Fashion and Philosophy

Fashion and philosophy. Couture and Kant. There’s a world of underlying form beneath every piece of clothing and jewelry. The vintage, silk Chanel A-line skirt I found at a flea market in Paris and the brand-less gold ring given to me by my grandmother from India are so much more than the materials used to create them; they reflect the zeitgeist of a past time and place. But when mixed with a hint of modernity, they become the future.

Designer Isaac Mizrahi once said, “Style makes you feel great because it takes your mind off the fact that you’re going to die.” Every cut, cloth, and color is a taste of immortality. The flavor of timelessness lingers on the lips of artists, designers, and the entire fashion industry. It’s inspiration to create an identity, not an outfit. The result is not only an aesthetically pleasing ensemble, but also, and more importantly, an outward manifestation of my mind’s inner workings- Richa’s world on display.

I’m always silently screaming “Look at me!” through the way I dress. No, not only for the sake of my vanity, but because there’s a story sewn into the seams of my clothing, just begging to be read. From a very young age I felt invisible, replaceable even. People would forget my name or pronounce it wrong quite often. It’s difficult to establish a sense of self in that environment. Now I use fashion as an instant form of communication, a conversation of who I am and who I am not. It’s an odd thing- being a bit uneasy about confidence, but wanting to express myself in such an obvious manner.

The phenomenon of fashion transcends the functional form of mere clothing. It becomes an art as much as music, film, and painting or sculpture are art, in that it no longer serves a practical purpose. Fashion helps answer an eternal question of humanity, at least provisionally. It allows the modern dresser to overcome the distance between individuality and society.

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