Friday, March 13, 2015

Ways Of Elevation

    Architecture uses materials to enclose, and define space, and to create purpose.  Apparel uses materials to precisely the same ends.  And in another way, the arts of apparel, and architecture align perfectly.  It is very often the stated, or implied purpose of both, to elevate humans in some way.
    The Attire language, through its multifarious words,  quite often tries to help us re-create ourselves as more beautiful, powerful, capable, intelligent, or sexual than the common run.  In fact a massive trillion dollar industry has grown out of just that desire to make of ourselves something more.
    But what intrigues me today, this moment, is that that continuum of style takes us from the most wildly overblown of rococo manifestations, to the utterly featureless.  And yet, we get to the same exalted place.
    Where these two methods diverge is in one salient point.  The more layers, decorations, colors, and patterns that get pushed together to create an Attire presentation, the harder it becomes for the true nature of the person within those clothes to get freedom of speech on their own.  The essential personality threatens to be submerged within all the subjective messages displayed.  So, (and in the regalia of royal power this is most aptly shown), it is not the human person being elevated, but whatever it is they are meant to embody, that is the thing most honored.
    It is when attire retreats to its most edited, severe level, that the person within the garments shines forth most brightly, because there is little, or nothing to take our attention from the face before us.  We are very nearly forced to confront the human in the clothes, devoid of distractions.
Naturally, the huge majority of apparel choices lay between those two extremes, and yet, the goal of elevation stays the same for so very many of us, even if we don't think about it with our fore-brains.
    So, just like with architecture, which can with Baroque complexity, inspire and elevate, or reach that level of higher thought with spare, and void spaces; so too, Attire.

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