Thoughts from the Fashion Industry
There is no shortage of quotes from fashionable folks circulating in the universe. I was recently at a bookstore when a magnet with one of Coco Chanel’s most noted sayings caught my eye: “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” I have to admit, I admire Coco Chanel, but I find this quote pretty flat. Who wants to be classless and unremarkable?
Of course, Chanel was a revolutionary, a radical in many ways, in her vision about how women should dress. She has said many more meaningful things that I would refer to first for a spark of inspiration. For example, she once said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” That's better. In fact, there are plenty of people in fashion who have shared thoughtful, considered statements about style, life, what we wear, and how our decisions about what we wear matter. Here are a few to mull over. Let me know if you end up putting any up on your refrigerator.
"Naturally, if you can step away from the system of changing a collection every six months, you realize that you do not want to change your wardrobe every season, you just want to build your wardrobe. If you notice someone really elegant, you will notice that there is a kind of uniformity, a kind of stability. I think stylish people know themselves, they know how to dress, they know what suits them, their body — and what makes them feel confident. That’s not changing every six months — that’s just absurd."
— Christopher Lemaire, Designer, 2015 (as told to The New York Times)
"Let me talk like an old man. Young people, be careful. Beautiful things are disappearing every day. Be careful.…You don’t need to be [shopping at fast-fashion stores], especially young people. They are beautiful naturally, because they are young. So they should even wear simple jeans and a T-shirt. It’s enough. Don’t be too much fashionable…The brand advertising is making you crazy. You don’t need to be too sexy. You are sexy enough."
— Yohji Yamamoto, Designer, 2012 (as told to Women’s Wear Daily)
“The world perceives fashion sometimes as a frivolity that should be done away with in the face of social upheavals and problems that are enormous. The point is in fact, that fashion, you know, it’s the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. I don't think you can do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization.”
— Bill Cunningham, Photographer, in Bill Cunningham New York, 2011
“We designers started as couturiers with dreams, with intuitions and with feelings. We started with,’ What do women want? What do women need? What can I do for women to make their lives better and easier? How can I make a woman more beautiful?’ That is what we used to do. Then we became creative directors, so we have to create, but mostly direct. And now we have to become image-makers, making sure it looks good in the pictures. The screen has to scream baby — that’s the rule. And loudness is the new thing. Loudness is the new cool, and not only in fashion. I prefer whispering. I think it goes deeper and lasts longer.”
— Alber Elbaz, Designer, 2015 (as told to Women's Wear Daily)
“I feel the same way about style that I do about beauty: I want to be myself. I don’t care what’s in style or not, I’m not a fashionista—I’m a person with style, who wants to keep her style. I like color, I like classics with a twist, I love jewelry, but my style is difficult to put into words. It’s important to feel like yourself.”
— Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-Chief Vogue Italia, 2013 (as told to Into The Gloss)
“What is too much? What is it not enough? And what looks authentic? It seems to me that kind of hard-core questioning has been missing in fashion, which explains why so many runway collections lately look tentative or disconnected from women’s lives. Many designers have a one-dimensional view of glamour that boils down to tits and fringe. They seem oblivious that many women evoke glamour in a single gesture — the way, say, we cinch a good-looking coat at the waist or let a loose top reveal a hint of collarbone.”
— Cathy Horyn, Fashion Critic, 2015
"Fashion is what you're offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose."
— Lauren Hutton