Lecture: ‘Fashion minimalism and modernity’.
In 2015, what do we define as modern?
relating to the present or recent times as opposed to the remote past.
“the pace of modern life”
Tuesdays lecture from Gill Morgan on ‘Fashion and Modernity’, got me thinking, is todays ‘modern’ really new? Or has it all been done before?
Looking back at history, it is often easy to see how at the time, something would have been viewed as a new, exciting and modern notion. Mentioned in the lecture was the Parisian fashion designer Paul Poiret. In 1903 when he began to design womenswear without the addition of fussy corsets and petticoats, this sparked a revolution in dressmaking. A stark change from the fashions of the 19th century, Poiret looked to Greek chiton, the Japanese kimono, and the North African and Middle Eastern caftan for inspiration. This new and exotic change in fashion direction was at the time considered to be the epitome of modernity in fashion. Perhaps today in the 21st century ‘modernity’ can sometimes seem less groundbreaking because technology has made the world we live in so much smaller and accessible. In the blink of an eye we are able see what people from all corners the globe are wearing, watching, eating, doing. The world around us is constantly evolving and unless we purposely pause to contemplate it, modern ideas can become lost amongst the huge cloud of new information that is fed to us everyday. Of course, in Poiret’s time the world was also changing rapidly, just at a different pace. Designers today still influence future fashions in the way that he did, the changes are just more subtle.
In my opinion, today, and as always, ideas can be recycled and old can inspire new. But ‘modern’ will always be ‘modern’, for the sake of modernity.