Is It Possible For Fashion To Be Truly Original?
September 10th, 2020
This question has been on my mind for years now and I finally got to breaking point the other day about whether or not originality can truly be achieved, specifically in the fashion industry. It’s really hard to name something that’s completely never been done before in the past few decades. The past few decades it’s all been about bringing things back and modernising older trends. It’s all been about vintage, 90s and Y2K. It’s true what they say, fashion is circular. Fashion seems to be focused around reinforcing trends rather than a whole new product.
Take the mini skirt for example, Mary Quant was deemed revolutionary for this invention. But was it really an invention? The mini skirt is just a shorter version of a skirt which was already invented. It seems that this was more of a reinvention which kind of describes fashion. Fashion is just reinventions. This isn’t a bad thing at all but it poses a bigger question about whether anything is truly original.
Fashion has become a larger market now and designers are often accused of copying each other. Alexander Wang accused Phillip Plein of copying his 2014 collection and we’ll admit, it’s nearly identical. He took to Instagram to share a video sharing the similarities with the caption “Can I copy your homework. Yeah just change it up a bit so it doesn’t look obvious you copied”. Although this is an extreme example, there’s no doubt that fashion is far from unique but it’s rather about who did it first and who did it the best.
This brings forward the larger idea of being a ‘copycat’. In society, it’s frowned upon to be a copycat. We get annoyed when people copy our work, our clothes and even our interests. But aren’t we all copycats to a certain extent? Again, are any of us truly original? Society has become obsessed with uniqueness and differentiating yet people are still shamed for being too similar but also for being too different.
If the fashion industry were only allowed to create new garments, I could guarantee there would be a handful of designers left. Sometimes, there are just no new ideas. Sometimes, people don’t actually want new ideas in terms of functionality and aesthetics.
Above all, originality is subjective. While everyone wants to be individual, it’s near impossible to be completely different. Just be yourself.
Written by Anna