Sunday, 2 August 2015

What Cinderella Taught Us About Fashion..


Whether you're into fashion or not, your clothes say more about you than you realise. 
Whether you're into fashion or not, you also tend to make a judgement on someone's character based on what they're wearing. 
And if you've walked out of the door already today, you might want to grab that favourite necklace of yours - because someone's about to judge you, whether you like it or not. 

 Take Cinderella for example. Rushing around on beck and call of her Step-Mother and Step-Sisters in rags, although still looking pretty good considering. With the help of some magic and a Fairy Godmother (obviously), the helpless Cinders gets her new alter-ego. From a young age we were taught the impact of what a good outfit can do to people's perceptions of you. Rags are not cool but the haute couture style dress that was whisked up by Fairy Godmother's wand is definitely 'au so chic'. Disney taught us a lot of things that we might not be aware of consciously but in our sub-conscious there are many lessons that we've been taught from Walt himself. Surprisingly, fashion was one of these lessons. 

Why couldn't Cinderella go to the ball in her rags? 

a) It would have been totally reckless
b) Cinderella isn't reckless
c) They're rags
and
d) Because - your clothes speak a thousand words 
(and rags were so last season...)

But not all of us have Fairy Godmothers to rescue us from our fashion disasters (one thing Disney could've mentioned along with the fact that being able to fly isn't actually a thing unless you're Peter Pan.) 
Had Cinderella decided to be rebellious and marched up to the Palace in her dishevelled, rag-form dress, the outcome and consequences of her actions would have created a totally different film. Not only would Cinderella have been a complete badass, she would also have been a raging loon. One foot on royal property dressed like that would have had her escorted off the premises, accompanied with laughs and sniggers from those dressed head-to-toe in haute couture. Much like in Disney's, 'Cinderella', society today still abides to these basic codes of conduct. If you're at a major party - you dress the part. Rags show that you don't care, you're poor, you're an outcast or you've been attacked by a pack of wild bears and you're just recovering. Part of the beauty of the film of Cinderella is her transformation from 'rags' to 'riches'. It is her clothes that transform her into a desirable, love interest to the Prince. A conventional image of femininity - a ball gown and some glass slippers (or some Louboutins because heels are hard enough to walk in - forget glass!). The Prince undoubtedly would've looked the other way had Cinderella turned up in some serious fashion faux pas. An outfit matters and it was Cinderella's outfit that transformed her from social outcast to 'Best Dressed'. 



I was inspired to write this post by a book that I am currently reading, 'Women In Clothes'. The book is written by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and 639 other women. As each page is turned you discover women's stories and the complex relationships that different women have with their clothes. Not only do clothes tell their story but the clothes literally speak a thousand words and more.  

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