Fashion Oddities

Elisa Fang, Editor-in-Chief

Fashion is a form of expression, an enhancer, and a representation. Because fashion perpetually advances and evolves, fashion designers go out of their way to create “the new thing”– meaning the oddities within the fashion world are always potent and plentiful.

        Take hiking sandals for example.The ugly shoes of the summer of 2015, a combination of Jesus and flatform sandals, has the fashion label Marni taking the lead with its spring/summer collection and turning this style into a fashion trend, a continuation of the popular Birkenstock sandals in the 60’s with a twist. They aren’t meant to be elegant or refined, they’re HIKING sandals, meaning they’re clunky and big, and look to getting things done. It has a sole idealizing utility, though its bright colors and geometric patterns counter to create a fashionable touch. They’re practical, with straps easily undone and space to let your feet breathe. However, what isn’t practical is the immediate assumption that these shoes are attractive simply because they belong to high fashion labels; they’re not, and designers aren’t afraid to admit it. As Jessica Bumpus, a Vogue writer, eloquently puts it:

        “just as when things are so bad, they’re good, these walk the line of being so ugly, they’re acceptable”.

        Which seems like a popular theme in the fashion community. Since its revival, labels such as Balenciaga, Opening Ceremony and Zara have created their own versions and are sold online. Curiously, these shoes look like the upgraded version of the shoes every father seems to own. We get it dad, you’re a fashion icon.

        In 1350 BCE ancient Egypt, wearing scented cones of wax or grease on top of their heads was a fashionable accessory, in the 17th century, bombasting, or stuffing clothing as to achieve a puffed up look was a choice of good taste, and perhaps in the 21st century, the “maybe it’s not the style but the material” mentality is growing and may become our trademark. From the explosion of which was Lady Gaga’s meat dress worn to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, the production of dresses made out of unconventional material has continued, the most recent reported being a dress made out of 3,000 skittles. Others include dresses made out of two-thirds of a used thesaurus, dresses made out of sawdust, and licorice. Most of the dresses created are the product of art festivals or competitions that the designers partake in, and they wow the crowd with their interpretation of the theme.

           With autumn and winter arriving quickly, Fashion Weeks are held all over the world so labels can show off their spring/summer 2016 collections as to give fashion addicts something to anticipate for. These shows are a spectacle to see, as the intricate and innovative designs the models strut down the runway prove to be an exhilarating first look, and the set many designers have built contribute to the awe inducing vibe. New York Fashion Week is the first to start, from Sept 10 – 17. Highlights include designer Prabal Gurung bringing on stage 30 Buddhist monks to open the week, chanting a prayer of thanks to the community’s efforts to support Nepal’s earthquake that had occurred in April, the designer’s native country. Kim, Kanye and North West were there as they usually are. Kanye presented his second collection, appropriately named Yeezy 2. Betsey Johnson presented a spectacular show, celebrating her 50 years in the fashion industry, and to top it off, executed her signature moves, doing cartwheels and landing in a split at the age of 73. London, Milan, and Paris fashion weeks follow after until Oct 7.