THE SOCIAL CAMPAIGN CONTINUES AND IS INSPIRED BY THE THEORY OF DEVIANCE DESIGNED BY THE FRENCH SOCIOLOGIST
#whatisfashion? goes to France. Home of the Haute Couture with Paris as capital. Magical place where seamstresses and couturiers make dream dresses. But it is also the native land of one of the most important sociologists of the nineteenth century: Émile Durkheim (1858-1917). It’s true. The past installments of the social campaign launched by Wait! and Shopenhauer had philosophers like Seneca, Prometeo and, of course, Schopenhauer as protagonists. But basically even a sociologist is a thinker, with the difference that he thinks more scientifically than the first. Relying above all on society and the role of those who live it, that is us, the citizens. Moreover, the question of what fashion is aimed precisely at people, so why not deviate a bit from habit, from the classics of philosophical thought and cite another approach to thought? And it is precisely the concept of deviance that can contribute to the discussion on fashion.
Let’s take a step back. According to Durkheim every form of deviance is only a challenge to the normalized repression of the state. Obviously from the sociological point of view. And what does this have to do with the clothing industry, in all its facets? The history of fashion has seen cyclically the arrival of rebel, counter-current, independent designers – and it is in this sense that here we want to understand the sense of deviance.
Some names may clarify: the eternal Coco Chanel, then Yves Saint Laurent, Mary Quant, Vivienne Westwood, Karl Lagerfeld, Miuccia Prada, Martin Margiela, Hedi Slimane, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen. These creatives have revolutionized the catwalks and the way in which women and men (especially in the case of Slimane) dressed. Even today in some cases. However, despite being out of the chorus, their greatness was and is so important that it gave birth to real trends and ways of dressing: from minimal to punk, to unstructured, to the Slimane silhouette.
FROM CREATIVE REBELLION TO STANDARDIZED CONSUMPTION
And consumers bought, in the wake of pop jargon “it is in vogue”. Prada establishes nylon as a concept for its bags and backpacks, fact, at the time, revolutionary, and everyone wants them. Mary Quant introduces the miniskirt, an event of importance not only aesthetic but also social (by chance) and every woman wants to wear one. In the moment in which these great upheavals – at least as regards fashion and the concept of creativity – are placed on the market, advertised and told by the press, they cease to be revolutionary, deviating from an earlier way of seeing fashion. Everyone wants them and everyone tries to grab them. From creative chaos to consumerism.
The discussion on the homologation of tastes passes from here. From the deviance introduced by the author, who, not by chance, also theorizes about social types. We are these types and to create and define ourselves the superstructure – the state – uses between elements: nature, number and how these two combine. Doesn’t it sound like a real marketing operation made today by the big groups in the sector? Moreover, it is increasingly clear that one of the possible answers to the question #whatisfashion? see the birth of two currents: the one that follows the locomotive of tastes, led by influencers and advertising campaigns, and that of those who go their own way, deviating from a predetermined path and buying what they want, no matter what.
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