Everything = Nothing?

The fashion & beauty industry is facing a revolution, through which the power is shifting from huge multinational corporations to small indie brands and the individual as a consumer. People are no longer accepting nor striving to fit into the stereotypical beauty norms or ideals and embracing individuality and uniqueness is beginning to guide the consumer’s decisions. The same is happening with fashion. The word fashion has earlier been defined as something that is not available to everyone - exclusivity has been the key characteristic keeping it alive. Nowadays the life cycle of a trend is becoming shorter and shorter due to the fact that fast-fashion has made obtaining fashionable items easier and cheaper for the consumer.

Fashion has always had a trickle-down way of spreading into the society, and being a fashion forerunner or a trendsetter has been (until recently) the exclusive privilege of people representing the upper classes. However, social media has allowed people from all social classes to become trendsetters and create their own trends regardless of what the latest in-things are according to fashion editors. This in turn has led fashions previous forerunners to resort to even more extravagant or ridiculous ways to be able to dissociate themselves from the masses and create something new and exciting. The rise of dad sneakers, mom jeans and the whole ugly chic -movement is a great example of the paths fashion has been forced to take because everyone was suddenly able to be pretty and stylish so easily - pretty became boring.

“if everything is beautiful, then unfortunately, nothing is”

What I’m wondering now is what the future of fashion and beauty holds. If individuality is the only thing defining these things it naturally means that everything and everyone is beautiful - and if everything is beautiful then unfortunately, nothing is. Beauty is traditionally defined as a quality that makes something especially good or attractive. This means that, in a way, it arises through its ability to stand out from its surroundings and if there’s nothing to stand out from, beauty cannot exist.

I, however, have my own view of what is beautiful and fashionable. For me, beauty is based on passion and passion in turn originates from love. People, regardless of size, ethnicity or any other visible characteristics, who treat themselves and others with love and respect are beautiful. People who take care of their physical and mental wellbeing and thrive to develop as people are inspiring to me. These things manifest themselves in very different ways and that of course means that there is not just one way to be beautiful or create something beautiful, it also means that for me everything is not beautiful. People who treat others disrespectfully or hold themselves higher than others are not beautiful no matter how symmetrical their facial features are. This is because there is no love shining from within - I truly think that a person’s ugly personality will sooner or later corrode even the smoothest of outer surfaces.

When it comes to fashion I have similar views. I think that fashion and style is all about the combination of self-expression and the want to find common ground and communicate with people who have resembling values. I have often been questioned about the reasons why I choose to spend money on fashion. Some people have already taken their stand on the subject and refuse to even give me a chance to explain, whereas some people are curious and openminded, ready to look at things from a new perspective. I usually begin by explaining that for me fashion is a form of art. Shoes, bags and pieces of clothing are artwork that evoke very strong emotions in me just like a poem or song could. I feel like peoples’ outfits tell stories and send out messages that in some cases are intentional and sometimes unintentional or even purely coincidental. I pay attention to how people choose to dress and sometimes wonder what their choices could possibly signalize. These “messages” are of course always interpreted in different ways by different people and sometimes the intended message is misunderstood - this type of miscommunication is very common especially between individuals whose standpoint are very far apart. Confidence and a relaxed attitude can often be mistaken as arrogance, courage and realness can be taken as an attempt to get attention. I’ve read many articles that have predicted the death of fashion altogether, but personally I am not afraid of that. For me a fashionable person is and will continue to be someone who puts their outfits together with passion and fearlessness and carries themselves and their outfit with gratitude, confidence and pride. Everything is not fashionable, no matter how much the outfit may have cost or how rare each piece of the outfit is. In my opinion, it is something real and authentic - it cannot be simply bought with money or copied - it requires skill, talent and passion and an ability to see the clothes as something more than just pieces of fabric or leather sown together with big logo stitched onto them. I am passionate about style and fashion and I am no longer afraid to admit it, even though many people have given me the impression that my passion is not significant or profound enough and I should concentrate on “something smarter”.

I want to develop as a person both physically and mentally and work towards feeling more at ease with myself. I want to encourage and inspire others to have courage to take those steps towards feeling more confident and content in themselves and their appearance. It is not shallow or wrong in any way to admit that you want to look a certain way or that you want to invest in yourself, in whatever way it may be, in order to become the best version of yourself and achieve the appearance you’ll feel proud of. I hate the way incredible design, ingenuity and talent is so easily overlooked when it comes to beauty and fashion - it is an important part of culture just as any other form of self-expression or art is and nobody should ever be disparaged for being passionate about it.

Viivi ClarkComment