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05 October 2013

I am what I am

H&M bag, KG KURT GEIGER shoes, ZARA vest, UNIQLO silk shirt and TOPSHOP jeans

Bad Faith: a philosophical concept used by existentialist philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir to describe the phenomenon where a human being under pressure from societal forces adopts false values and disowns his/her innate freedom to act authentically. To me, though perhaps to a lesser extent, bad faith also a concept that seems to be dominating fashion. While I won't delve into some deep philosophical analysis of the issue as the opening sentence seems to suggest, it is something that's been rooted in my head for a while now.

I think the issue raised here is that sometimes it's hard to wake up, brush my teeth, shower, eat and then walk over to my wardrobe without feeling like the clothes I decide to put on define me, or that I wear them to define myself. The mere act of putting clothes on forces me to conform to a role, or an image. I mean this in multiple respects; for one, by wearing something one day I automatically raise expectation of what I might wear any other day. I define a style, an aesthetic that I'm expected to follow. Secondly, I'm wearing clothing created by someone, someone with an image in their mind. The designer creates the clothing, of course, while imagining the type of woman or man who will wear it. Wondering where they'll wear it, desiring to spread innocence/empowerment/beauty and using the general public as a vehicle for their ideas. A brand says they are powerful, androgynous, minimal and they expect the people wearing their clothes to adopt and express those characteristics. I am what I wear and in that case, I am not who I am, but who someone else has chosen for me to be. I am who someone has convinced me to be through the way their fabric folds, their branding and the curve of their heels.

We buy into it. Saint Laurent says their woman is edgy, confident. Valentino says their woman is feminine, sexy, seductive, an emblem of what we are told we want to be, and so we buy. We buy confident and sexy, we buy edgy or minimal. We buy a role, often not even consciously. It's how the industry sells their product, based on our desire to be the woman Pheobe Philo or Tom Ford based their collection on. We talk of defining our style, but realistically aren't we just defining what we wear? We define who we want to be, the person we wish to be perceived as and the way we want to feel. We tie up all these hopes and desires to stand out in a pair of boots or a dress. We walk out our front door defiantly saying fashion is self-expression, when really, it's expression of who someone else decided we would be when we invested in their idea.



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28 comments:

  1. YES YOU GET IT I AM NOT ALONE
    Sorry, just felt like I needed to strongly express how happy I am that I'm not the only person who thinks about stuff like this.
    xx,
    Justina
    www.abentpieceofwire.com

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  2. one of your best articles !!! plus very nice outfit :-)
    x

    http://franchemeetsfashion.blogspot.cz/

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  3. The fact that you're a pretty famous blogger and you put that out there is awesome to me. I really hope you realise your dream, and that one day I'll read your articles on some amazing magazine, and I'll say "hey that's the lovely girl who made me my first header".
    I totally agree to what you're saying, we're the victims but also the actresses of it all though, if we were brave enough we wouldn't go shopping to find confidence... but we do.

    xx,
    Fragment de Vie

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  4. I really love your shoes and the bag!

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  6. Le scarpe sono fantastiche.

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  7. I thoroughly enjoyed reading that - you have beautiful expression. Fantastic career ahead for you!

    Georgina at itotallypaused.com

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  8. Lovely outfit, and really good article I guess I hadn't thought if it in that way but I totally know what you mean about going to your wardrobe every morning!
    Love Jade x styledwithglamour.blogspot.com

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  9. Lovely outfit and really interesting article I hadn't thought of it like that but I totally know what you mean about going to your wardrobe every morning.
    Love Jade x styledwithglamour.blogspot.com

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  10. I really like your shoes the look so comfy and chic at the same time I see a double win xx

    www.lam-style.blogspot.com

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  11. Obłędny look <3 buty fantastyczne.

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  12. Well, the designers behind your look today have it all right if you want my opinion! ; )

    -Elodie x

    http://www.elle-yeah.com

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  13. Love your bag andyour shoes!
    XoXo. Constance.

    http://my-owls-blog.blogspot.fr/

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  14. They are not defining fashion or people who buy clothing, they are defining product so it could be sold. There are so many cases when this "sexy" product comes to a person who makes it trashy, or the other way around, very sensual. So I think it is the consumer, the wearer of clothing, that defines the piece he or she is wearing. But then again, only a person with strong personality, sense of style and with a certain amount of attitude can achieve that - to define product he/she wears. Others will listen to brands who define their product in certain way that is the most profitable.
    And I have to add - love those crisp white soles!

    Brigita,
    http://lostinpattern.blogspot.com/

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  15. This was a wonderful read, really food for thought. I like to believe that even though designers had their own image in mind of who should be the person wearing their clothes, we DO create our personal style by the choices we make and how we combine those pieces together. It's a puzzle in a way, but there are no right or wrong answers. Everyone will chose to style themselves differently, no matter what a fashion house proclaimed. And in my opinion - that's the beauty of fashion and style. The freedom. x

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  16. Great look and pictures!
    Your shoes are lovely :-)

    Stop by:
    Http://katrinelionett.blogspot.com/

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  17. Beautifully written, you put a really different perspective on it all. I love the pictures, too!

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  18. Ah these are some of my favourite photos from you! Gorgeous
    Lucia's Loves
    x

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  19. Lovely pictures and a great outfit!
    Kisses
    Tabea

    http://wolkedrei.blogspot.de/

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  20. I think some of the above commenters said it more elogquently than I can, but I think the beauty of fashion is being able to make the clothes our own, define our own sense of style outside of what the designers imagined. To wear them in ways they hadn't thought of. I do think there is a problem of conforming to our own style, that it can be really hard to try new things because we feel everyone knws us for a particular way of looking. I think it is always out choice when we wear them, in how we wear them and how we let them define us.

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  21. Beautiful words... spoken by a beautiful lady. Loving the outfit as always
    The Koalafornian x

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  22. you seriously rock. i love your writing, and yep, i sometimes feel the same way! x

    natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

    Natalie Off Duty

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  23. Very great shoes! Love the way you write, you're really one of my favorite bloggers ;) X

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  24. I'm dying for this pair of slip-on!!!!!!
    it's just what i've been looking for!

    <333
    http://radarmagazine.se/fashionandfcuker

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  25. I love this outfit, especially the shoes. Please tell me, are the shoes true to size? I would really appreciate a reply.

    By the way, your blog is great. I enjoy reding it :-)!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, and yes, they do run true to size!

      x

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