Thoughts on Fashion vs Style

Even while I'm currently preparing to head to New York for the purpose of fashion week and looking forward to seeing new collections and photographing what I can, much of my inspiration in dressing for fall pre-dates this "fashion" season. Such is the constant battle between fashion and style. Fashion tells you what is hot and constantly presses for the newest of everything--we've even jumped from our traditional fall and spring collections to designers working around the clock with limited downtime to find inspiration in order to produce pre-fall and resort, not to mention limited edition collections and collaborations with other brands or celebrities or superstores. It's hardly the only industry that is interested in what is new (or from another perspective what could be termed: progress). Technology similarly is constantly moving forward and it seems like every six months your phone is more out of date and if you manage to hang on to a model for more than a year your friends will soon be teasing you about the dinosaur you use to call your parents on.
However, one major difference between technology and fashion is you don't wear the former. I might be very attached to my computer and it might even boast personalization in the form of a vinyl sticker, but it doesn't alter my appearance. My relationship with clothes is much more personal than with my gadgets (no matter how attached to my camera I might sometimes seem), because clothes accentuate my body, my person. The way I dress says something about how I see myself and how I want the world to see me. The clothes on my back go with me every where from the coffee shop to the grocery store and dates with my boyfriend. The right clothes alter my mood, give me confidence, and the wrong shoes make me nervous to walk authoritatively for fear of twisting an ankle.
So, here I am preparing for "new new new," but still thinking back about how good Proezna Schouler Pre-Fall 2009 was. I mean, how many "fashion seasons" ago was that? Yet nearly every fall when it comes time to transition my wardrobe I remember those metallics and layers and get inspired. Of course, that's only inspiration from a runway collection--I'm just as easily inspired by actresses in films; like the prim dressing of Catherine Deneuve in Umbrellas of Cherbourg. That is one essential difference between fashion and style: fashion tells you if 60s silhouettes are on trend this year and style says if you like 60s silhouettes then wear them. It is necessary for fashion as an industry to adapt and change and create new pieces by the season, but it isn't necessary for an individual abide by those confines. For myself, I enjoy fashion from shows to editorials and several other illustrations between, but my relationship with how I dress will always be too personal to be a true fashionista--instead I fall into the category of a focus on style. And isn't it often stylish women who buck the trends by setting their own that end up influencing fashion anyway..?


to top