Going back to 2002, I was at Winchester art school, in third year my teachers said I should apply for MA Womenswear Fashion at Central St Martins. This was unexpected, as the year before I was failing the course. I applied. I went for an interview with Louise Wilson, MA Fashion Course director at Central St Martins. She's responsible for most comtemporary fashion designers in London. At 21 I found Louise, one of the most grounded people I'd met, I was slightly intimidated by her energy. Anyone thats met her will agree that her aura is over powering, but not for the negative. Still love her even after all the grief she put me through. Not to ever forget that she's one of those people who told me, I'm capable of doing anything I want.
Interview ended by Louise saying 'the whole point of fashion is to bastardise and debase culture'. I left this interview overwhelmed, dripping with anger and inspiration. Louise's last line running around my head, and I was analaysing evrery angle of that sentence. So much so, that on train back I missed my train stop to Winchester, and ended up in some other town in south of England full off green woods, and with no human in sight.
I wrote a letter to Louise, I dont remeber every word I wrote, but the main gist of letter was. I disagreed, and opposed her thoughts about fashion bastardising and debasing culture. Fashion provides clothes for people, clothes are an essential need of people's lives. I strongly think fashions objective should be to improve and simplify human standards, rather than do the opposite. As a person/ designer, I'm not out there to debase, lower state of human life or culture. I've always thought clothes are meant to enhance people, and not to make them look like idiots. Another reason I thought this statement was so disappointing and depressing, thinking that this is what my life, profession is meant to be about, to degrade culture.
I can point out examples of how commercial, and general fashion has defected mass populations minds. One example, use of cheap labour in fashion (although this was not what I was thinking about when I was 21). Cheap fashion that is manufactured for pennies, and sold for pounds. Cheap labour has not improved, living standards of people who make these clothes, and some of the makers don't get paid! This also has created mass confusion, and wastage in western society. Another example: high end fashion, that comes up with excellent crafted garments, but it's main job is to cater for the rich and project the elitist image. These are just a couple of examples of how fashion has bastardised culture.
I have more to say about this, I think it will make sense to elaborate this in the next issue of Overload.