To elevate ourselves to new heights means to acknowledge those before us who have set the standard. Where they thrive, we aim to appropriate and acquire what they have in our own realities.
What does this have to do with style? We see something we like, we want it. Not because we want it, but because we think it will do to us what we think it did to them. Did you get that?
Most of our decisions happen on a subconscious level, that is, we feel it before we think it. How will that outfit make me feel? Or rather, how will others think about me which will determine how I will feel?
At its heart we desire to be accepted. But it is in this repeated language that isn’t our own that images get confused with substance.
Converse. Vans. Nike. Levis. Adidas. Big names. On their own they hold massive meaning on their impacts on culture through diverse timelines that can be traced through various approaches- business, design, fashion, art, cultural movements, etc. However, and this is a big however.
When you get the dad hat wearing dude/dudette with the Adidas track pants, brand new Vans shoes, vintage Levi’s short shorts, 90s choker necklace, <insert name here> brand whore, you literally have a caricature of style pervasive in Toronto indicative of our lack of taste (by taste I mean discernment) and distinctive personalities.
We get it. You can recognize big name brands. We get it. You can use your credit card to attain certain items. We get it. You can look at Instagram and emulate a style.
That’s fine. But, where are you?
If I can slap that same outfit on somebody else, this shows me that this is formulaic. A uniform- for the dazed and the confused.
Are you mad because I pointed out your lack of consciousness in juxtaposition, acknowledgment of provenance, and inability to think for yourself? I didn’t do anything, you did that all by yourself.
Congratulations, you’re waking up.
Words by Austin Sauco