Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Okay, I am a harpy when it comes to fashion I abhor the fast fashists. I realize that Godot isn’t coming, Uncle Sam is lunching with Big Brother and sorry, yes, Oz was faked. So let’s embrace the truth for denial is absurd and boring.

I read “The Waste Makers”: by Vance Packard (1960) over summer. This book showed up when I made a wrong turn. I flipped it open and read “In the fifties, designers in a great many fields earnestly studied the obsolescence-creating techniques pioneered in the field of clothing and accessories, particularly those for women,” Then, later “Every industry tries to emulate the women’s fashion industry. This is the key to modern marketing.” (page 71 ) The universe spoke and I was paying attention.

So now I am angry. I feel used, manipulated, disrespected even and yet I can’t just un-love “fashion”. Style, good design and change are part of the best of being human; we are drawn to beauty, novelty, fresh ideas. The question is how to navigate the balance between desire and need? What is style lust and what is the longer, loving relationship that is considerate to the unity of life and planet. and is it possible to have both?

Perhaps the answer is in the natural progression that evolves from street expressions as culture and art combine. New Wave, Punk, Goth and Grunge with Hip Hop opening the door for Rap; all names that evoke the power and influence of Street Up Style. It’s the music, clothing and expression of change, the voices for alternatives. The Beats of the 50’s influenced Givenchy. The spare simple lines of the black Capri pants and turtleneck sweater he designed for Audrey Hepburn was plucked from the coffee houses. The look became fashion news when it appeared on the big screen The cycle constantly repeats as ideas are snagged and then sold by those with the means to exploit them

Sustainable style is the antidote to the fashion pushers. It embraces the heart and mind, is ethical and wholistic, it is the alternative to madness. It is recycouture and organic cottons. It is repurposing and hemp. It is about taking responsibility and taking care of a great place called earth in a great venture called life. Sustainable style is about empowerment and saying no to being used and it is up to each one of us.

Privatizers and pillagers are cracking the Wall of Denial in many sectors; yet consumer habits are hard to break. Stay tuned……

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