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Thoughts on Fashion

zac posen

So with fashion week over, I’ve read quite a few discussions online about the relevance of such a bizarre institution. In times like this, when people are concerned about their future and making a living, the lavish pretension of it all makes Fashion (with a capital F) an easy target. It all seems so showy and… well, stupid.

I’m torn about this as well. For an outsider, the culture of the fashion world seems patently ridiculous and insular, focused on all the wrong things: consumerism, trends, status, appearances. You can paint a $4000 evening gown as “escapism,” but when everyone else is worrying about their next paycheck, you may as well be proclaiming “let them eat cake.”

But I do think we need fashion (with a small f). First, and most obviously, we need clothes. Humans have adapted to wearing clothing to cover our delicate bald skin, and that’s just how it is. Second, I think there’s a very real need within human societies for adornment. Adornment serves important purposes in communicating visually with one another, and is a marker of civilization. Sure, there are people who say they don’t care at all about what they wear, but they get dressed in the morning just like everyone else. What they wear says just as much about them as the fashionista in her Louboutins.

Then there is the artistic side of fashion, the part I am most interested in. Clothing presents opportunities for creativity in our daily lives, which I happen to think is an amazing gift. Many children seem to get this. From there, it goes all the way up to the couturiers and craftspeople who perfect and practice complex techniques of construction.

So basically, we’ve just moved up Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.

I choose to take the bad with the good, rather than deem the whole thing irrelevant. Yes, the fashion world seems silly to me. But for the beauty, the creativity, the artistry it infuses into our lives, whether we realize it or not, I can forgive fashion.

{image above from Zac Posen’s F09 collection, from}

Sarai Mitnick


Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.



February 23, 2009 #

I couldn’t agree with you more! :) Fashion (with a capital F) has always been out of my reach, but the one thing I have always loved by looking at the collections is the artistic spirit behind each one. As someone who loves things that communicate a person in visual terms (such as choice of clothing), it is something that I find fascinating. Despite the seeming irrelevance of $5,000 dresses right now. ;)

deepa mehta

November 13, 2010 #

i lov ur dress design… wat 2 knw more abt this


August 17, 2012 #

I agree with your thoughts above …. I love to create, combine colors , materials and most of all develop style using fabrics…but I do not want to become a slave of fashion trends just because at all!