Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Fashion = Wabi-Sabi

Fashion is inherently transient. The very same item that is huge story one season looks dated by the next (witness last summer's boho chic craze), and in the current high-speed digital age, keeping up with the trends is a full-time job. It's enough to make a girl buy a simple black turtleneck and call it a day.

Enter Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese philosophy that "acknowledges three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect" (Wikipedia is everyone's friend). Fashion actually illustrates this concept perfectly - think about how much work goes into one collection. All that effort for something that lasts, at most, a few months. And really, after that time, we will all be tired of it and go to something new. This is the fashion cycle, and it's worked that way for decades. By the way, being easily bored seems to be a trait that lends itself to success in the fashion industry; after all, you have to be at least a few steps ahead of the buying public.

Fashion is always evolving - it is never perfect, and it is definitely never finished. Even the most tried-and-true classics are re-hashed season after season (little black dress, anyone?), and despite the current craze for everything vintage, what's old looks new again. Vintage pieces themselves are evolving because we are wearing them in new ways.

In a state of flux, nothing is permanent - everything new becomes old, old becomes new, the beautiful becomes ugly, and the ugly becomes beautiful. The fashion industry will never be finished creating and innovating, and yet nothing really lasts, at least its original form. Change is the energy that powers fashion.

Check out the rest of the State of the Fashion bloggers at Fashion Tribes and Almost Girl.

No comments: