when reality kills the fantasy

or, what final fashion is

Sometimes I say that Final Fashion is just a meaningless alliteration – but over the course of many years it has come to have a few definitions in my mind, the most amusing one being: that moment when reality intrudes on the fantasy of fashion.

I adore these moments. The other weekend while bedridden I discovered My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding which is a series of poignant, high-camp crashes between fairy-tales and physics. These young brides are enamoured with the gowns of Disney princesses, which they not only imitate but elaborate on. The brides ignore the fact that the princesses are two dimensional and the proportions of their dresses will not move with the same animated verve and bounce in reality. In fact, these dresses require their wearers to push them along with an oddly appropriate tough-little-girl kicking motion.

Every time I watch a gypsy bride kick her hem down the aisle, I think: that’s final fashion.

When an item of clothing or cosmetic procedure reaches the point of final fashion, it starts to physically impede, limit opportunities and even harm. Shoes that trip up entire casts of models, like in the Prada Spring 2009 show. Skirts that bind legs so tight walking is impossible. Glasses that no one can see through. Face tattoos that render people unemployable. Botox that paralyzes actresses’ ability to emote.

The instance where fashion fails to impress and instead absurdly breaks its own spell is the beginning of the end of a trend. That is final fashion.

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5 thoughts on “when reality kills the fantasy”

  1. i’m curious to know more. do you think because some aspects of fashion are completely absurd and unrealistic means it’s breaking a spell? i mean, there are some items and collections i adore (hussein chalayan comes to mind), but admire more as works of art or social commentary than as necessarily wearable clothing items.

    i think the princess wedding gown fantasy meeting reality is a great example, but i’m just not sure the other examples you list are examples of fashion breaking “its own spell.” maybe i’m just not clear on your definition, though…

  2. Hi garconniere,

    It’s all about context, isn’t it? The Chalayan coffee table dress in a fashion show works. If someone wore it on the tube, going to the office, as a legitimate piece of clothing – it wouldn’t work, it would just be hilarious.

    Or when a girl wears shoes that cause her to fall down all the time, she literally goes from being tall and impressive to being clumsy and on the floor.

    Final fashion happens at the LOL moments when fashion becomes so unwearable, it stops being beautiful and becomes a series of malfunctions.

  3. Love this definition! And isn’t MBFGW just captivating? The sour note of it of course is the racism you see against the travelers… really awful at times. But the whole show and the glimpse into a culture I knew nothing about inspires in me not only glee at the hilarious fashion moments, but also the strongly nerdy desire to write some long analytical thesis on the whole shebang.

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