Getting Honest about Fashion

As a fashion stylist, being invited to view the collections of different brands is a part of my work. Every season we look at the new collections to see what is going to be trending the next season.

Recently I went to a press event that showcased mixed brands. As I looked through the collections from different designers, I caught myself quickly falling into a numbing mode.

Fashion trends tend to repeat themselves, with each brand having their own distinctive flair, where details are added in or taken away each season to mimic change.  

Yet the truth is, fashion is never truly new because the energy that fashion is created in has never changed. 

We have devoted so much time, effort, hard work, money and labour, we have abused a lot of lives and nature to endlessly produce fashion, which takes us nowhere but around and around in circles.

As human beings we have not really improved, become more intelligent, beautiful or successful with fashion. We have not evolved one single bit.

The quality that clothes are designed, manufactured and worn in determines the quality of how fashion is. Fashion can be created for individualisation and competition, which is how clothing is mainly created presently in the world, and yet fashion can also be made with the intention that it is for all of us.

We all wear clothes every day, even a newborn baby is swaddled moments after it is born. But what is really going on if we are not aware of the energy of clothing, nor how we may be led by it all our lives?

On this day, as I went through the many different racks of clothing, I decided not to use my eyes to register their value, but instead connected with my heart and felt the quality in which they had been made and were then sending out to the world.

Whether loudly or subtly, some clothes imparted the feeling of female sexualisation, some presented rebellion and anger, others a cushiony numbing of allure, as well as supremacy and competition.

There were a lot of emotions to be felt: these expressions have all been made to be normal in fashion, even heralded as fashionable and (falsely) beautiful, so why were they making me feel uncomfortable?

Even though I felt uncomfortable and wanted to speak out against it, my habit of wanting to fit into this industry stopped me and my head still nodded in casual habit to earn the approval I was seeking.

We are all trapped in what we have told ourselves is a truth, a truth our bodies cannot lie about – and this lie about fashion is that it is all good.

As I stepped out of the showroom, I had a choice: to repeat this again or to make a different choice. 

The next day I went to another press event for a brand that I personally like because of its simplicity, and this season their standard of design had not dropped. Without a deeper awareness, I would have said the designs were beautiful. Yet, when I chose to feel into it more, this was not the truth.

Within the simplicity of design there lurked a subtle but undeniable desire to stand out in form and/or even fabric. The design, detail and production were all imbued with competition and comparison. In-truth, none of that is love, and neither is it beauty.

Visiting more events, I see how trends seem to be repeating themselves but in a more extreme form, as no one in fashion would ever want to be left behind.

There is more objectification of women where skirt lengths are now uber mini; checking out from life is rocketing beyond sky-high into space themes; glamorous gown designs are going high-tech and low-budget in material; power suits are now 3-D printed where cleaning can only be done by the atelier. Extreme hours and effort are being put into the intricacy of removing ourselves from real life; are we all lost and perhaps comfortable, hiding in beadwork embroidery?

But are we truly comfortable?

Fashion is an industry that claims authority to lead the way in trends, where we push our bodies to be one step ahead of even time itself. And yet when fashion is created in rush and disregard, and presented with emotions, what is fashion really trending?

When it comes to fashion, what you see is really not what you get.

The fact is everything is energy. Anything and everything in fashion that is designed, produced, marketed, sold and worn comes with an energy.

Without being aware of what this energy is we can be easily led and owned by it. If we are seeking acceptance or fitting in with this industry, we override what our bodies feel is disharmonious, for harmony would never dishonour the preciousness of our bodies. And yet rebelling against what we do not feel is true is not the answer either as, in energy, we are still being led, rather than leading the way.

With honesty, we need to ask ourselves how normal this all is, as inevitably truth will catch up with us and our bodies will reflect how we have chosen to live.

In choosing to fit into what is “fashionable,” as designers are we truly vital, joyful and with unending creative ideas that benefit everyone? And as customers, do we truly feel we are enough when we put on the latest piece of clothing? When our bodies do not reflect joy in our clothing, is fashion truly successful and does it really lead the way?

By Adele Leung, Hong Kong

Further Reading:
What is True Fashion About
Modelling sex in the fashion industry to being truly sexy
Who are you in the latest fashion stakes?

751 thoughts on “Getting Honest about Fashion

  1. We dress to either celebrate the beauty we are or we dress to mask it. Therefore it makes sense that we choose garments that support the choice we have thus made as to whether we will show the world the love we are, or not.

  2. The fashion industry is waking up to what is deeper than superficial beauty and glamour, this has taken us a long time and we still have a long way to go, but we are waking up back to what is Love. What is true love might not be marketable nor does it sell like hot cakes, but it is what truly sustains and expresses true beauty in design and expression, as it is simply who we are.

  3. Throughout human history the cut of our garments may have dramatically changed. But the nature of our relationships still appears to be much the same. We can show off our latest star spangled top, but if the conversation we just had with our Dad was loaded with frustration, anger and rage, have we really changed? For so long we have said ‘I’m ok’ ‘I’m doing well’ or ‘I am great, thank you’ – but is this the truth? Or is it like a pretty coat something we drape on top to cover up what we feel underneath? Today I am feeling what a different world it would be if the latest trend became to honour and cherish our sensitivity. I feel like then our whole life would have so much more colour, texture and flair. Thank you Adele for what you share here.

  4. We cannot make everyone work/design with Love, but we can be aware of what we are choosing to buy and to wear. We can acknowledge that what we pay for and put on, frequently does not reflect love. We can also choose to accept this is the way our world is because of the choices we have collectively made. And we can also choose then to change our ways if we so wish. We can only choose Love one moment at a time, from one person’s choice reflecting to another person. This is the short answer to Love in fashion and in every other industry in the world.

  5. It is true fashion just goes around in circles, and many years ago I had a conversation with my mother who made a comment that the trousers that were popular at the time were around in the 50’s, and at the time I did not believe her, but now that I have had many cycles of fashion observations, she was a 100% correct.
    It does seem that even reading the history books fashion was popular and you have those who could afford the latest trend and those who could not – not a lot has changed.

  6. It is true that everything is reflecting everything all of the time.
    The clothes we choose to wear and how we wear them is reflecting the love and value we place on ourselves and whether we are prepared to showcase this for all to see.

  7. Thank you Adele for offering us the opportunity to consider if the energy or quality in which we choose what to wear, is to confirm who we are and the love we hold for ourselves, or are we in separation, in resistance to our love holding a lack of self-worth through which judgement, competition, comparison, needing attention or seeking to hide ourselves is the driving force behind what we choose to wear.

  8. Fascinating Adele, I love your last line… “When our bodies do not reflect joy in our clothing, is fashion truly successful and does it really lead the way?” No amount of ‘fashion’ makes up for not living the joy and fullness of who we are from within. I know I have tried to do this for many years and while I thought I loved the clothes and dressing beautifully, I never felt like I matched it. Today I feel it on the inside, and usually no matter what I am wearing, I feel beautiful. I spend far less than I used to, and I need new clothes less often than I used to.

  9. What a beautiful way to connect to our clothing – “feel the quality in which they have been made and then send out to the world”. Are we wearing our clothes for image or for the quality we feel when we wear them? Does the clothing match the quality we are and does it support us in expressing ourselves? Or are we looking to fashion for it to be a certain something?

  10. Thank you Adele for a great article offering us a deeper way of connecting to our clothing, there are some clothing shops that I just don’t shop at because of the disregarding energy and standard of clothing. I am understanding to feel more deeply into how I feel in the garments instead of only choosing how they look.

  11. Yes fashion promotes much more than simply colour and fabric design, there are many messages being communicated that unfortunately add to the emotional issues of the world. But we don’t question it ‘because it’s just fashion’ but what if it does have a very real affect on our quality of life?

  12. I love how you said that you decided to use not just your eyes to register the value of the clothes but instead also tuned into and felt the energetic quality that they came with. It’s easy to be taken in by something visually but there is often so much more than meets the eye going on!

  13. It is fascinating how fast paced and busy the fashion industry is. As I read this I was thinking back to when my Nana would knit us jumpers or make us clothes- there was such a simplicity to this but you could also feel the great deal of love and care she took when she did this. From the colours she would choose for each grandchild to the effort she put into knitting. They were some of my favourite jumpers. A very different feel to the fashion industry vibe. What I did like was the simplicity of the life that also came with that.
    I am not opposed to fashion- I enjoy lovely clothes but can feel how you can lose yourself in this if you do it for the look and not in honouring and connection to yourself.

  14. Adele you are a blessing to the fashion industry. Truly. How many people within this industry are discerning to even give themselves a moment to stop and feel the truth and energy about a item of clothing other than it ‘looks’ good. We can do this with anything not just fashion, food, a workplace, a room the list goes on. And also what about all the abuse around the world of people making the clothes, some in really poor conditions with a really low wage. We certainly have a lot to heal when it comes to fashion and image.

  15. It’s funny how we have created this industry where clothes not only change with the seasons, which is understandable, but they change just because a certain style, cut, fit or colour is now the ‘trend’ or said to be ‘in’ for no discernible reason other than someone has said so!

  16. This shows that there is more to our clothes than just cloth and clothing ourselves, or having something nice to wear. Reading the energy of the manufacture and the energy they were created in, clearly shows that the clothes have the ability to keep us stuck where we are at or assist us to move forward. It proves that there is more to buying an item of clothing than how it looks on, and that we can be affected by clothes if we do not discern first the energy it comes with.

  17. We are so easily stimulated by the new and different, but as you say Adele is the energy really new by which a product or service is offered in? Does the product support us in living authentically and expressing who we truly are? This is a whole different way of feeling and looking at life.

  18. The garment we hold in our hands or wear upon our body is the end product of a series of movements that all have their source in only one of two energies – either it is of the love that we are, or it is all that opposes it. Therefore, we choose our attire to either showcase all that we are or, all that we are not. The former is transparency, the latter is a great hiding.

  19. This is a brilliant article on energy and how it can be felt in the clothing that we produce and wear. Fashion labels respond to the supply and demand that humanity is calling for and unfortunately the current demand from humanity is to stand out from the crowd by wear something “special” that will fill the emptiness that is inside, wearing a designer label that leads us to believe we will be truly happy in our lives if we wear it, wearing provocative clothes that tells us we are guaranteed to get the man/woman if we wear it etc. It is all of our responsibility to deal with our hurts so that we do not allow fashion or anything else to take us away from feeling how truly beautiful we really are.

  20. Thank you Adele for the interesting and informative insight into the fashion industry, as it is today, and the way in which you bring honesty, truth and love into the industry; an inspiration for us all.

  21. It’s really calling us to be more aware of what we’re choosing. But this awareness isn’t something you can simply tap into without the practice of living everyday for you and not for others. We can only feel what’s going on when we are connected to ourselves…and here lies the challenge. Why don’t we choose to remain connected to ourselves in every moment? For me, I know I avoid this connection often, simply because I don’t want to feel my responsibility in the world.

  22. Adele you are a blessing in that industry… exposing it for all it attempts to manipulate and corrupt us with. The more you speak up and out and bring awareness to the illusion, the more that people are able to see and become free to choose wisely.

  23. ‘Yet the truth is, fashion is never truly new because the energy that fashion is created in has never changed.’ Yes indeed – and we could say the same of pretty much everything man comes up with. We are not operating in co-creation with the divine, we are creating for our own purposes, usually driven by greed or desire for recognition and identification.

  24. Adele, I can really feel that the more awareness you choose to live in, you are just by being in these fashion events, bringing a new level of truth and love that the fashion industry needs.

  25. This article is so very exposing of the energy behind the fashion industry, this is not just about the end result, being the clothes, but a telling insight into how they are designed and produced. As each of us openly begins to feel how the garments we buy feel and with the knowing we then have, live in them with the depth of quality we hold within, we begin to ask the world for clothing with integrity and quality that matches what we live.

  26. We tend to underestimate how impacted we are by visuals in life, we are literally bombarded with images about how we should or shouldn’t be and because this is ‘normal human life’ we can assume it is having no effect on us…but what if this is far from the truth?

  27. For a while now I have felt that how a person cooks affects the quality of the meal and coming back to this article I am reminded of what am I choosing to wear? it’s not just the colour, fabric, style etc but also the energy and emotions of the producer and the collective energy of that brand that will also be on my body. We wouldn’t put on a suit that was soaked in chemicals that could possibly burn or seep into our skin but what if we do just that by wearing certain energies that come with clothes?

  28. There is much more going on than meets the eye, and what you present is that anything we create, or even anything we do will carry the quality of how we are when we were doing it, for example frustrated, as well as the intention in the product, for example being better than others.

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