Sharp Edits #Seven

...self-importance VS humility

by Mariel Reed
Some may argue that self-importance is integral to success in the world of fashion. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. If you can convince an audience that you are at the top of your game, you may begin to see yourself rise. Alexander McQueen once said, “If you want to play with the big boys, you have to act like them.” But where do we draw the line between ego-boosting self-confidence and all around insolent arrogance?

Unfortunately for the lesser-known labels, many proclaimed ‘fashion experts’ are too often seen exhibiting attitudes of, “Well, if I haven’t heard of them, they must not be important.” Really? Has it ever occurred to you, fashion editor of yesteryear, that you may just not be informed? Sadly, this way of thinking is not limited to the fashion elite. We must often remind ourselves to dismount our high horses and get back in touch with reality. Reality being the fact that the fashion industry does not solely revolve around the mega-luxury houses that infiltrate the glossies. Reality being the fact that we live in a world where information travels at warp speed through various alternative media, meaning access may not be delivered to us on a platter. But that does not mean that is it unworthy of our attention.

We have all been victim to our inner superiority complexes over-ruling our more sensible selves; though some of us may just play victim to this. It is easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour of one of the most privileged industries. The parties, the clothes, the all-too-familiar game of ‘who’s who?’ may lead us to believe we are on a high when really, we are on a low; so low our self-importance is prohibiting us from remembering that fashion is a fast-paced ever-changing industry. Its maintenance and sustainability depend on its patrons’ attention and willingness to explore new things.

To those of us who sit high and mighty and think no designer is worth our time if we have not seen previous evidence of his existence, are we really going to let another publication do our work for us? Isn’t fashion all about finding the newest, hottest thing before anyone else does anyway?

That being said, who’s worse than the egotistical fashion patron denying their attentions are those of us who claim to know everything and everyone. Not only are we cheating a young designer, we are also cheating ourselves. One could go on and on naming designers we have almost certainly never heard of, and we would go on batting our eyelashes and nodding your head to every name, instead of taking the time to explore each for what they are really worth.

I am not claiming to be the saint of young fashion designers, crusading for their rights. I just think we should take a step back every once in a while, pop the fashion bubble that suffocates us and breathe in the fresh, new air that brings us the innovators and forward thinkers that will lead the industry some day.

The speed at which information travels has left us with overwhelming impatience. Fast fashion, the fear and effects of economic downturn, and the need to keep up-to-date at all times has brought us to a level of insecurity which forces us to blindly coast down the information highway, cruise control on; mindlessly guided to the next destination. The solution is simple. We need to put our foot on the breaks and open our eyes. It’s about time we slowed down and took some time to decide for ourselves whether or not a designer deserves his time in our spotlight. Imagine if Isabella Blow had overlooked a young Central Saint Martins graduate some 20 years ago.