What is Zero-Era Fashion?
Zero-Era Fashion is clothing and accessories that fit a number of criteria:
-- They are timeless (in the literal sense, without time)
-- Without ostentation
-- Fit well within any fashion trend
-- Look good
-- Blend in, disappear with the crowd
-- Ephemeral and Unspecifiable
"Well, well," you might be saying to yourself, "is such a style of clothing even possible?"
To answer you, yes, it is. It is, of course, very difficult to pin down - much like a starched oxford collar.
I know what you might be thinking at the moment. You might think I'm talking about "classic fashions, vintage wears that never go out of style, never seem dated."
: Very dated.
: Hopelessly dated.
: Are you kidding me?
Zero-Era fashion declares: The Suit is Dead! The fashion of the 19th and 20th century is an abberation on the fashion-trend time-line. In the mid-19th century the state of Men's fashion ground to a standstill. No new ideas have come since then and all "high" fashion for men is just retreading. Women's fashion hit a point in the early 20th-century, where all future "high" fashions were again, retreads.
So now we find ourselves at the present state: where a bizzare amalgamation of various stagnate fashions what is considered to be "runway material," when, infact, it is a tasteless and crass simulacra of clothing that is about 100 years old and wasn't even a good idea at the time.
It is the business world, the rise of the consumerist middle class, and lazy designers that are to blame for this de-evolution of fashion. A revolution is coming, and it has nothing to do with more liberating or freer clothes --- it will be an entirely new concept of what fashion is.
In actuality, there will be more than one "revolution," just as there was many sects in the major shift of artwork in the 20th century; surrealists, dadaists, futurists, cubists, mid-century modernists and the like all came up with new solutions to the stagnation of art, and so shall it be for fashion.
One I would like to introduce to you, and at the same time lay some claim to its foundation and tenants, is Zero-Era fashion. In this blog I will show examples of what I believe to befit the title, and I will also discuss failures of modern fashion to be, well, fashionable.
I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you embrace the bold new directions fashion will take in the 21st century, because they are coming whether you like it or not.
The Concept of Time-Travel and Dress
One of the main inspirations - or rather, the main inspiration, for the concept of zero-era clothing is the idea of what to wear in the event of traveling through time.
Mainly, time-travelers depicted in fiction are from the distant future, and give little care to their appearance, dressing in "futuristic" garb that is supposedly what people wear in 3207 or whatever.
Time-travelers in the "present" sometimes have a technology that automatically changes their clothes with time they are visiting, but more often they have to dress up before they go.
This presents us with a difficult dichotomy. When visiting the past, should we pay no heed to the dress of the time, and arrive glaringly obvious as visitors from either the distant future or some advanced planet, or should we stock up on a warehouse of costumes in order to fit in perfectly with the era we plan to go to?
While the silver v-cut jumpsuit might work in, say, the 1950's when Western culture suspected this might be what people wear when they come from the future to warn the present of future dangers and such, such garb would quite possibly get you burned at the stake in the 1200's.
Similarly, when visiting the future, should we wear the clothing of our time, guarantying instant recognition as "pasties," or try and guess what people of the future would wear?
Considering these quandaries led me to the concept of Zero-Era Fashion; ie. "Clothing out of time." A very difficult proposition indeed, but probably the only real solution for time-traveling garb.
Zero-era clothing can be obtained through ignoring popular fashion trends and looking at relative constants in dress throughout history. I will delve deeper into what these are over the course of this blog, but suffice it to say that such constants exist and can be exploited and built upon.
While as a time-traveler it is inherent that you will "stick out" to some degree. This can be used as a benefit when dressing. Instead of dressing to the nines of what the era dictated as high fashion, wearing what the commoners wore (which changes little throughout most of Western history) with a little added flair and style will garner you little notice and if it does, you will most likely be seen as someone of modest wealth who is not keen on dressing up.
I would like to add, as well, as the idea of zero-era fashion is not just a fictional concept for answering the question of "what to wear" when time-traveling; no, it is also a statement against the constant and unrelenting commercialization and fetishization of clothing. Whereas fashion trends used to last 5, 10, even 50-100 years, we now see a complete upheaval of trends every single year, or even every season.
Zero-era clothing can be seen as a constant in the face of a changing (but not improving) fashion world. It is a statement against fashion as a commodity and as something predetermined by some invisible hand (the "scenes" of New York, Paris, and London)
This doesn't mean, however, that it abandons fashion or style or design. Indeed, aesthetic appeal is crucial and aside from protection and warmth, is the only reason humans wear clothes. Clothing is woven deeply into every culture, and carries cultural constructs and ideologies with it. This is not an attempt to straight-jacket fashion, merely protest against it and its combination of stagnation, built-in obsolesence and ridiculous dictates. Zero-Era clothing should look good -- damn good! It accomplishes this by tying the past, present and future together into a coherent and subtle style.
Note: this is a reproduction of a few posts from my own blog, these are my own copywritten writings and no one else's I am not some filthy plagiarist. I only ever copy and paste my own random musings -- hopefully into something more readable and coherent.