Friday, September 25, 2009

Do You Make Style, or Does Style Make You?

Last week, I was told I can wear anything from casual sporty, to sexy and wild. People have been telling me, they like my style. To me, it is a great compliment; yet, I am wondering what the word "style" really means, and what it implies, when someone tells you "you got style".

Merriam Webster dictionary delivers the following definition of style a: the state of being popular:(fashion) clothes that are always in style; b: fashionable elegance; c: beauty, grace, or ease of manner or technique (an awkward moment she handled with style).

This definition is partly true. Style has to do with aesthetics, so in a way, it can be considered as something beautiful. But what I consider beautiful does not mean you do, too--beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. If someone carries themselves with style, they could (emphasize on could...!) be carrying themselves in a graceful manner, probably because they feel comfortable in their clothing. However, does style really have to do with fashion? And does being in style, really mean the clothing one wears while being stylish, have to be fashionable?

Aren't fashion and style two completely different things? While style can be influenced by fashion--something that is currently in style--one can still be stylish, without the fashion. Gwen Stefani serves as one example for someone who can be in style, but doesn't necessary have to make use of fashionable gadgets. Stefani is the perfect example of what style is beyond fashion. She does not use fashion, but makes use of whatever she thinks suits her and creates her own style. Therefore, style is not necessary synonymous with fashion but with individuality.

A friend of mine, Don Brodie, a current photography student at Parsons in New York, who specializes in Fashion Photography (he just went to New York Fashion week to cover some events backstage) says the following about style and fashion, "Fashion for me is a universal language. Whether someone wants to admit it or not, they are bout fashion. It is an identifier, it is how one defines them self. Style is the "." [bottom line] in fashion. It starts with the fashion which is a mass produced thing (at least to most of us). Style is adding your own flair and creating your individual voice."

If fashion is mass produced and set by the designers who create the pieces, do they make your style, or is style then, what we make of it as individuals. I think style is is about identifying what works for you. Or could we all wear what Stefani rocks?, probably not. Style makes you who you are as an individual, and you make style by expressing your individuality.

She: Hey girl!

She 2: Hey!

She: Damn, I love your outfit, you really know how to work it girl. (Man, I would never wear that...).

She 2: Thank you! I like your's too. (Gosh, she got no style...)

She: Thank you. We should go shopping together sometime.

She 2: Yes, we should. (Man, I would not go shopping with you, you just want to steal my style...) All right, I'll give you a holler. Later! (Nah, I won't call her).

She: All right. (Damn, she got guts wearing that shit...)

1 comment:

  1. been talkin with folks about this a lot. the real conversation it seems is very necessary for our generation to ponder, is the relationship between style and consumption and global capital... if we're discussing style and individualism and aesthetics without addressing the actual machinery putting these "things" in front of our faces, we're acting delusional.


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