Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dichotomy of the Moment: Authenticity v. Novelty

Men and women have different styles. It's true in real life and it's true in the runways. Oftentimes, menswear leans toward authenticity while womenswear to novelty.

Men's collections are rife with authentic, classic styles. No matter the season, menswear sees the steady stream of trouser, shirt and jacket ensemble without fail. Just witness Tom Ford and Simon Spurr's collections.

Of course, menswear experiences trends too. But the major difference is their reception. If there ever is a surge of trends from the runways (like Thom Browne's shrunken suits or Burberry's drop crotch trousers), it wouldn't really matter because the majority of men don't buy into them. Consequently, a man's wardrobe doesn't really age.

On the other hand, women receive a flurry of short-lived trends from designers on a seasonal basis. It's de rigueur that womenswear is accompanied by fantasy, shock and almost outlandish styles and trends. In women's fashion, novelty is key.

But with novelty comes an almost instantaneous expiration date. The androgynous power shoulders, a massive success on the Fall 2009 runways, is as perfect example. The fickle taste of fashion turned this two-time hit (it happened in the 80's) to a miss with a flick of a manicured finger.

This "new, now, next" mentality that designers create spur the desire for women to be fashion-forward. Naturally, this incessant preoccupation comes with a hefty price. Paying the credit card bill is just one of them.

Image from via


Wenny Yap said...

My hubby used to comment, "another new dress ... why are you always buying new clothes? Look at me, my clothes last for years!"

This is the price married women had to pay just to keep up with the latest fad. :)

RicAdeMus said...

Thank goodness, I couldn't afford to keep buying the next new thing!

Shoe shopping this weekend--but new shoes or not, no more walking outside barefoot for me. =)