2008-07-08

Fashion, ethics and globalism

The Fashion Spot has an interesting thread in the Trend Spotting Section where a debate about the fetishizing of ethnic cultures for a western audience is inspiring many heated comments. It is obviously a touchy subject for some. There are those who accept "ethnic" trends in fashion as an inevitable result of globalisation, and then there are others who believe that the west is simply co-opting the cultures of the east, robbing the items of their cultural or spiritual meaning. I suppose my upbringing guarantees that I lean more towards the former opinion, as I was uprooted from my own culture as a child and have lived in a very diversely populated city ever since. I can't relate to any particular set of cultural values or belief systems. I've always been a blank canvas open to anything striking or beautiful that comes my way.

So this is why despite the debates over ethnic-inspired clothing, I still made my way to my local Value Village this morning and snagged three beautiful sari's from the fabric section. Why are they mixed in with sheets of raw fabric? No idea. But I love the many possibilities the colors shapes and patterns have to offer. I think I've solved my what-to-wear-when-it's-too-damn-hot dilemma. Here I draped one from behind up over my shoulders and belted it in place with a satin belt from another dress.

20 comments:

nv said...

thats so cute! I should go check out my value village and see what I can find

Linda said...

that green dress looks amazing on you!

trade links?
http://www.chictopia.com/user/blog/lindarrr

Anonymous said...

You and I are like peas in a pod ... =)

K.B. said...

that's quite lovely, and this post is quite interesting. i never though of things that way before...

Josephine said...

I've no idea what value village is (:D) but I'm inspired - that is beautiful

susie_bubble said...

I've seen ppl do this successfully and unsuccessfully...thankfully you fall into the former category.... so wonderful!

Belowen said...

Gorgeous. That green looks amazing on you too.!

The Collector said...

Green really is your colour!

-h of candid cool said...

that color is brilliant

cassie said...

I think you look beautiful and original, to me that's worth a lot - perhaps the freedom to look and be original is what I rate as my cultural value...

cass

www.fashion156.com/blog/

dw said...

the way that you wrap up fabric amazes me (like that vest you made into a dress awhile back). very original, and the green really is stunning.

i've linked you, i hope you don't mind...

http://everything-is-nonsense.blogspot.com/

etoilee8 said...

You are the queen of draping dresses and making them absolutely wearable. You should give a tutorial.

breathing said...

Thanks for talking about the ethnic trend intelligently. I really appreciate it.

Anthea said...

Value Village is the best (ps did you know there is a facebook group ??:) The dress/sari is beautiful !

MollyCake said...

so lovely, your shots are always so wonderful. love the post too. reminds me of a conversation that has been floating around about the influx of "green" as a fashionable trend right now. as fashion hops from extreme to extreme is it inevitable that not being green will be in vogue next. is it good or right that people take culturally important elements and produce them? i don't know, i like to think that any exposure to different things is good. lots to think about in this post... liked it a lot.

Katlin at URPLE said...

Yeah, this topic is a touchy one... We do live in a global world, so it's hard to not come in contact with other cultures. I think the biggest problem is that we are not well informed about what is authentic to that culture and what culture something comes from. There are so many examples out there that are misleading and sometimes offensive (Hawaiian pizza, The Love Guru, that Snickers commercial with the different characters from around the world...). We all take this info in and then we have assumptions about these cultures that aren't entirely true. I know I'm rambling, but another thing is how the fashion industry uses the word ethnic to refer to inspirations that seem tribal or African. Not cool. Ok, I'm done now. :)
Thank you for making me think!! :)

Solia said...

i know what you mean with this sensitivity to ethnic clothing. we see a huge influx of ethnic inspired accessories like the Sir Alistair scarves that all the celebrities are sporting that are said to be hindu prayer scarves and then people like rachel ray get chastised as terrorist sympathizers for wearing something that's even remotely similar to a keffiyah

etoilee8 said...

I wasn't going to chime in my two cents, but I just blogged about the Afrocentric 90's and black culture in America so I figured, I should. Truthfully, I get so annoyed with everyone using the phrase "ethnic" to lump all sorts of different cultures together. But, I live in the US and hijacking other people's culture and watering it down, is something we do a lot over here. I don't like it very much, but I think for some people, hijacking certain parts of other people's culture is a way of feeling a part of something (such as yoga). . .fashion, I don't think belittles culture, but I do think sometimes it waters it down, which isn't really a good thing. I think appreciation is one thing, making a quick dollar is another. . .but who am I to say who appreciates what?

Page said...

gorgeous!

gilda said...

you look amazing. the sari doesn't look like a typical sari. and you make it so glamorous!!