THE MISCONCEPTIONS OF FASHION

I am a fashion student. On reading this I can almost hear your conscience telling you that the following three minutes will be littered with grammatical errors and jarring sentence structures. Ignore it. Ignore the prejudices you may have regarding the fashion industry and the people who work in it. Ignore the superficialities of the industry. And try to look past the gaggle of 6th year girls who, after flirting with PE, geography and marketing, declare their ambitions for fashion, just because they like shopping. It is clear why fashion attracts this type of person. On the surface, fashion is glamorous. It is a world filled with beautiful people, beautiful clothes and those who are successful have a beautiful lifestyle. It is also an art form that is easily modified to a ‘Daily Mail’ Snapchat story. The conflation of celebrities being snapped coming out of nightclubs and an interest in the clothes that they are wearing, is a honey trap for onlookers who, because they like the Kardashians, think they want to become a designer.The reality of fashion, or at least the industry I want to grow into, is it is filled with ambitious, challenging and above all creative people. It is an intelligent industry. A lesser known fashion icon, Bill Gates once wrote “the power of creativity and intelligence will make the world a better place.” But it is creativity that is integral to intelligence. A recent study by Emily Nusbaum and Paul Silvia at the University of North Carolina Greensboro asks the question, "Are intelligence and creativity really so different?”. They conclude, based on their studies that "fluid and executive cognition is in fact central to creative thought." This less than emphatic result just confirms logic. That a vibrant imagination requires the same dexterity and capabilities as straight-forward intelligence and in fact both rely on each other. The cross overs of intelligence and creativity goes further still. Fashion engages the intelligent mind because of its ability to deal with societal issues better than any other art form. It was Alexander McQueen’s fantastically deranged mind that made clothes a tool to discuss mental health, rape, disability and nature. Yohji Yamamoto, through his clothes, questions the forces of a sexual relationship. As long as people have a preference in the clothes that they wear, they can have an opinion on designs that deal with these issues. It therefore is an industry that requires buckets of analysis and skill. While the superficialities of this industry are obvious, it is also clear that fashion is misunderstood. It is a world full of nerds who are obsessed and immensely passionate about what they do. It’s about innovating but adapting, leading but following. I truly believe that some of the greatest minds have moulded this industry. So if you hear someone claim they’re a fashion student, be impressed.   @imogenjevanss  www.lookaftermydogs.com