Can Scrunchies Make the World a Better Place?

7 09 2009
Viva Spandex!

Viva Spandex!

Some people complain about the fact that the 80s made a comeback and some are even outright livid that we are transitioning directly into the 90s.

But…fashion has ALWAYS done that.  And fashion’s not the only one…

I understand the idea that we all want to be surprised and why we love to see something original – but I don’t think that should preclude all of our desires – nay our rights! – to go back and play dress-up in our parent’s closets.  The very idea of playing in and experimenting with the different elements, i.e. the past, is what enables us to internalize ideas and feelings – to really “get it.”  And the more we “get it,” the better we incorporate it…Kind of a learn-the-rules-so-you-can-break-them approach.

Look at kids – they’ll go through a stage where all they want to do is put lids on pans, and that’s their sole life’s purpose for 3 weeks.  Then, on the 4th week, they move onto hoses…and so on.  They are studying and understanding the physical world around them by playing with all of the pieces and discovering all of the interconnections – the more obsessed they are with the inner workings of lids and hoses now, the better able they will be later to intuitively use them in some creative cure for cancer or perpetual motion machine that somehow enables world peace.

Fashion is one of the many parallel versions for adults – like a set of new toys that encourages us to keep experimenting and learning.  Fashion – well, most art, and even math and science, actually – is a combination of both the physical world and the cultures and histories that inhabit that world.  So, by going back in time and studying fashions and the environments that surrounded those fashions, we are, quite literally, trying to put ourselves in the shoes of others.  We are, whether we are exploring in movies, photos, costumes, or makeup, trying to get a better understanding of the past – or even a different culture from the present.  We are, essentially, trying to know what they knew.

So don’t get hung up on only doing something ground-breakingly original – stick your hands in all of the finger-paint jars and make something pretty.  Not everything has to be a masterpiece, and you have to have a little fun in order to make the world a better place…So get started!!

I’m sure there are people out there who have something worthwhile to contribute here – we’d love to hear your thoughts!  Talk amongst yah-selves dahlings….

In the meantime, be sure to hook it up so that you don’t miss out on any tantalizing tidbits… and you know they’re tantalizing…!




4 responses

7 09 2009

So true. I remember as a little girl my dad said something to the effect of no one wanting to admit they existed in the 70s because the things they wore were too embarrassing. 25 years later et voila! Wide leg pants and trench coats are back, along with a new appreciation for the afro. Even fifteen years ago the 80s were considered the dark age of fashion, but now designers have developed a new take on those multi-tiered mini skirts and colorblock patterns and smocking! I even regret our insistence that Mom go through and get rid of her old things and get updated clothes because remember a specific pair of shoes I particularly want for myself now! I think though that the important thing is to find another angle on these old elements, weeding out the undesirables (the shapeless boat-neck floorlength dress of the late ’90s I have no desire to welcome back into my wardrobe, nor the matching equally shapeless shrug, though one of my friends still thinks these unflattering polyester constructs are the height of fashion…). I think that recycling fashion trends is yet another way of self-editing (oh, this worked, didn’t it? Let’s revisit it! This definitely didn’t work at all, let’s let that one stay hidden).

7 09 2009

Yeah, it’s almost like it’s our way of keeping our cultural “stories” alive… like every 20 years we have to ritually revisit our past in this artistic dance called fashion…it’s kind of like an abstract play of some sort.

7 09 2009

Also – I’m going to need a visual reference on the boat dresses to which you refer…I’m intrigued…

9 09 2009
Kate picture that, but thin polyester (printed on one side, so the inside is white) and as casualwear. But even then it doesn’t do justice. I tend to think Topanga Lawrence from Boy Meets World when I think of that type of dress. I can’t find a photo of those dresses specifically. Basically, boatneck, sheath, down to the floor, slit to maybe the knee, in a fabric that doesn’t flow well with movement. Makes tall thin women look wraithish and others like their clothes are too small.

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