fashion (versus) style

i've been doing a lot of thinking about fashion versus style i sort of alluded to in my previous post concerning the fall 2007 fashion shows and my lack of interest in them. after participating in the whole fashion school thing last year, and working in the industry to a degree, i have found myself asking a lot of questions, and questioning the whole fashion and style "industry" as a whole, and how fashion and style work together, and how they are opposed.

when i think fashion, i often think of big business, about the hollow drive to make profits, often at the expense of human beings: the human beings that make those products in some far off country, the human beings that think they NEED to acquire those products because they feel they must be considered "current". not to mention the toll this consumption takes on the planet, due to impact of certain production methods and pollution that results from that production and the disposal of discarded clothing and related products. not all companies and creators have this sort of impact, but there are many that do. at times, fashion is a concept or construct that seems huge, meta, a big shell, or umbrella.

i do buy things, i do follow fashion, design and style to a degree, but philosophically, i keep coming back to championing personal style. when i think "style" i think of the concept of a creative individual, implying *one* and in that i see authenticity, realness, and personality. i think of something that is completely unique, though it may be similar to other things in some manner. i think of something that is human, and small and precious.

so, some quick thoughts. nothing here is cut and dry. nothing is black and white. but even so, i feel like i want to articulate what i see as differences between the fashion industry as whole, as an industry, and the style of an individual, a person. this all comes from the fact that i have a desire to ask questions, to foster and spark a discussion. i feel i need to attempt to think about clothing, style, fashion in more than a "i want this and nothing more" sort of manner. i want to achieve moderation in my consumption and want to temper my desire for objects with intelligent consideration and thought. i'm positive i'll add more to these thoughts over time, and i reserve the right to change my mind. i just feel the need to dump out the contents of my brain, as i am wont to do on occasion...


fashion is...letting retailers, designers, magazines and other large companies whose main aim is to profit set trends for you to follow.

style is...setting your own trends, following your own muse, influencing other people with your creativity and confidence.

fashion is...letting others do the thinking for you.

style is...thinking about everything. asking questions, taking chances. looking at oneself honestly. being fearless, being experimental within the construct of your own life and your own closet.

fashion is...something that changes seasonally, in a regimented way, driven by big business and the need to make you feel you need to acquire something new.

style is...something that evolves, matures, and changes over varied amounts of time, influenced and inspired by your age, gender, culture, nationality, geographic locale, interests, subculture, politics, religion, and a myriad of other factors.

fashion is...often mass produced, in multiples, not unique, not authentic.

style individual and completely unique as the DNA that resides in each of us on this planet. no two people can look at the world, and by extension, the building blocks of their closet or wardrobe, in the same exact manner.

fashion is...strictly looking at the magazines/celebs/websites/whatever and copying a "look".

style is...somewhat about doing it yourself, being creative (either making it yourself, or if you lack the dexterity, mixing what you do have in a creative, inspired manner). this relates to the individualism of style, as stated above.

fashion is...keeping up with the "trends" of the season. implying you are behind the curve instead of ahead of it.

style is...not giving a shit if there is a trend at all, or if so, following only those that make sense to you personally, considering the shape of your age, your body, your lifestyle, your likes and dislikes.


what do you think? what makes fashion and style different? or are they same thing? what is fashion? what is style?

also...why is style hard to define? is it because it is so personal and individual? what makes someone exude amazing personal style? what is the magic ingredient that makes someone inherently stylish?

i implore you to add to this any thoughts you might have.


clothing is more than just the threads you envelop yourself in. it implies much and speaks volumes.