Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Dynamics of fashion and the Avant Garde Theory

Although this blog is mainly about analyzing the fashion that is carried out by the elite crowed in LA an NY (to name a few), I want to shift gears a little bit and talk about the word fashion. In particular, its dynamics and what makes it stand out. Author of the Dynamics of Fashion, Elaine Stone defined the word fashion as " the very word conjures up excitement and interest in all of us. Fashion is the ultimate F word! It is faddish, familiar, fantasy, form, fatal, feasible, festive, finite, fit, fresh, and fun. Fashion is the most dynamic of American businesses. It thrives on change, and change is the engine that fuels it” (p. 3). I believe that there is a lot of truth to what she is saying, however I tend to think that fashion is more than just something familiar. It is actually unfamiliar which makes it stand out and fit the category of ‘fashionable.’ According to the theory of Avant Garde in respect to fashion, is once you wear something and
make it fashionable, it is no longer fashionable. Just to give you a background about this term, Avant Garde means “advance guard” and it is derived from the French language. When it is used in the adjective form in English, it refers to people and works that are innovative, pushing the limits or boundaries, particularly in a society’s culture, art, and politics. This term was created by modernists who opposed conventionality. It basically means, appealing the status quo and thinking unconventionally in the cultural realm. With that in mind, the theory of Avant Garde would oppose what Stone is saying in a sense that fashion is familiar, because Avant Garde sets the tone for what is unfamiliar and different. The juxtaposition of both of these ideas stimulates a lot of debate when it comes to thinking about the dynamics of fashion. To me personally, fashion should be heavily emphasized on being unique and unconventional, just as the theory of Avant Garde suggests. However, since fashion is always evolving and constantly changing it never fails to appeal to almost every type of individual who enjoys fashion. So there is a constantly moving trajectory that fashionable items follow. There are certainly people who are trend setters, and when everyone else copies them, they set the tone for the Avant Garde and everyone else follows. In which case, the Avant Garde loses its meaning but something new would usually follow after that.

No comments:

Post a Comment