'It's not just clothes' Disneyrollergirl defends the fashion industry
If I hear one more person say "it's just clothes" when discussing fashion, the fashion industry or any drama therein, I think I'll explode in an eruption of Christopher-Kane-print-style proportions. "It's just clothes" is a common refrain from people who work in fashion wanting to put their jobs in perspective as in, compared to solving world poverty or saving lives, fashion is purely superficial. Ugh, did I mention this argument drives me nuts?
Fashion is a multi-billion-dollar industry, therefore 'just a few dresses' amounts to something quite significant in the grand scheme of things. For starters, the fashion industry provides jobs at every level from designers and CEOs to shop floor staff to manufacturers and cotton pickers. If you're talking about solving world poverty, I reckon generating jobs for cotton pickers is quite a decent start. Aside from that, we're in the thick of a recession and one of the things that will get us out of it is to start spending again (although maybe not on credit). Buying things that make us look nice helps us feel good, it's what the New York Times' fashion critic Cathy Horyn calls 'self expressive pleasure'. Maybe fashion can't save lives but it does a pretty good job of raising flagging spirits when we're ill or depressed - isn't that worth something?
Even the entertainment industry owes its debts to fashion. Without us there would be no Bruno, Lady Gaga or um, Cheryl Cole and where would post-Spice Girls Vicky Beckham be if it wasn't for fashion and the never ending fascination with her Hermes handbags? Finally, even the Queen recognises fashion's contribution to society, handing out a clutch of MBEs to Burberry's Christopher Bailey, Net-a-porter.com's Natalie Massenet and People Tree's Saffia Minney in her birthday honours last week. So no, fashion is not 'just clothes', it means much, much more. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to
save the economy the Selfridges sale...