Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Empress Wears New Style

I've been wrongfully accused of fashion crimes one too many times.

When I wore couture shorts to a dinner or gimmick six months before the Wowowee hosts started wearing them, I was told I'm being promiscuous.

When I bought the first set of skinny jeans arrivals in the country, I had to brace myself from snapping to an officemate who muttered "fit na fit ang jeans mo ah" after saying "wow! ang sexy" audibly. Four or five months after, she was crazy about purchasing a 350-peso pair from another officemate.

Now that I have been so crazy about high waisted pencil skirts, I get similar comments from people in the office. (Geez... I bought my first high waisted skirt months before the ASAP girls wore them in the show. And still, to them, I was so 80s. Well, I'm thinking of 50s but if that's what they think, then so be it.)

You're just baduy and outdated, I'd silently say to myself whenever an office jerk would tell me that.

It might be that I'm just being sensitive about it. But the thing is I really get irked whenever a less-fashionable person tells me those things. I would've called it constructive criticism if it comes from someone with a relatively good fashion taste or even from someone with a better fashion sense. But come on! Don't tell me those things when you'll be rushing to the nearest tiangge to buy similar clothes just because you've seen some local icon wear them on a variety show.

It's not that I have negative notions about local icons and variety shows. I watch them and find their hosts pretty. What I am trying to rant about is the attitude of the people I know.

However, putting myself in their grade school boy shoes (hehe), could it be that fashion for the masa (general public) is an acquired taste? Like, could high waisted skirts and skinny jeans be really ugly and it's just the common opinion of fashion trendsetters that make them likeable?

Think of it this way: a decade or more after when our daughters will look at our old pictures, how would they react over our clothes and our dos? Will they laugh at them or will they marvel at them the way we do whenever we see Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O's old pictures?

It may be similar to Hans Christian Andersen's children's story, The Emperor Wears New Clothes. People will say the clothes look great though they really don't--because there were no clothes after all. It just took one naughty kid (who was not taught by his mother to shut up when needed) to point out that the emperor was in fact, naked.

So are the office jerks being the undisciplined kid? And I, do I look like a fool just like the emperor? Are the fashion designers and trendsetters tricking us?

Celebrities are the best advertisers of fashion (and fad). They are the ones who bridge the runway and the street. Their tastes are always the most crucial in popularizing trends. Trends actually start with them and a few other personalities until they are copied by the general public.

I just come somewhere in between. But the thing is, at least I'm not the last copycat.

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