Fashion is power. Fashion is an equalizer. Fashion is the divisor. Fashion is a dichotomy. And in its irony, fashion is bipolar.
It’s Paris Fashion Week. The time when all eyes turn to the most stylish city in the world to see what the next season’s trends will entail. Who will excite us? Who will disappoint us? Who will confuse us? This. Is. Fashion. Today I had someone ask me, “Why do you love fashion?” and without skipping a beat I can give them a simple example that explains it all.
The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. houses one of my favorite exhibits, the Geo Gallery. The Geo Gallery features incredible gems and jewels from the ages including the Hope Diamond, the Clagett Bracelet, and the DeYoung Pink Diamond. But there is one piece in particular that catches my attention and captures my love of fashion: two large pear-shaped diamond earrings belonging to none other than THE Marie Antoinette. Marie Antoinette, as you know, is one of history’s most prolific figures of opulence and grandeur. Her love of fashion and luxury led to her demise as she was guillotined in 1793 during the French Revolution.
Now, the normal person walks through the Geo Gallery and sees these gems and might miss these earrings all together as they are overshadowed by some of the more impressive pieces in the exhibit. And even if you do notice the earrings, well, they’re pretty, but they’re JUST earrings.
Wrong. They aren’t JUST earrings. They. Are. Fashion. Marie Antoinette wore these earrings…on her ears…on her head…and she was ultimately beheaded. Ironic. A bit humorous. This. Is. Fashion.
Fashion is ironic. Fashion is satire. Fashion is Beauty. I saw these earrings and immediately chuckled to myself and thought “wow, it is so incredible what these earrings represent.” Very literally these earrings caused a revolution. Opulence, grandeur. Fashion caused a revolution.
This is why I love fashion. Fashion is power. Fashion is an equalizer. Fashion is the divisor. Fashion is a dichotomy. And in its irony, fashion is bipolar. Even in the fact that there are two major fashion weeks, one in the spring/summer, one in the fall/winter, fashion is polarity. As someone who suffers from bipolar disorder, recognizing polarity in the things we love is comforting. In fashion, I find my fellow artists, my fellow dark comedians, my fellow outside the box thinkers, and my fellow satirists.