Seeing fashion as art

I’ve never had much use for fashion.

At its worst, it can be impractical, silly, or downright dangerous. And even at its best, it’s still wasteful. (Think of the vast resources that go into producing the latest trendy whatevers—which of course will be discarded a year later, when the new trends make their debut.)

But perhaps I’ve been taking too narrow a view.

I’ve always thought of fashion as something that is dictated by the Big Design Houses, draped on skeletal models, and paraded down the runways of Paris and Milan.

As it turns out, I’ve been mistaken. That’s not fashion. That’s couture.

Thanks to The Sartorialist, I’ve just learned the true meaning of fashion: In its purest form, it’s a means of self-expression, like painting or music or dance. It’s an art of self-revelation, through which everyday people can choose how they present themselves to the world.

The Sartorialist’s gorgeous photos reveal this fact eloquently. I love that most of his subjects are smiling. He is clearly capturing them when they feel they’re at their best. And that’s what fashion should really be about: Helping people express who they are, and helping them feel that they’re at their best.

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