(For those wondering, I am in the midst of a rather run-of-the-mill emotional crisis and am dug in under my futon, knitting super-bulky yarn and breaking knitting needles. Regular blogging to resume, well, now, I guess.)
I was raised by an eminently practical woman. Feet on the ground, rock-solid common sense. I'm adopted, so I can't say the attitude was hard-wired into my DNA, but whether by natural inclination or thirty-odd years of exposure, I came to share the attitude.
You never pay full price for anything if you can avoid it. (One of the many reasons knitting appeals to me. You CAN save money with it, if you try.)
You don't buy something expensive unless there's a good reason for it. (A $200 leather jacket, maybe. A $200 cotton jacket, why?)
Anything purchased should have a USE. (Furniture, books, hobby items, clothing, kitchen gadgets, doesn't matter.)
Notice that last one? Yeah. I think that one right there is what makes me foam at the mouth when reviewing Vogue Knitting. See, by my view, clothing serves two purposes: It keeps you warm/covered, and it makes you look good. There are lots of ways to accomplish those two goals, some more elaborate than others, but I think we'll all agree that's the real point of clothing.
That's why this:
Offends me more than this:
The yellow one is fucking useless. It doesn't keep you warm (look at those open sleeves flying around; wearing it would be like standing in a wind tunnel), and it sure as hell isn't flattering. Serves no purpose. None.
The purple? Well, it's ugly, but it's warm. If the knitter chose a good color for them, it may be slightly flattering for that reason. So while the design is still pretty crappy (bet it doesn't drape for squat), well, at least there's a purpose there.
Art for art's sake never tripped my trigger. Don't get me wrong, paintings and sculpture are all very well, and certainly take talent to create, and GOOD paintings or sculpture speak to the viewer. But what do they DO? Originally they were there as a form of conspicuous consumption; not terribly valid in my eyes. (Okay. Originally it was the stone age, and we don't really know why. But in the middle ages when painting 'took off' in the western world, it was a way to show you could afford the paint.) Yes, I've got prints hanging on my walls. They cheer up the house, so I guess that's a purpose. But $140 MILLION for a painting that doesn't say much of anything? WHY? I think we're back to showing off. (Incidentally, I don't dislike Pollock, or modern art particularly. His stuff just doesn't speak to me. And I sincerely wonder what it says to others.)
So, where was I going with this. Oh, right. I've got this (belligerent, I admit it), entrenched viewpoint that form follows function, and therefore CLOTHING SHOULD BE USEFUL. Keep you warm, keep you from getting sunburned, keep you from getting arrested, at the least, make you look good. SOMETHING. So I see things like this:
And I get a little insane because I can't see a reason for them existing (they don't suit any of those purposes I listed), let alone PAYING someone to create them. There are so many good-yet-little-known designers out there, producing things that ARE warm and flattering, I sincerely don't understand why the fashion world produces this stuff. They go on and on about design and originality in the Real Fashion World, yet isn't the founding principle of design "form follows function"? What's functional about some of this stuff?
Yeah, I've been at the art history books again. Someone should take them away. That's my deep thought for the day. Such as it is. I'm gonna go crawl under the futon and suck my thumb now.