The spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset states that a routine is a human behavior that is not personal but standardized. However, one could argue that a routine starts in fact from a single individual. Society is therefore, even if it is not a living organism with a soul, a unity of single and unrepeatable individuals who have in common certain routines.
This applies to the fashion world aswell, as a new routine is created by the initiative of one single individual – normally a very influential person or designer. It then takes off and spreads, acquiring a coercive power. This means, that fashion is always changing and with it its taste, so if someone were to wear something dating 30 yrs back to a formal dinner, they would be ridiculised.
Submit to a routine is a form of testimony of our will of coexistance amongst other men. It is a form of unwritten language that brings us closer togheter. Fashion is a peculiar routine, for it allows a vast liberty ofpersonal interpretation an innovation, especially nowadays.
Furthermore, we testify our trust in life, our life, and the way we want to share it with others, thourgh the way we dress. I would even go as far as to state that dressing a certain way communicates our joy and lights up the city or the landscape. It is as St. Louis, king of France once said to his friends: “ dress nicely, don’t neglect yourselves, that way you’ll help your wifes to love you”. He obvously knew that appearance is not enough to make oneself lovable, but he also knew that a person that neglects his or her appearance doesnt give the impression of steadiness and interior strenght (which are traits most people are looking for in a partner).
Of course, neither the eccessive care of once appearance is good as it becomes obsession and any form of obsession is a form of slavery. Fashion should not be a form of slavery – the dress is made for men, not men for the dress- but a means to uncover what someone has inside, so a form of expression for ones personality.
ph: Ferdinando Scianna