Experimental Detachment: Why Avant-garde Fashion Is Beginning To Feel Deaf

Suzanne Collins’ popular 2008 novel and its subsequent film adaptation The Hunger Games, is a speculative fiction aimed primarily at adolescents. Despite this, a more mature reader might pick up on the social commentary offered within the plots. At the time of publication, a golden age of reality television, Collins’ novel, where teens engage in violent televised competition, could be interpreted as a critique of shows like Eldest brother.

But now there is another seemingly innocuous element in Collins’s book to consider in 2023 and that is ruling class fashion. In the wealthy Capitol, they wear colorful and impractical clothes, while the poor wear tough clothes built to be useful at best and rags at worst. Of course, this, like most other parts of the novel, is exaggeration designed to entertain: but, at a time of global economic crisis, we might begin to seriously question our culture’s obsession with celebrity fashion.

“Gold glamour?”

The place of cutting-edge fashion in our current society was last called into question last year when the theme of the infamous 2022 fashion Met Galaheld in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was announced as “Golden glamour”. Harking back to a time in American history that saw great advances in technology and industry, “Gilded Glamour” was intended to showcase the clothing of the Golden age (1870s-1900) with a modern twist.

Organizers were criticized not only for celebrating a time of prosperity as Ukraine suffers from Russian invasion, but also for much of America’s economic success right now being conspicuously marred by huge Disparity of wealth between rich and poor.

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This isn’t the only time the Met Gala and its attendees have been confronted about their ignorance on economic issues. In 2021, US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attended the Met Gala in a dress emblazoned with the theme “Taxes the rich” emblazoned on the back in an irregular red font.

To get a seat at a Met Gala table, Tickets It can cost between $35,000 and $300,000. But, as an elected official, Ocasio-Cortez was invited in for free. This led to questions about her character, as she presents herself as a voice of the american working classhowever, she attends an event populated by the elite wearing a dress that claimed on Instagram was borrowed

While some praised Ocasio-Cortez, others across the political spectrum were quick to point out the disconnect in her Met Gala appearance and message. Writer David Hookstead asked about Twitter: “If (AOC) hates the rich so much, why does he attend an event that only the richest in America can attend?”

another user tweeted: “It’s not radical, it’s not socialist, it’s not fighting for workers, it’s not fighting the status quo,” and then questions Ocasio-Cortez’s political integrity in light of the criticism leveled at him.

The Met Gala has always been a fusion of art and fashion, so it’s no surprise to see the eccentric outfits worn by celebrities on the Met steps. It might even have become an annual ritual to read article after “who-wore-what” article to decide for ourselves who was best dressed, who was in theme. But avant-garde and experimental fashion, along with its price tags, is increasingly infiltrating the public mind.

The relevance of avant-garde fashion

The Schiaparelli fashion house presented its Spring 2023 collection at Paris Fashion Week and it was not so much the models on the catwalk that caught the attention of the public, but the attendees: Kylie Jenner of Kardashian fame among them, the one that got the most publicity. Jenner’s dress featured an eerily lifelike lion’s head on the shoulder of a skintight black gown and other celebrity attendees he wore complete Schiaparelli suits that retailed for $22,000. It was arguably the singer Doja Cat who intrigued the most with her all-red outfit that she featured. 30,000 Swarovski crystals to cover your skin.

At times like this, one can’t help but wonder how much cultural value this type of cutting-edge luxury fashion holds.

According UNCTAD, 2023 marks one of the lowest rates of economic growth in recent history. We live in a time when inflation is higher than it has been in decades, a time of rising poverty and a lack of job recovery.

Why aren’t we more annoyed with celebrities who wear expensive and often ridiculous outfits?

Repetitive articles detailing celebrity fashions expose their willful detachment from everyday struggles. Perhaps for some it’s a much-needed relief to look at beautiful people wearing things they could never afford and decide it looks tacky or unflattering.

But this doesn’t make sense because celebrities use their clothes as status symbols, too removed from the reality of everyday life. More and more often it feels like a slap in the face, or a suggestion that if we can’t afford bread, we should have cake instead.

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.comIn the featured photo: Vogue magazine cover. Featured Photo Credit: Laura Chouette/Unsplash

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