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This is Why I Hate

This is Why I Hate "Fashion"

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It's Fashion Week once again, and once again I'm reminded of why I hate fashion.

Here's the thing. Fashion is a business. A huge business. The model is to sell you stuff. As much stuff as possible. Fashion businesses do not want to sell you stuff that you will keep and wear for a long time. They want you to buy new stuff every year. Or better yet, every season. It's called a "fashion cycle" (real industry term), and they are moving faster than ever.

So how do they get you to buy as much stuff as possible? They turn you into a "fashion victim" (another real industry term); a consumer who buys new trends simply because they are new trends.

So how do they turn you into a "fashion victim"? They pay people to be "expert fashion victims"; to wear the newest trends and put out content (magazines, websites, videos, blogs, films, social media posts, etc) to convince you that, in order to be "current" or "cool", you need to buy the newest things.

Therefore, in order for the business model to be successful, the goal is to create as short of a "fashion cycle" as possible and convince as many "fashion victims" as possible to buy new things and discard the "old" (ie. still new) things that they just bought in the previous cycle.

Obviously, this business model is in stark opposition to the business model of the custom tailor and goes directly against the messaging and advice that you typically find here on AOS about personalization and investing in long-term wardrobes that are built to last the test of time - but we'll discuss those opposing business models in greater detail in a future article.

For now, I want to actually take a look at the real trends that are being pushed by these "expert fashion victims", in real time.

All of the pictures below were pulled from a slideshow posted on Vogue.com yesterday titled "The Best Street Style Photos From London’s Fall 2019 Menswear Shows".

Keep in mind, these photos feature real people who work in the fashion industry. These folks are wearing these trends to be seen and photographed entering and exiting invite-only fashion shows (which are reserved for the "experts"; this is where they learn about the newest trends and officially register for the next cycle). They are editors at magazines, buyers at stores, social media influencers and other "fashion celebrities" who are paid to push the newest trends and convince you, the consumer, what is "current" and "cool".

I added some personal commentary about the trends currently being pushed (the "current cycle"). Keep in mind, these people are at work; they want you - they need you - to buy these "new" items, right now, this season. So by the time the next season rolls around, you can throw it all out and buy something new to keep up.

The worst part about all of this - and the reason I had to use the phrase  "hate" in the title of this article - is that this form of marketing/brainwashing is downright irresponsible. The fashion-cycle business model is literally designed to create a recurring cycle of wasteconfusion and low self-esteem. It's bad for the planet (because of all the waste and pollution), it's bad for your wallet (because you're not investing in things that last), it's bad for your self esteem (because you're not creating a lasting identity and always trying to "keep up with the Joneses"), it's bad for your time management (which, by the way, is the single most important asset you have), it's bad for the craftsmen who actually strive to make things that last (because it's a billion-dollar marketing battle against the "cool kids"), etc. In short, it's bad for everybody involved except for the people who own the companies who make trend-marketed products.

With all of that said, these are my observations on the current state of "men's fashion" (not to be confused with "menswear" - I love menswear). If you're wearing these trends, you are officially what we call a "fashion victim" and you have officially wasted some serious cash. You will not be wearing this stuff a year or two from now, you will cringe looking back at photos from this era, and - worst of all - come 2020 this bullshit will be floating on a landfill somewhere in the middle of the ocean killing wildlife.

Even worse, the unsold merchandise often gets burned by the brands themselves, in order to "preserve their brand"... That is not only irresponsible, it is downright crazy.

Latex joggers… Somehow this is a thing.

Garments with lots of strings hanging off of them are soooooo Q1 2019. Also, generic work boots that look like plastic toy versions of actual work boots.

The tiny rectangular sunglasses. The see-through tote bag. These are two pieces of plastic that will absolutely be killing ocean wildlife in 24 months or less.

By now you might think I’m pranking you with these, but no, these are real images from Vogue.com and these are real people who work in the fashion business (some of them are well-known). Also believe me when I say that some consumers are brainwashed enough to look at the outfit above and say “I need that”. I need that color-blocked granny-knit skimask. I need that oversized Looney Tunes sweater. And, of course, I need those fucking latex joggers.

I don’t know this for a fact, but I know this coat retails for over $1,000 – in this “brand new” condition. Also, what is up with these bucket hats with the elongated straight brim?

No trend screams “fashion victim” more, in my opinion, than the fucking cross-body fanny pack… I mean, really? You got hella pockets – what you got in the shoulder-fanny? Also driving me crazy here is the oversized fit and funky proportions of this topcoat (oversized shoulders is a “hot trend” now too, somehow). I just don’t get it – how can you justify having a craftsman put all of this hard work into making a beautiful camel overcoat, and purposefully make the shoulders disproportionate to the body. To me this shows that even the brainwashers are getting lazy – they can put out the same design next year and change only the fit (to a different type of ill-fit) so the fashion victim will buy it all over again to keep up with the correct wrong fit at the right time. What a WASTE. Lastly, there goes those terrible tiny rectangular sunglasses again – making a handsome guy in a tailored camel coat somehow look creepy.

More loose hanging strings (is that a do-rag?) and yet another trendy shape of sunglasses (that were once widely claimed “hideous” by the fashion world); the good ‘ol wrap-arounds.

This guy took the shoulder-fanny to a whole new level! And put it directly over a pinstripe suit with extendo sleeves. I was thinking maybe he dropped his baby out of his bjorn, but nah, it’s just a place to keep some really, really important documents.

This guy combined the latex-jogger trend with the elongated-bucket trend to create a look that can only be called condomhead.

More loose strings, essentially ruining a bomber that otherwise could have been cool, but just has way too much going on.

Ouuucchhh. This guy’s wearing the same dangling shoe strings on the same over-designed bomber. I wonder if they bumped into each other… Awwwwkkwaaard.

This would’ve been a cool classic look, but he had to go and throw that fucking shoulder-fanny in there. And he did it in camo like he was heading to a blogger meet-up in 2010.

Shoulder pads, they aren't for everyone.


LASTLY...

Near the end of this street style slideshow this photo shows up…and finally I was able to pull myself out of the sunken place.

I couldn’t help but immediately think; after witnessing all of these over-the-top fashion victims walking around at fashion week, the non-victims in London must have been drooling over this guy. In that sense, all of these consumerist trend-followers actually give more power to the classic gentleman (the one who does not drink the fashion victim Kool-Aid). From an outside perspective, this looks like a man among boys. Someone who is confident, smart, solid, consistent, competent, successful…someone who cannot be brainwashed and knows how to make smart long-term investments that will help him for the rest of his life. Perhaps I’m jaded, or “old-school”, and it’s just me. But I doubt it.

That’s all for today. As I hope you could see – being a “fashion victim” can quickly bring you to some weird, bizarro-futuristic places. Beware of who your “influencers” are and how they are advising your wardrobe expenses.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in Style,

Dan Trepanier