Fashion is an art and form of outward expression


w.omeedmalek.4.18No matter how much we try to convince ourselves that we are above our animal instincts, the undeniable reality is that we are not. From an evolutionary standpoint, animals are innately programmed to judge our peers based on physical appearance factors. This “superficial” and “judgmental” tendency is deeply rooted in the animal instinct to find a mate. Recent studies have suggested that humans form judgments within 10 seconds of observing other people based on just their outward appearance, including fashion. Henceforth, it is futile to argue that using fashion to alter one’s outward appearance causes unnecessary judgment. Our clothing is one of the most fluid forms of our self-identity. We cannot easily change our physical features, but with fashion, we can alter our identity, temporarily changing how others perceive us. As famed fashion designer Alexander McQueen once said, “Fashion should be a form of escapism and not a form of imprisonment.” Though McQueen is no longer living, his legacy continues to inspire designers and fashion connoisseurs across the world. McQueen is a true inspiration to me, and my desire is to show others that fashion is not superficial but rather an intricate art form. People should embrace fashion for its uniqueness and for its ability to be art that the wearer and viewer can both interact with. After recently purchasing a book of Alexander McQueen’s collections and designs, I have become more aware and appreciative of what goes into the process of creating clothing from a fashion house’s perspective. An appreciation for clothing should not only apply to high-end clothes but also mass marketed clothing. The clothing on your back started as a trend during Fashion Week and has undergone hours of designing from artists across the world. With this in mind, we must all realize that fashion and clothing design is a central part of our day-to-day lives. Not only is fashion an extension of what we are already judged upon, but it is a form of wearable art. From ready-to-wear fashion to haute couture fashion, clothing is a way to express originality in a nonverbal visual form, a trait that is as unique as the art that inspires it.