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The Fabric of Society

story by Teo J. Babini Images by Muge Karamanci
©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

Fashion, the industry, models. It doesn’t get much more shallow than cloth and paper… Eating disorders and functional drug habits. What other legitimate multi-billion dollar enterprise could make a name for heroine chic, and not be run by a guy named Escobar? But this isn’t a smear campaign, and I’d be hypocrite to think that fashion doesn’t play a role in my own life, in everyone’s lives.

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

The way I see it, fashion is a form of self-expression. Even historically speaking. Pre-industrial tribes had, and continue to have, a “look” that distinguishes them from other tribes. Every decade, in every country, has a style that defines it. As niche as the hard-core fashion scene is, it is fed by the masses who, by the very nature of getting dressed in the morning, contribute to its importance.

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

Now, as individuals, we dress ourselves in a form of communication. When you walk in to a room people see you before you speak, before they shake your hand, before they get to know you. A professional wears a suit, a worker wears denim. A yuppy wears khakis and a polo, a hipster wears skinny jeans and Ray-Bans. Vintage, punk, hip-hop, high-fashion, norm-core and athleasure… They are all statements, not just in fashion, but in who we are and what we do.

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

Therefore, now I get to the point, in honor of this year’s fashion week in my fair city, the big bad apple. An industry with so many resources, and so much power and influence is not just another product of our international vanity to be scoffed at by some while appreciated by other. It is a potential tool that has not yet been realized.

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

Here we find ourselves at a point in our global culture where we are dealing with some serious issues. Worldwide wealth distribution that favors the hyper rich and makes the poor poorer, climate change and mass extinction due at least partially to human contribution and conflicts all over the world that are displacing entire populations into migrant diaspora.

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

So far, the fashion industry has contributed to some of these problems. And, for every positive there is a negative, so there is no way to fully eliminate any negative impact of any action. But why not focus on the potential for positive impact. All this focus on a week because of the clothing we wear and very few take advantage of the platform to spread awareness, raise funds or make any kind of positive impact on the world, which is suffering so much.

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

Fashion’s not going anywhere, so I hold no disdain for it. But, I would encourage those with wealth, those with influence, those with a voice that speaks louder than mine, to please use your powers for good. Make fashion even better than it already is: a positive ripple in the FABRIC of society.

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

©Muge Karamanci

 

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