Fashion or Clothing?

[Original German Blog Post]

In the age of the growing powerlessness of subjective spirit vis-à-vis social objectivity, fashion registers the alien excess of objectivity in subjective spirit, which is painful yet all the same a corrective of the illusion that subjective spirit exists purely within itself. Against its detractors, fashion’s most powerful response is that it participates in the individual impulse, which is saturated with did so paradigmatically in Art Noveau [Jugendstil], in the paradoxical universality of loneliness as style. … If art, as semblance, is the clothing of an invisible body, fashion is clothing as the absolute.”

(Adorno, Ästhetische Theorie)

Why have we named this blog Slow Fashion and not Slow Clothing? Well, a fashion is by definition something that is by many (most) people within a culture regarded á la mode actuelle, fashionable, modern. Even if this does not necessarily imply that some fashion will become unfashionable after a few weeks, the modern is always in opposition to the timeless, the classic, the indémodable.

Clothing is a functional term. Regarding communication and culture, wearing clothes is the opposite of being naked. By fashion however we express ourselves, show our relation to our kind while differentiating from others. Clothing is to fashion what nurture is to cuisine. and taste are both not only expressed in style – and good style includes to respect origin and ethics of course – but also by fashion by which we vary our style and place it in a contemporary setting.

My grandmother used to sew her dresses herself, like many women of her generation. Often a dress would be tailored only for a single occasion or feastivity. And thus of course in the latest fashion. The special dress was – like the special set menu – index of high esteem and respect for the occasion and its guests. The patterns were brought by the fashion magazines, that in this case were not at all just presenting a dream world of models, dressed in cat-walk collections, but were serving as concrete source of inspiration for the own creativity. The tailored or knitted was unstiched and remade after a very short period of time. Between this tension of carefulness and ephemerity Slow Fashion unfolds.


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