… What’s wrong with fashion is how beautifully it keeps-current ruling class values of status and acquisition, of money and power, by capturing the imaginations of young people, and holding them very often for life. It is a tremendous mover of ideas, but no one really talks about it as such. It is easily dismissed as frivolous. What does draw criticism: sweatshop labor practices, weird body image issues, and the predatory treatment of models, all big problems, are really the distracting limbs of a darker body never explicitly revealed.
None of that is in the work shown here, though I’d like to think the pictures humanize a subject that’s nearly always presented in supra-human ways.
Fashion’s abiding appeal is in how easily it allows certain young people creative power and social mobility, a chance to see the world and make their marks on it. Talent and confidence count just as much as good looks. But most designers go broke and all models get too old, and very little of their work is remembered. This also should be acknowledged. It’s a sacrificial art, they all know, one that’s always on fire.
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