Last night my husband and I were VIP guests of Sanlam at SA Fashion week. We were treated like royalty, fed delicious snacks and treated to expensive free champagne. We attended 4 fashion shows in 2 hours. With the first hour we had the coveted front row seats, the ones people would kill their mother’s for, as where you are seated at a fashion show reflects your status and importance in the industry. So for the first hour we were considered elite purely due to our seating assignments, and I could sense the envy of all the little people behind us. With the second hour we were down grated to the second row and the envy shifted.
What we saw ranged from absolute brilliance to the bizarre and dreadful. What was interesting is the fact that haute coutier which will never be seen worn in public reflects the state of a society and what that society deem important at that specific time. The piece de resistance was the last show of the evening which metaphorically commented on the evolution of man, being environmentally aware and emphasized greener living. It’s a pity that these messages translate excessively to the pages of magazines as editors realized that the new trend is going green. Going green is the new in thing, and I wonder whether people actually do take this to heart. The preference that is given to what advertisers want and the size 0 emaciated modals and un-environmentally friendly products is also in stark contrast to the green trend.
Watching some of the male models strutting down the runway I also unconsciously aspire to look like some of them with their chiseled chins, ripped abs and perfect hair. Reality however soon sets in every time I pass a mirror and realize that my genetic make up will never allow me to look like that without the assistance of a skilled plastic surgeon and a substantial cosmetic budget. Yet I buy the clothes, the shoes, the accessories all that is current and in fashion. To a degree I do emulate the images I see in magazines, and they do make me feel good about myself. To be honest, looking good in what I wear does boost my self-confidence. If you look good you feel good. So is trying to emulate what we see in fashion magazines and on the runway so wrong?
Also at the fashion show was one of the most infamous tabloid magazine editors. At first glance she looks quite harmless but on closer inspection one soon discovers that she is quite the bitch. In her profession I guess it comes with the territory as she is probably the most hated person by celebrities in our country. With a few strokes on a key board she can ruin marriages, careers and make thousands of revenue for her magazine. Some people read these type of magazines more religiously than they do their scriptures. I don’t think there is anyone of us who haven’t paged through a tabloid, and got some sense of satisfaction when a famous person gained weight or we see them without make up and realize they aren’t all as beautiful as they appear in movies, TV or in the magazines. It’s moments like those that one comes to really grasp their normality.
Sometimes I feel tabloids over step the boundaries, when they publish personal indiscretions of famous people that ends up hurting their children. The failure of their parents to exert proper moral judgment should not harm them. But then again celebrities should know better. Reading about their sex escapades, drug binges, rehab and bar brawls, makes our problems sometime seem insignificant. We read about their woes and look at our lives with a little more appreciation. I, for one, am very grateful that I am not famous, because if I had to live under a magnifying glass, and with all the little mistakes I have made in my life, I could have earned tabloids millions.
One evening of celebrity and being a Very Important Person (VIP) opened up my eyes to the plethora of self importance and superficiality that one so easily can get addicted to. Yet, I do not think that lifestyle would suit me very well and that I would enjoy sustaining it for any extended period of time. Once or twice a year is more than enough for me. Reflecting back on last night I have came to the conclusion that there is room for fashion in our society and their superficial images as we need that because adorning ourselves with what we are told is beautiful makes us feel good about ourselves, and can even boost our confidence. You don’t need to sacrifice your individuality as you can express your personality by the way you choose to purchase your fashion. We are also voyeurs, as human nature makes us curious creatures. We sometimes revel in the misfortunes of others especially that of famous people as that makes them seem more human. So we are not perfect creatures, but our imperfection is what makes life fabulous!
Till next time.
JUNGLE-GYM Men's Fashion Show ★ produced by SIX INCH inc.