashion pieces that seem as if they should be framed and displayed in a museum to genius creations that set the precedence for worldwide trends, when does the crossover between the two art forms become overstepped? Do fashion trends just aid in the capitalistic ways of the industry?

Fashion has always been regarded as an art form. This is undeniable. The freedom of expression, creativity, and passion dedicated to designing and bringing the pieces to life are testaments of that. However, the crucial separator between the two is that, in my opinion, fashion should be practical and wearable. This separates the idea of fashion and art itself. Without it, there wouldn’t be a clear indication of what is fashion and what is art.

Pieces that are more art-like with a shock factor to draw attention are growing in the fashion industry. From metre-long trousers to ridiculously oversized outerwear, this trend is impractical and unsustainable in many senses. Tons of fabric is wasted on the creation of one clothing item when it could have been utilised to produce five, and those purchasing the items are unlikely to keep or regularly wear them. We always want to keep a sustainable and ethical fashion industry in mind. These trends work more against this aim than with it.

We, as consumers, purchase clothing, sometimes for the hype or aesthetics, but also for the wearability and functionality. No average consumer will walk into a clothing department store and think, “I want to purchase something that I’ll never be able to actually wear.” Unless one has the luxury and means to do so, it is a meaningless investment. For those who purchase fashion items to be displayed and never worn, that item then becomes an art piece to be admired and appreciated.

Safiya Nygaard, a YouTube creator known for trying out and reviewing ridiculous clothing items, reviewed the Extendo Pants, a pair of 2.6metre long denim trousers, by New York brand, Bronze 56k. The jeans trailed behind her and walking was almost impossible unless she completely rolled them up, which made them the same as regular length jeans and defeated the purpose of the extra length. The only perk that Safiya was able to distinguish for these jeans was the “visual impact” it provided when rolled out and laid. Other than that, the £396* price point and resulting criticism of the jeans were overwhelming, to say the least, whereas the product itself was underwhelming.

Safiya also reviewed Parisian brand Y/Project’s 1.2-metre long denim jacket and Thigh-High Uggs– in collaboration with Ugg – priced at £450* and £960* respectively. Both were also difficult to wear and not aesthetically pleasing. Regardless of the dysfunctionality and ridiculous nature of these items, they all sold out, which is baffling but still not surprising.

Watch Safiya’s videos: youtube.com/watch?v=C1oxhniG_Fc

Said to have started from Balenciaga’s runway show in Paris according to Time Magazine, the insanely oversized jacket trend sparked thousands of memes and mocks– from high fashion to a comical mockery. Some memes are shown here with one comparing the trend to Joey Tribbiani layering all of Chandler’s clothes in a Friends episode. Influential celebrities, such as Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid, have donned these jackets, which practically swallow them.

This trend, in particular, isn’t new. With girlfriends stealing their boyfriend’s oversized jackets or sweaters or people purchasing larger sizes of clothing for that oversized look for decades, why has it become a trend only now? The industry remarkets this trend as innovative and different and slaps a thousand-pound price tag and “art” label on it, and people buy into it.

Carmar’s Extreme Cutout Jeans selling for £133* were actually waitlisted at one point. Nicknamed “Thong Jeans”, they barely provide any coverage, if any at all– just pieces of fabric. Being on trend is fashionable, but do these fashion statements take away from the industry or downplay it?

The emphasis on being your own person, doing whatever the hell you want, and not taking any shit for it is stronger nowadays than ever. This applies to any artist, designer, musician, and creative, in general. With the rebellious nature of the generation, the categories and definitions set in place to make it easier for society to understand and comprehend certain notions are being challenged more and more every day.

One classifies music as music because instruments are used and sound is produced. John Cage’s 4’33 piece defies this preconception. There is even written sheet music for the piece, but he technically doesn’t “play” any music. According to us, it is “quiet and silent” throughout the entirety of the piece

According to him, “Everything we do is music.” Instead of a guitar strumming or horn blowing, the sound of the wind or someone breathing act as the musical notes.

In terms of fashion, people argue that as long as it is worn, selfexpressive, and trendy, it is fashion. Keeping with the John Cage example, one could argue that being completely nude can be considered fashion. The possibilities and interpretations are endless. These controversial statements or ideas open up a discussion within the industry and open the doors for more innovations and creations.

On one hand, the creativity to invent these pieces is notable, but could this also be an indicator of a lack of originality? Creating a wearable, ontrend piece of clothing is doable– it has been done for centuries. For the designer or high-fashion lover, it can be seen as fashion innovation. However, as a student and an average buyer always on the hunt for the best value and purchase, where is the sense in an impractical investment? In the arts, there are ideally no closed doors. One’s vision will not be everyone’s cup of tea. There is a market for everyone, and those who purchased these items have every right to spend their money however which way. However, students like myself could never afford to spend our student loans or minimum wages on these extravagances.

I’m always ecstatic and inspired when art forms cross and intertwine, but when does it go too far? Would you consider buying any of these items?

*conversions from dollars to pounds sterling made using Google
You can see more of Candice’s work on Instagram by following @Candice_x9.

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