A Quick Thought on Originality in Personal Fashion
There is a distinct point where original becomes eccentric. This point is extremely hard (likely impossible) to define, but once someone has crossed over it seems quite clear. Take the following picture into consideration:
The man pictured above (by Terry Richardson) goes by London John. John is an eccentric dresser. In fact, everything about his style seems eccentric, and that itself seems immediately clear to us as observers. However, few people would assert that London John should be a fashion icon based on his originality. At the same time, few people would claim that John is taking a more modern anti-fashion approach to his dress. It seems that John is just an honestly weird dresser.
Now look at the two photos below:
These two pieces are from the Spring/Summer 2013 collection that was recently unveiled by Astrid Andersen. Both pieces above can very easily be viewed as original. However, there is a huge difference between those pieces and the clothing donned by London John. It is not a matter of materials, colors or cuts (John is not wearing the fuzzy fanny pack, his jacket slightly matches his pants, and his whole midriff is covered) but there does seem to be a decisive shift. The only thing that is obviously different is context. What if John’s outfit were selected for him by Astrid Andersen, would people like it more? If John’s outfit were to be worn by a stunning and slim model, would it too be considered original, as opposed to eccentric? If that is the case, what are the implications to current fashion? I know I have previously written about my frustrations with hype in the industry, but this would seem to raise the bar even further on the power of hype.
I think this is my problem with most high-fashion runway shows. I love seeing what fashion can become, or what people think fashion should look like, but I too often find myself frustrated with the fact that some hideous ideas are idolized because of this context.
Photos of Astrid Andersen’s Spring/Summer 2013 Collection found at Fucking Young!