Fashion’s latest obsession with Hollywood kids explained
The fashion establishment right now must be feeling like Marie Antoinette felt before the mad mob invaded her castle and captured her. I always wondered how must the craziest of dictators feel when they realise that their gig is up. The fall of empires is often depicted in history as sudden events. But in reality, a process is set in place where every day a brick is chipped away from the foundation of the castle until it finally tumbles. Our modern idea of what is fashion went through a materialistic phase of ‘let them eat cake’ time and it’s only natural that now we are as close as contemporary fashion has ever been to a revolution.
When we look back at history, we learn that at the sight of trouble, the ruling power will always take desperate actions. The old school fashion establishment had a long reign over what women were in the past century, but what they will soon find out is that those establishments such as Vogue are getting increasingly close to have their own Kodak moment. Not the Kodak moment that makes them look good in a picture. I am talking about a failing in the ability to keep with modern times that eventually kills the brand. The era of the Internet brought challenges to a media segment that used to have it much easier when it came to controlling the mechanisms of its consumer’s desires. Together, the Internet, conspicuous consumption, the increase of institutional, media and corporation distrust has put the dictators of fashion in a pickle. Anna Wintour must know by now, that the image she created is ironically going out of style. As the age of true female liberation rises, there is no room in our future as an equal part of a more fair society for the nonsensical stereotypes of that despicable depiction of what women in fashion are about, such was the case of The Devil Wears Prada. Sir Richard Branson has said that “Your brand name is only as good as your reputation”, and if you agree with that, we must agree that the fashion as we know it is morally bankrupt because it has established a rotten reputation.
The moment just before the bubble bursts is often when one has the chance to stare at the despair in the eyes of those who are about to be reduced to dust. And lately, the things that fashion have been doing out of desperation is as fascinating and as revolting as a graphic content video from the dark web. For the sake of substantiating an argument, we shall name just a few of the major issues that have stained the name of fashion and made it a synonym of narcissistic tendencies and shallowness. Such as animal cruelty, corruption of minors, eating disorders, abusive working conditions and conspicuous consumption. Not surprisingly, there is a new low in the old school fashion industry that has got many fans scratching their heads lately. What’s up with fashion’s latest obsession with Hollywood kids? As women look at the role of media in the fashion industry today, all they see is Teen Vogue. If you happen to be a consumer that thinks for yourself and have noticed the trend, here comes a plausible and well-researched explanation that was found in one of the oldest lessons in Marketing and Propaganda rule book – Start with the young and impressionable. As the profile of women as fashion consumers change and they become better informed and consequently more cynical. They no longer buy the into the motto of “Nothing to wear?” Vogue is the answer. Today thankfully we have a gazillion of fashion bloggers and influencers that can show us more diverse ways to look good and to (feel good) and they are also much more honest, realistic and forgiving than the image that the establishment projects out there.
The old school fashion establishment is having trouble adhering to a trend that they didn’t create. Forced into a corner where is do or die, the yesterday leaders have become today’s followers – literally. They know that they are loosing its grip in controlling the market and in order to survive they were forced to acknowledge these external forces that are succeeding in the process of reducing them to dust. They have officially lost control of who is running the show. There is no direction, no vision and it shows. Kim Kardashian is now on the cover of Vogue. The Blond Salad has now more grip in fashion and in the advertisement market that her own website has so many disguised ads that you could call it the new fashion bible if you like.
Why they are failing
For many years, fashion seems to be the source of all female self-hate. The old school fashion model seems to have a sickening masochist instinct that thrives in creating an unachievable beauty standard that is very effective in defeating us all. It has instilled in women that we are never good enough – You are never white enough, you are never tanned enough, never young enough, never tall enough, never skinny enough, never rich enough. And now they managed to fabricate another ridiculous unachievable goal. The message we are getting from the fashion industry to day is this: No matter how hard you try, you will never be as cool as a Hollywood kid. Bummer! Because what one really imagines to be a successful life story is to be Paris Jackson. Are you for real Chanel?
Coco Chanel must be rolling in her grave right now. Chanel became a fashion icon because she paradoxically represented the exact opposite of what a Hollywood kid is. In fact, if she were alive today she would probably hate them all. Chanel was a woman ahead of her times, she not only did it first, (because anyone can be the first stupid to do something stupid these days as long as it requires no effort. No matter how hard I try to filter my social media channels, every now and then I still get a feed about the latest desperate for attention soul who is now the first human-thing to have implanted a nipple in the middle of their forehead). That’s not the kind of novelty that Chanel represented. Chanel was a woman with a radical self-liberating vision. She had purpose, she was tenacious – she zigged when fashion zagged. In times of lace, frills and fragility, she dared to be strong without losing her femininity. She was courageous, independent and she put her own bread at the table. In fact, she bought her own table too. She didn’t make it because of a sex tape, she wasn’t born into a fluffy bed of privilege and sure #af she wasn’t daddy’s little girl. If Chanel came back to life today, she would probably send out these two emails immediately:
Email number 1 – To: all Chanel’s marketing team, Subject: You are all fired!
Email number 2 – To: Head of the HR department. Subject: Hire Malala.
When things change too fast in an industry where the people who sit at the table as board members are mostly baby-boomers without an Instagram account and are virtually unable to operate Snapchat we have an issue of discord. And as a result, the fashion industry hasn’t been this dysfunctional since the times of Bastille days. In March a video of young and desperate for cash models having “spontaneous” sex in a fashion photo-shoot for Eckhaus and Latta went viral, but I am not too sure if I believe in the “spontaneous” part of their story. Hardly ground-breaking, it only fuelled the idea that desperate times requires desperate measures. Or maybe their creative director thought it was a great idea to copy the raunchy aesthetics of on-the-verge-of-bankruptcy American Apparel and Abercrombie & Fitch. Which begs the question: Do we even know what is considered fashion these days? Do we know where it came from? And since we don’t have a crystal ball, it’s hard to know where it is that we are going with fashion, but that is not an excuse for not having vision and purpose. In an industry that has always achieved success in reaching new lows, perhaps the renaissance period of fashion will hail from the inconceivable idea that its now time to find our way back up.