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?

790 thoughts on “Getting Honest about Fashion

  1. Lately I have been having a bit of a “wardrobe crisis” in that most things that I put on do not feel quite right. I feel this is because I have changed and so my clothes need to keep up with me.

    1. This has just happened to me also! What I have noticed is that when going through my wardrobe and deciding what stays and what goes, there seems to be a real battle with what my eyes see and what my body feels. That is – I look at it on me and think that looks fine, but beneath that something in me is squirming because although the garment may fit physically and look pleasing to the eye, it does not fit energetically and is causing a tension and a discomfort at that level. Perhaps I need to put the garment on, turn towards the mirror and close my eyes so I can deeply tune in to how it actually feels on my body! Perhaps my ‘mirror’ is not the glass I stand before but something deep within.

  2. When we are lost and feeling stranded we look out for things to instruct and guide us. What to wear? How to dress? How to understand our place in the Universe? We tend to look around at what others do and copy what they are up to. And so we get prizes and are awarded for being the best copier there is. But none of this addressses or changes the fact that we are lost in the first place. The fashion in this world is to run away from this fact. If we stopped and connected to who we truly are we would know exactly what shirt to wear, what colour shoes, what way to walk and what to choose – it all flows from the greatest stylist there is – God. Thank you Adele for highlighting the crazy way we are in this world.

  3. “When our bodies do not reflect joy in our clothing, is fashion truly successful and does it really lead the way?” A great question Adele. Having never been one for fashion because of the constant changes in lengths of skirts etc. which i found frivolous. I just wear what I like and what i feel comfortable in, none more so than with shoes. But to be a supplier of fashion there has to be a demand.

  4. For me one has only to see and watch most of the models who show off the clothes to know the condition of the fashion industry, it is not pleasant.

  5. When I wear clothes that feel true for me to wear in that moment nothing can get in. I may feel another’s jealousy or judgement with what I am wearing but the feeling of knowing that the clothes are true for me gives me the confidence to brush off what is coming my way.

  6. I have found a really cool way to shop is to feel with my body which stores to go in and let my body lead rather than my eyes and what they see first. Our eyes and senses can be overwhelmed with noises, smells and such as shopping centres can be using many means to entice shoppers in to buy and yet when we take a moment to consider our bodies we have a different gauge as to what feels supportive and what doesn’t. We can observe and learn a lot more about energy and the way in which we shop and the production of clothes just by allowing our bodies to connect in a more honest exploration of an industry we all are a part of in some way.

    1. I agree kellyzarb, I find clothes shopping overwhelming at times and there are many I avoid going into because they feel way too chaotic. These days I enjoy the fact that I have the option to shop online.

  7. I often wonder when I see the latest fashion if the clothes are really designed with the beauty of a woman’s body in mind or that it is all about making the strangest looking, most outstanding patterns and most shiny coloured clothes – in other words is it to be known in the fashion world or to truly fit well and feel beautiful when we wear the clothes, knowing that to be able to do this the whole fabrication process matters and has to be loving and caring too.

  8. Hem lines can go up and down and colours can be ‘in’ or ‘out’ but who you are within yourself is your choice to know who you are and to move in a way that confirms this truth.

  9. This sharing shows that there is a possibility to look at fashion in a much more honest way. We are not ‘fashion victims’ unless we choose to be – and clothes can be very confirming of where we are at. Sure trends come and go, but it is also being discerning about the trends and choosing clothes that are truly us rather than a picture.

  10. We are each pure and divine love deep down to the core of us, so with anything we produce such as the garments we use to clothe ourselves, if they do not match this essence and naturally showcase it, we are left with a garment that disguises it. This is how we have come to walk around with seemingly attractive ‘suits of lead’ and confirming each others chosen protection based on how attractive we deem the ‘outer’ layer and the degree to which we have chosen to hide and thus want all others to hide so our true beauty is not exposed. In other words, we have sought comfort in our own creations that keep us expressing far less that the stupendousness we all are and all come from. This is not to say we have to all dress in ‘over the top’ clothes but more so dress in a way that enhances our inner light and does not hide it.

  11. It is deeply revealing to bring honesty assessment to our lives for we can so easily assume progression in a society of feats of materialism when all the while, we have the same issues present of old, and have too readily accepted a much lowered standard within society which guarantees we will not truly evolve.

  12. When we connect and live from our essence we dress accordingly not to what we want to look like to impress another but to offer a reflection of what everyone is capable of living when in connection to soul.

  13. I can imagine as a fashion stylist, you would be flicking through collections thinking same, same, same then finding something different and feeling the buzz of excitement. This is like the hook of buying the new clothes, car, holiday, treat but finding that it doesn’t last. Fashion is part of the roller coaster we get on in life when we don’t have a steady appreciation and valuing of who we are inside, before anything outside ourselves.

  14. We can get drawn in by how something appears on the surface to our eye but our whole body registers all that comes with the ‘pretty picture’ so to speak. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with something looking good to us but that if we get caught just on surface looks we can be ignoring other aspects that the rest of our body is picking up on…

  15. To stop and feel the quality, (or not) that clothes are manufactured in, is a stop moment. ‘Imparting the feeling of female sexualisation, rebellion, anger, a cushiony numbing of allure, as well as supremacy and competition.’ To know that we are wearing this when we wear the clothes, is a second stop moment. If everything is energy, then taking into consideration the energy something is made in is important.

  16. It was fascinating to read your blog on fashion Adele and understand how there is always an energy behind everything, and how important it is to be discerning when we purchase anything.

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