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Prada and Fashion Phobia

January 20th, 2007 by tatterdemalion

In the January 18th, 2007 edition of the Wall Street Journal, an artical was run in the Personal Journal section entitled Prada vs. Prada: Overcoming Fashion Phobia. I found it interesting. For one thing, I had no idea there even was something called Fashion Phobia, and I certainly didn’t know that Miuccia Prada, the grand ol’ designer herself, has had Fashion Phobia.

In a nutshell, the article describes Fashion Phobia when they say “. . .Many of us can’t seem to get over the bias that equates a love of fashion with a low I.Q.“. Some symptoms were described as “being hooked by the irrational allure that makes a Louis Vuitton handbag of cotton and polyurethane worth $1,500“, “buy[ing] Vogue [a fashion magazine] at the airport where no one sees them” and “claim[ing] they bought a Chloe handbag half-price, even if they paid the full $1,300“.

As for Miuccia Prada, she initially resisted the whole fashion industry, instead pursuing a degree in political science. The article quotes her as saying, “I thought fashion was stupid because I thought there were more intelligent and nobel professions, like politics, medicine or science.

I found the article frustrating, though, because they made no distiction between fashion and clothing design, and to me there is a huge, cavernous difference between the two.

Prada also said in the article “Some say it’s about seduction, but I think that’s limiting. . .what you wear is how you present yourself ot the world, especially today when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language. ” Well. . .yes, and no. I think she is right that clothing design can express a whole lot more than seduction, but fashion? Educate me: Exactly why is $1,500 worth of cotton and polyurethane necessary for expression? That’s fashion, not clothing design.

She continues, “Why aren’t people embarrassed to buy beautiful furniture or art for your house? what you wear says more about you than what you put in your home.” Very true. If I changed my house decor and furniture everytime a new issue of Vogue came out, I would be endlessly embarrassed. If I bought dinner plates simply because of the designer’s name etched in the back, I would be embarrassed. Why should it be any different with clothes?

She would seem to agree with me. “That’s why she scoffs at those who fall victim to logos instead of developing their own styles. “Buying a $5,000 handbag just because it’s a status symbol is a sign of weakness,” Ms. Prada said. “Daring to wear something different takes effort. And being elegant isn’t easy. You have to study it, like cuisine, music and art.”” But that, my dear, is not fashion–that is clothing design. Fasion is all about status and seduction and high price tags for nothing more than names and logos. The pursuit of fleeting clothing trends is frivolous. You have made no argument at all to embrace fashion, but rather to flee it. Has anyone even looked up the word “fashion” lately?

Do you mean to be a fashion designer, or a clothes designer? Consider carefully; those goals are much further apart than they can appear.

Posted in Articles, Design, Fashion | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. abigail Says:

    Okay, I don’t have time right now to explore, but I just followed a link your mom gave me and voila! This is wonderful! I love ethereal land and will be back at a more sane hour. (This new site’s design is lovely, too!)

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