"You are not a less intelligent or worthy woman for enjoying fashion. Remember, Simone de Beauvoir wore Chanel."
- Mary Woodward (The Guardian)
Fashionistas, and the fashion industry in general, have a bit of an image problem. Usually portrayed as either superficial divas or bitches-on-heels, those of us who are involved in the industry (or just interested in fashion) are stuck defending ourselves and our intelligence. But to paraphrase the thinking woman's fashionista Almost Girl, are Plato and Prada really mutually exclusive?
Not a chance. Success in the fashion industry comes from a unique combination of business sense and artistic ability. Even if you're just a spectator, an interest in fashion is actually not all that different from an interest in art, architecture, or music - fashion design is a form of art that is intertwined with all the others. The fashion reflects the art, music, and culture of the greater society.
So don't apologize for your interest in fashion; intelligent women do enjoy fashion, both for its own sake and because image is everything. The ability to craft your own image and style is central to the fashion, and it the reason it matters to everyone, not just designers, and magazine editors, and trendy girls. It's definitely possible to be a brilliant, well-rounded, thinking fashionista - check out the rest of the State of the Fashion Union bloggers for more than enough evidence.