Avant-garde, Vogue Italia Sept 2011
Image from Vogue.it
Image from Vogue.it
There is a great deal of impracticality to be found in fashion. Problematic hemlines, constricting forms and patches of cloth barely held together by the flimsiest of straps. Corsets. The hobble skirt. Shutter shades. A misstep in spindly heels can land you a trip to the ER... no wonder "Suffer for Fashion" is an oft-repeated mantra amongst the fashionably inclined. Tiis-ganda in local parlance. Women since time immemorial are willing to risk arm, leg and sanity for the sake of an ever-changing concept of à la mode.
I often struggle with this myself. If it were only up to me I'd be clad in four inch wedge boots at all hours but my morning commute consists of an hour and a half of brisk walking and standing in cramped trains if I'm lucky. Technically I could, but then at the end of the day the balls of my feet feel like they're being assaulted by white hot metal rods. Nothing else says haute than that familiar stabbing sensation.
Then there's the issue of weather appropriate clothing. Unluckily for me I prefer A/W fits but live in the tropics. I can only dream of wrapping myself in the softest, chunkiest knits. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I can never wear leather as long as I stay here. A blistered lamb Rick trapeze jacket may be one of the most iconic garments he has ever designed but the risk of heatstroke aint worth it (and it's not like I can afford one either). It's simply unbearable for my lifestyle. To Manila people who fearlessly wear leather jackets, tell me your secrets!
Grace Coddington and Tonne Goodman keeping it real
Image from Jak&Jil
Streetstyle photos of fashion editors make it seem like wearing the tiniest of skirts and the tallest of heels a walk in the park. I sometimes catch myself thinking that if I could only wear what they wear and realize that their lives and mine could not be any more different. They probably get around town in chauffeured cars and live in temperate cities. Muggers and walking through shady streets are the last things on their minds. And that's the crux really. Fashion should follow your lifestyle, and not the other way around. The people we often see in streetstyle snaps aren't representative of the majority. Fashion designers are often out-of-touch with how ordinary people live. Most magazines mostly care about their advertisers and not their readers. It's fun to indulge in frivolous fashion trends once in a while, but it is up to us regular schmucks with the unfortunate attraction to beautiful, impractical clothing to merge the idea of how we want to dress ideally with what is feasible and fitting in our daily routines.
Do you make any sacrifices for fashion? Is fashion even worth the discomfort in the first place? Thoughts?