A Glitch in the System
Rewinding to the past and Time Traveling into the Future – Revamping Old School Glam
Most of us presumably scoff when our parents and grandparents reminisce about the quote-on-quote “glory days”; we cannot seem to fathom a life behind today’s digital age. The absence of scrolling for hours on Instagram, snap chatting every second and every moment of our lives and sitting in bed shopping on Amazon Prime – without a doubt, technology allows us to seamlessly execute tasks with speed and precision and, more importantly, little time. In return, today’s fashion blatantly reflects the rapid pace we push ourselves to and applaud, part due to the easy use of electronic devices and part due to the trickle-down effects on our fashion. Effectively, techno RTW pieces suffice for weaving in smartphones into work clothes and sportswear (evident with neon metallics and neo pre-2010 athletic wear).
Pre-influencers and coining the terms “e-girl”, “feminist” (or even “meninist”), and “Fitbit” – we can wax poetic about the saturation of western influence in fashion, but we are getting ahead of ourselves. Though UDRESS’ 2019 fall theme “A Glitch in the System” encompasses our current tech-obsessed lives plus possibilities for defining what lies ahead, we should ask ourselves who and when did people start breaking barriers for style and self-expression – certainly neither during the stiff Victorian decade with the predominance and prizing of the Gibson Girl. Of course, we can (and should) address the flappers of the 1920s. Nevertheless, this culture shock in fashion and feminist culture only stepped back into retrograde come the depression and patriotist-focused period of WWII clothing. Fast forward about 20 years, we start exploring artistic roots and music composition of the 1970s, when we can explore what started with an “Oddity” (hint hint) in the men’s fashion scene.
Our knack for nostalgic and unapologetic quirky aesthetics trace back to the birth, perhaps, our embracement of androgynous fashion with David Bowie. Fluid and flamboyant, Bowie flaunted sleek suits in addition to soft silhouettes that hinted at Asian inspiration. Collaborating with Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto, Bowie and his geometric ensembles plus his “White Duke” suit commenced revolutionary changes for men’s fashion, which had been subtle and far from revolutionary pre “Ziggy Stardust”. Today we look to the unapologetic aesthetic of those of Billie Eilish and the kooks and rebellious quirks of Lil Xan. We strive to put on a show with our Euphoric makeup and neon PANTONE color palettes; in short, we currently crave bigger and better and seek more and more due to radical influencers who shaped our perspectives on fashion and personal expression for the better.
However, the shift to RTW throughout the 20th and 21st-century left a detrimental carbon footprint on what remains of our finite resources. Thus, “A Glitch in the Surface” also attacks the fashion industry’s sustainability problems and lack of regulations for ethical production and consumption. The fall 2019 semester theme touches on surging the influence of technology on style and toying with speeding the pace of introducing inclusive trends. However, the underlying irony is that UDRESS wants to spread awareness about slowing practices in the fashion industry as well, for self-expression and creative indulgence should come not at the cost of exploitation of neither resources nor people.