Does fashion need a purpose?

By Cameron Beech

With the Schiaparelli ss23 runway discourse, DUCFS selling out their final night in the record time of 0.8 seconds and an increased fascination in award show fashion, there has not been a better time to reflect on fashion’s purpose. Does fashion even require a purpose? Can it not ceaselessly exist, or must there be an agenda attached to the clothing we wear? Depending on who you ask, fashion is either a wearable piece of art and an article of artistic composition, or simply a way we cover our nakedness. Coming from an artistic background, my take on fashion is that its versatility transcends to something beyond the realms of art.

Pairing the aesthetic with the unaesthetic, the glamorous with the unglamorous, and showcasing the product against the backdrop of where it was initially born

Fashion functions as an independent living, breathing organism, constantly evolving and adapting to social, political and economic climates and ceasing to be, if neglected. It polarises people, pushes the bounds of comfortability and inspires wider political debates, such as if the body wears the art or the art wears the body, the danger of trend culture and culture of aesthetics and if fashion’s primary function is artistic or practical? Fashion shows act as temporary, living art galleries as we experience the art come to life in the model’s movements. Models do not simply wear the garments but give the piece a lifeline. After initially attending DUCFS to watch a friend walk the runway, I came away in absolute awe of its artistic spectacle and sensational visuals.

French fashion brand, Chanel, have always given particular attention to the art of set designs; some particular standout designs in previous years have been the Fall-Winter 2014/15 ready-to-wear collection, set against the backdrop of a luxury convenience store and Fall-Winter 2016/17 Haute Couture, where the models walk through what looks to be a fashion studio, paying homage to the process of creating fashion whilst pairing the aesthetic with the unaesthetic, the glamorous with the unglamorous, and showcasing the product against the backdrop of where it was initially born.

Fashion functions as an independent living, breathing organism, constantly evolving and adapting to social, political and economic climates

St Mary’s College charity fashion show, Revival, beautifully revived the ability for fashion to be fun and exciting. It was refreshing to see the models having fun, dancing, engaging with spectators and feeling the music, making fashion into an enjoyable, intoxicatingly exhilarate and fun experience. It was a testament to the idea that there is more to fashion than just clothes its about how it makes you feel, the emotion it achieves. Fashion is like that friend that hypes you up, inspires you, makes you realise your potential, and the fashion show functions as the mouthpiece.

Much in the same way fashion shows engineer inspiration and push the bounds of potential, this edition of Indigo aims to achieve the same. Coming up in this edition of Indigo, Style (page 5) investigate necklace boycotting on the red carpet, Music (pages 6 & 7) delve into the history
of protest music and Stage (page 13) look into the playwrights aspiring for an Olivier.

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3 thoughts on “Does fashion need a purpose?

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