Saturday, 24 July 2010

At Colette Patterns: 'The Language of Fashion'


As I stated last week, many of my posts on the Colette Patterns blog seem to follow a vague formula. However, sometimes I write something more random. It would also appear that, on occasion, these posts can prove to be a touch provocative: mildly inflamatory, even. I most definately do not set out to do this, and do not even realise until the comments start rolling in. But, hey, stimulating healthy debate can never be a bad thing, can it?

So this week, inspired by this book I'm currently reading, I gots to thinking about the language of the fashion industry. How I personally feel towards it's use became the focus for my post. Despite introducing the crux of my arguement with the word 'personally', it certainly stirred up some interesting and conflicting opinions. Check out the post and the comments if you want to be riled/vindicated/unimpressed, depending on your viewpoint/experiences. It never ceases to amaze me how differently people can feel about the same topic. Take Sherry's (effectively critical) comment, and then Pat's (effectively supportive) comment of my original post. Both eloquent and well presented by two clearly intelligent and capable individuals, yet taking wildly different stances. fascinating, no? Oh, and then there's the commenters of course that enjoy pointing out your spelling mistakes, like Microsoft Word's spell checking failures somehow undermine the very essense of an entire arguement and set of personal experiences! Ah, fun times.

7 comments:

Kelli said...

You misspelled the word... just kidding. People as a whole crack me up, we have have essentially the same body parts, but the way we use them, senses-wise, is so different. Probably why I love Tom Robbins so gosh darn much. Have a great day, I don't think Karma is going to bite you for accidentally inciting a riot :)

~Kelli @ Smidgens

lenarrd said...

I loved this post - it got me thinking a lot with a lingustic issue I'd been grappling with too, I posted on my blog about it if you're interested :)

The fact that your post incited such strong feelings is, in my opinion, a good thing! Those are the best kind of commentaries, the ones which draw people out of apathy and into the debating ring to spar... er, can you tell I'm still in Karate mode?

Celkalee said...

Wowsers! Who knew such strong opinions would surface? I thought the original post was very interesting and thought provoking. That said, I think I differ from most because I see the world, and my personal world, in multiple shades of gray. I have varying degrees of tolerance for the nit-pickers, but I also understand that many people out here in our community take liberties they would not in a face to face situation. That's OK as long as respect prevails. Indeed, every industry operates within its own context. I am a medical person and am keenly aware that it is very important to communicate differently with clients vs. other medical professional. So, in closing, the best part of all of this discussion is...the discussion. All of us in the sewing community (be in home or industry) should be glad that these topics are relevant and available to us via the internet.

Carolyn said...

I loved reading your original post! You write so well. The one term recently creeping into Australian "fashion-speak" which I consider a bit pretentious is the singular "pant" used when referring to trousers, not when referring to underpants. As in "the important pant for this season..." makes one think of a dog panting... (or possibly a man panting with lust? is this the desired outcome mebbee?! )
(btw I don't have a problem with trousers being referred to as pants!)

Minnado said...

I enjoyed the post on Collette - the ensuing discussion shows how emotive an issue language can be. I did a PG study into use of language and socialisation of fine art students and I know what you mean about tutors using certain words - on the one hand they may be trying to professionalise students but sometimes it comes across as pretentious or trying to create a sense of belonging. I used to get into trouble as a student for giggling at some of the more high falutin words used!

Ali said...

Thanks for both posts, Zoe (especially since I missed the original!). Overall, I think this is a very important topic. The way we talk about things can be definitive, socially and personally.

I am suspicious of some arguments that claim language is merely symbolic and therefore lacking (which I encountered a lot in school, language is our main tool of communicating, after all), but I think it can definitely be a gatekeeper of sorts.

I know little about the "industry," but I know I went into graduate school complaining about the pretentious-speak only to graduate with a mouthful of pretentious-speak (I suppose it was inevitable). Ugh. That said, healthy debate is always, always good and I, too, prefer style to fashion because it feels more authentic and inclusive. We should all use terms, I feel, that carry meaning for us.

Lisette said...

Sorry about that, I tend to write my posts in pieces over a period of time so I tend to forget to link back (a very bad habit). I put up a link there and will remember to do so next time.

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