Trust Suzy Menkes, the fashion critic for the International Herald Tribune and one of the most respected fashion journalists in the world, to find a way to downgrade the importance of the intellectualism in fashion. But I totally agree with her. I (finally) saw the September issue a few months back, and the thing that struck me as me as most weird was how serious everyone took the magazine, the shoots, and the clothes. Of course, this is totally normal when you are immersed in the industry, and when it is your job and the fact that the pants haven’t arrived on time from the factory IT IS THE END OF THE WORLD. But when you look at it from an outside perspective, which I felt I was doing while watching the movie, I realized how idiotic it is to get so worked up about clothes.
Yes, I understand it is a business and people’s jobs and livelihoods depend on it, and that is certainly not trivial, but whether the Galliano dress makes it into the shoot or gets cut is not THAT important. Which is why I am sometimes embarrassed to work in this industry, and would like to find a part of this field where I can actually make differences in people’s lives.
Anyway, back to Suzy’s quote, this was from an interview from Another Magazine:
Another Magazine: “What does fashion have to do with intellectuality?”
Suzy Menkes: “I think there’s too much mixing fashion and intellect. Fashion ultimately is designed to cover the human body, to give you joy, to make you feel better. I don’t think it has to have a great intellectual meaning. Yes, you can see meaning in it afterwards, because fashion history so often comes ahead of what happens in the world, so it is a precursor. But to intellectualise fashion too much, to me, is just going the wrong way.”
I love that someone who successfully manages to intellectualise fashion (read the rest of the interview) in her work, is actually the one saying it is just clothes. We need more people like that.
Image source: Suzy Menkes.