The Fashion Machine

This Ruben Toledo illustration in the V&A did make me stop and think quite hard.  I’ve always likened trends, especially streetwear trends in London to a machine, a device of some sort.  I wonder if I will ever tire of the fashion machine, the trends going round and round on it in cycles, seeing as I’m quite in the thrall of it to some degree or another?   Will there be an opportunity for me to operate the fashion machine in some way, to influence the device?  If I do tire of it, will I ever step off the machine and turn my own fashion machine with one hand with only me on it?  All these ponderings in five minutes in front of this illustration.  What position to you stand in this fashion machine?  Are you on there toiling away, turning it, or totally off it? 

6 Replies to “The Fashion Machine”

  1. I wish I’ll turn it sometime, in any way. Now I’m only on it, I guess…But one thing I know, I could never ever be off it.
    Life is to complex not to dress for every occasions showing your personality through your clothes.
    Who is the most important person turning it, I’m wondering.?.

  2. To be a little facetious, we’re all part of the big fashion machine, feeding, greasing and turning it as creators and consumers, especially as the two become increasingly blurred.
    But I don’t think everything in fashion is as fatally cyclical as that illustration suggests. Each turn takes on a social, historical transformation, where the contemporary rubs ironic shoulders with the past. Yes, we’re happy to reinvent swinging 60’s minis again, but they’re no longer evocative of that era’s bright new celebration of youth, or its naive, liberated sexuality. Something the philosopher Walter Benjamin wrote on just this (fashion and history, not 60’s minis!), sums it up: “Fashion has a flair for the topical, no matter where it stirs in the thickets of long ago; it is a tiger’s leap into the past.”
    I think my own position is like that tiger, not on the surface, but climbing around all those cogs, jumping in and out of different eras, getting a hem caught in a wheel and fraying it out of recognition, into something new.
    I don’t think you could ever be off it, unless you became a hermit or something. Regardless of trends etc, how you look, how you choose to dress yourself and convey yourself is such an essential part of how you interact with the rest of society.

  3. Hi, Susie! Have been on deadline since we met at the Bluebird on Kings Road, over a week ago… So, unable to drop by Style Bubble. But, so luv it here… This is just to say that I would like to discourage you strongly from envisaging a Stop the Fashion World, I want to get off scenario as what makes your blogging so different is precisely that it avoids the mechanical, predictable approach of certain fash blogs that go round in circles doing print press-like features on screen. You definitely have a fresh twist… Am off to Venice, for the Biennale… CU soon! XXG

  4. We are all part of the “fashion machine”. No one single person will ever influence it on their own, because there is no such thing as originality – no matter how ‘far out’ a person dresses, it’s been or being done – but that’s precisely what makes it so totally amazing, everyone influences everyone else (even if we don’t think we are or can be influenced) and that’s what keeps it so well oiled – the interaction we have with one another, even on the tiniest of levels.
    You see someone wear something on the street or in a magazine and you think “oh that looks great I’ll try my own version of that too”, then someone sees you do it, so they try it too and so it goes on and on and on.
    Miriam sums it up perfectly:
    “I don’t think you could ever be off it, unless you became a hermit or something. Regardless of trends etc, how you look, how you choose to dress yourself and convey yourself is such an essential part of how you interact with the rest of society.”
    I love the machine!

  5. Is it possible for you to add a search function for your blog (or perhaps i could be directed to it as i just can’t seem to find it)?
    Thanks! I want to see what you’ve said about some specific things.
    enjoy your posts

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