Stop, drop and…shop?

I am totally capable of leaving home in my pajamas, or in one of my dad’s old shirts which I always steal. However, unlike what some would think, I love shopping. I’m a designer after all so that isn’t such an odd occurrence, dressing up can turn into hours of fun. Problem is, in Lebanon, there’s a big chance you’ll end up dressed like someone else, everyone buying their clothes from the same places, everyone imitating everyone. I’m lucky enough to be able to shop in different countries, but there’s no escaping it, I sometimes end up buying things from here. There is nothing wrong with it, but when I ended up at a party sitting next to a girl wearing the exact same dress as I was, I exploded into a fit of laughter; after years of making sure this wouldn’t happen, it just… had to happen.

In a world where everyone wants to be like everyone else, and where capitalism has taken over every single aspect of our lives, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the chances of us owning similar wardrobe items and matching outfits with people we’ve never met grow higher each day. After vain attempts of trying to look different, we somehow find ourselves sucked into the masses, and after a while we start accepting that it’s just an inevitable result of globalisation.

However, mass-produced clothes and accessories are becoming more and more schizophrenic as time goes by. For example, why do many women’s pants and vests have fake pockets whileas babies’ bibs and shorts have real ones? Do they need them to put their tiny wallets and their toy car keys? And what about those tiny shorts everyone seems to be sporting, bums barely covered by oddly overpriced pieces of denim? I’d rather wear my bikini on the street if I’m going to be charged this much to look completely and utterly indecent and distasteful; we get it, you do squats.

Fashion used to be about individuality and mastering the art of mixing colors, patterns and shapes, whileas nowadays, all this word seems to summon is nudity, cheap materials and one-size-fits-all unoriginal trends. If people started caring more about what set them apart instead of what made them so comfortably similar, they’d realize fitting in is the real disease the media has managed to masterfully spread.

When someone asks me if I like fashion, I always hesitate to answer, because if I say no then I’d be lying, and if I say yes, I’ll have to explain that what I mean by fashion is completely different from what is understood by the masses. I believe fashion is a wondrous tool, one that can be used to express much more than what we commonly imagine; Vivienne Westwood gave a voice to the punks, Margiela gave a second life to random everyday objects, Hussein Chalayan questioned cultural practices… It is true the price tags would make one question the necessity of such creations when the world is in such economical distress, but compared to how much money is poured into war and arms, the bill seems quite benign and the practice quite harmless, at times even educational.

Fashion is just another form of art, and as long as it has meaning and comes from somewhere deeper than the need to see more skin on the runway, then why not?

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