view of fashion

March 15, 2019

I was going through some old papers and I came across a magazine clipping that resonated with me as much today as I’m sure it did ten or so years ago, when I cut it out of a magazine. Maybe it was for different reasons, but I was thankful that I had kept it. It’s a passage from Alison Adburgham’s, View of Fashion. “And sometimes, something more emerges after the main assignment is completed. At the back of the mind here have been stored some small but treasured vignettes. It is as with the child’s suitcase at the end of the seaside holiday; after the clothes have been unpacked there is underneath a collection of cowries and cockles, dried seaweed, pieces of coloured glass worn smooth by the waves, a piece of cork, an uninhabited sea-urchin, a mermaid’s empty purse. So are the impressions left, not by the dress shows themselves, but by the people in the bars and the bistros, girls on motor scooters, the children’s balloons in the Tuilleries, the pictures in the Jeu de Paume, the shop windows, the smell of Gaulouises, garlic, and Arp├Ęge, the dim interior seen through an open window, the concierge in the courtyard sunning herself on a kitchen chair, the lovers in the Vert Galant disregarding the world in their island garden. All these things suddenly fall into a pattern, and fashion is part of the pattern, and the pattern has meaning because it is quickened by ordinary, everyday life.”

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