Monday, April 20, 2009
Why idealism is so important to fashion
Recently, I acquired Fashion Sketchbook, 5th edition by Bina Abling as a birthday gift (for the first time ever I got exactly what I wanted for my birthday, all I had to do was to ask for it... subtly.. =P). I asked for the book because I want to learn how to draw fashion sketches, and prepare myself for a career change. Since the bad economy is limiting my options right now, why not do something productive while I wait for things to take a turn.
I discovered that for me, it is a lot more difficult to materialize ideas into fashion designs than into fine art, such as paintings, because fashion designs have to be practical at the same time. So this book introduced me to the world of fashion from a very technical perspective.
First thing I learned from this book is that fashion sketches are based off of idealism, and not realism. The book teaches me to draw figures in an unrealistically elongated and thin manner, and actually in reality that concept applies to the runway too. So in the world of fashion, why is idealism so dominate and important? The thought helped me to understand high fashion, avant-garde , and haute couture. The world of high fashion is all about pushing envelops, testing extremes and conveying idealism. Idealism is beauty in this overly commercialized world, and it creates a extremely high standard to attract a following because of its difficulty to achieve. It is human nature to want things that we can not have, and what is better than idealism? The more that we cannot have it, the more we will pay for it, whatever "it" is, and then high fashion turns into high profit. After understanding that very basic concept, these elongated and extreme figures in fashion become almost an inevitability. Somehow, somewhere, the boundaries were pushed, models got thinner and taller. The sketches became even more extreme to match what the fashion industry identifies as ideal.
Lesson learned here: In order to be successful in this industry, I have to learn to push that boundary even further, learn to be even more extreme, and never settle for mediocrity.