Fashion Flashback – An Introduction

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Annabelle Frazer, Features Editor

The difference between fashion and style is quality.”

— Giorgio Armani

 

Fashion and style

Two familiar words, two syllables each. In their familiarity, these innocent statements seem to naturally fall into equivalent genres. 

When one questions the soul definition of fashion, they may easily assume the hysterically monotonous textbook definition: popular trends, primarily regarding the manners of clothing.

Or, perhaps they consider themselves to be particularly well-versed in the nature of fashion trends, and therefore prefer to define the word (or “idea”) as something along the liberating lines of “expression.” 

Well, if fashion, in its vagueness, is offered such a prestigious title, what have they left to define its utterly more talented sibling, style? 

 

Fashion changes, style endures.”

— Coco Chanel

The undeniable truth is that fashion is advertised and sold. Fashion, purely by itself, has no ability to evolve. The loveliest, most eloquent and ornate gown placed with such delicate attention over a plastic mannequin, if left entirely untouched, will remain the very same gown until its season comes to an end. Inevitably, it will be replaced by a different, yet equally mesmerizing gown. The gown will not change. The gown will not evolve. It will certainly not capture the interest of any vintage curator, fifty years past its prime. 

However, imagine if said gown had sustained the ability to captivate a passerby who just so happened to have a unique flair for styling. What happens then? With the curation of various other accessories, garments and the invasive attention of the media, the once desolate, mundane gown then becomes immortalized.  This very moment is when style blossoms. 

What is the difference between style and fashion? Fashion says, “me too.” Style says, “only me.”

— Geraldine Stutz

Simultaneously, with the addition of the media’s attention, any public personality with a remotely ingenuous sense of style is going to attract the immediate criticism of the press bloodhounds. Yet as their cameras, notepads, and passive aggressive assertions lambaste the indifferent nature of the stylist and their presentation, there is a discreet benefit to their vexatious habits.

Attention is attention. Whether it’s praise or shame, the continuous attention of the media and its followers is what continues to fuel each and every industry. 

Looking at the larger image, what the platoon of under qualified and underpaid critic warriors think about an outfit worn by a B list celebrity to an NYC brunch date means no matter. Every article published, no matter the content inside, promotes the message intended by those who worked to curate and style the look. That leaves those in favor with one responsibility: to pay no mind. 

A firm belief shared by many renowned artists in the fashion industry is: if you really have style, the opinions of others should be completely irrelevant. Reducing one’s style to fit in with the conventional trends of the time, reduces personal style into the dull concept of fashion, and strips away all opportunity for creativity and evolution.  

I think we all know boldness when we see it. Nothing makes me smile more than when I see someone being fully themselves, with their own individual style and character, whatever that is.”

— Angelina Jolie

The Breakdown

The monthly “Fashion Flashback” serves to highlight those who have never favored, and never will favor the over-extensive opinions of others. The sole intention behind this upcoming column is to reassert the waning image of self expression and courage. 

With each month, the featured eras ranging from the handsome abandonment of pin-up in the 1950s, to today’s most eclectic influences, spotlight two individuals whose outer expressions of “Who cares?” continue to break through traditional boundaries, emit the limits of fashion, and create the blueprint for ensuing generations of style.