Assignment #1, " I am interested in the History of Fashion..."
- Okay, the assignement is to post a paragraph about why I'm interested in the History of Fashion. Well, okay, that's a loaded comment, since I just read the introduction to this assignment about the History of Fashion, I can say that I agree with the definition of history as being a personal story or moral in which we color our world with that point of view about a time, a place, a location, a person, a pair of shoes, a meal. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, because I do agree that its a personal definition of why and how someone looks at world, even if its social-political, but it has nothing to do directly with the question at hand, why am I interested in the History of Fashion?
First off, I love watching people. I'm what you would call a people watcher. I fit in with all those wall flowers that you see sometimes at Starbucks, at clubs, bars, poolhalls, etc. that seem at ease watching the world around them. Why? People fascinate me. I like to "read" them. I imagine myself as a reader or a watcher of a film and all you have to do is watch the scene in front of you to get a picture of that moment in time.
Now, the "true" historian, Thucydidies -the author of the "Peloponisian War," not Herodotus, had a great understanding of "recording the moment." I mention this, because most would argue and say that my consideration of Thucydides and not Herodotus as being a "real" historian is problematic. Okay, that's understandable, because that is what we are taught in Western Civ about our culture -until you read the "Peloponisian War" versus the "Histories." The history recorded in the "Peloponisian War" reads like newspaper articles or columns. It's tid-bits of "in the moments" or "real accounts" written down from "eye-witnesses" of the events. Whereas, the "Histories" are what the word literally means - written stories. And not just any type of stories, stories that people have recitied back and forth over events so many times its ingrained into our conciousness and recorded as such in official government documents as that being reality. Albit a fabricated reality, but a socially acceptable reality non-the-less.
So why make a comparison to two ancient dead guys who had two different approaches of writing about reality? Easy. Costuming versus Fashion. The history of fashion is the history of costuming, but its the practical application of the two fields that are worlds apart, just like when I was reading the "Peloponisian War" versus "Histories." Fashion is to the "Peloponisian War" as Costuming is to "Histories," right? Man, I wish it was that simple, but really, like in real life, its all a fabrication. It's all a point of view. The reality is still the same, but how you dress it up, that's where things get interesting. And for a people watcher, like myself, its like reading a book or watching a movie.
So under that pretext, I would say that I'm interested in the History of Fashion, because its a picture book of interesting and weird realties and counter realities as compared to now. No matter what that "now" is, its the fashion of the day that speaks to many elements of human history; its environments, its subcultures, its socio-economic/class systems etc. Its also a vehicle of the human mind to remember event, or those moments that are hidden in our mind until we see that something sparkly, and ding! There's that old memory - another [hi]story, if you will. But like watching people in real life: you have clues, sight references, or personal knowledge that gives the viewer their own perspective.
And the last and most important reason I would say that I'm interested in the History of Fashion/Costuming, is that I always seek inspiration to creat and produce my own designs, my own costumes, my own line of clothes, etc. Hsitory is the engine that revs my mind's eye for that spark ,that gleam of "Ah, ha!" And then I proceed from there.