Reading 5

  1. What are the three cardinal attributes to define the sociologic phenomenon of fashion?   Provide a definition in your own words, based on what you read of each attribute.

The first attribute is temporal, which means that fashion moves and changes quickly. Fashion itself fluctuates, the point of it is to always be moving in a new direction. Georg Simmel said, “The question of fashions not ‘to be or not to be’, but fashion is and is not at the same moment, standing at the borderline of the past and the future, giving us a strong feeling of being in the present.”  The idea that “fashion tries to reach something it will never achieve” is important in helping understand why there is constant change. As Heidi Klum says, “One day you’re in and the next day you’re out.”

The next attribute is social. Bernard explains the social aspect as being part of an everyday experience. Everyday one must choose their clothes according to the individuals criteria for dressing and settle upon an outfit that sends their message to society. Clothing is how we communicate our feelings and emotions, stages in our life and we pick up on these social cues subconsciously.

The last attribute is the material dimension. This is fashion itself. This dimension includes everything that goes along with clothing; hair, makeup, accessories, etc. It also includes ones lifestyle. The way one lives is dependent on the fashion choices one makes, and vise versa. From what we understand “lifestyle” is the choices one makes to live their life a certain way. For example, being a vegetarian is a lifestyle choice. But according to Adler, it is an illness; it is a pattern of behaviors that one uses as a defense mechanism to hide their weakness. I feel that today we can over lap the two. We make choices, to better our lives, but often times they can show or hide our neuroses.

2.What does it mean, “Fashion is Play” How do you play at fashion?  Provide examples, and images.

This idea of fashion is play is primal. Play is an inherit trait and as humans it is apart of us and this idea encompasses fashion because it has become a large part of who we are. From what I understand of fashion is play, my idea of fashion has evolved greatly. I have always felt a need for balance in clothing and what I find aesthetically pleasing is masculine influence with feminine balance. Growing up I was a tom boy, I wanted to fit in with my brothers, male cousins and friends.  I could’t be concerned with fixing my hair or looking nice. And as my mother can attest to this, I was difficult. When I was a teenager I began exploring a more feminine wardrobe and attitude, but it was excessive. When I started college I was in this weird limbo over compensating and trying really hard. And now that I find myself in my twenties, figuring out who I really, and who I want to become, as well as accepting myself for all that I can become, I have learned fashion is all balance.
 3. Define the Histrionic Attitude and Schizoid Attitude towards Fashion.  Provide examples from your own experience.
In terms of fashion the histrionic attitude is very concerned with being concerned. They revolve their lives around fashion and getting attention from the fashion. Where as schizoid attitude is the complete opposite. They could care less about anything, especially fashion. Every aspic of these attitudes revolve around relationships, what others think of them, and validation. I feel like I fall into the middle of these opposites. I never wanted to be a part of fashion, nor did I want to exclude myself from it. Every phase that I’ve gone through was part me not being concerned with fashion and part me being concerned. I always found myself in this weird place and always tried to choose a side. But I’ve found a sort of solice in this happy medium where I find myself concerned but only to a certain point.

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