Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tales of a Sunday Morning

I’m glad to be a part of the relatively new discourse of women who write, express and constantly strive to change the way we look and are being looked at. I consider myself extremely lucky, to be able to talk about and address such thoughts on the internet, and reach so many people. The last two posts on this blog have been quite different from the usual story based posts or updates about life. While studying material for college, I tend to usually form my examples in fashion for easier understanding. So I thought it would make sense to actually share some of these thoughts on the blog and seriously address them, since they seem to be neglected. I’m glad you’ll are enjoying it. 

The other day, I overheard someone say, “Fashion is expensive, it’s just a tool for our capitalist society.” Of course I instantly made a note of this, not only because of the values it held, but also because it’s not everyday you overhear people talking about ‘capitalism’. Fashion is a commodity and women are being told to dress in a way which seems to belong to a greater scheme of the capitalist society. In the end, all these images that are created are money making techniques. Even if I agreed with that, why are we leaving art out of the picture? This particular person who was speaking is a connoisseur of art, so what bothered me was that if you consider fashion a commodification, then why not art? Isn’t art expensive too? Of course I wouldn’t completely blame everyone who reduces fashion to plain consumerism or commodification. After all, the myriad of stereotypes that have been attached to models, fashion shows, designers and fashion bloggers is explanatory for their thoughts. 

As someone who cares about the connotations of the signs thrown at us everyday, I think it would be a shame if I didn’t exert my power over fashion and influencing ideas that are used in the field. What we choose to wear is not only about capitalism or commodification, but also about what we are trying to say. Whoever said fashion and politics have nothing in common was so wrong. If fashion isn’t politics, then I don’t know what is. Yes, millions of dollars are spent telling women to attain the perfect look or body, but that is never going to change if we push it aside saying it’s a money making scam. I’m not giving up on fashion, I’m not giving up on what I stand for. Today people in fashion probably just say they accept fat people or dark skin because they are forced into saying so, and might not actually believe it. Maybe it’s all just an act. But I know that if not today, someday we can make that change. We can be smart and fashionable. We can be fat and pretty. We can be dark and lovely.

In the 80s women used to wear tailored skirt suits, shoulder pads and basically dress up like men so that they could access economic and social aspects of the society that they had previously been denied. Today, so many decades later, pant suits and skirt suits are back on the runways and everyone seems to be sporting them. Are you telling me that’s not a statement? Haven’t you seen how women always make it a point to add a bit of ‘them’ to those outfits? In the 80s they wore pears and jewels to make that statement, and now they wear statement necklaces and high heels. As Jan Felshin said, “It serves to say that I am powerful, but I’m not masculine.” If fashion bloggers aren’t example enough of the challenge being posed to gendered, sexist, sized and raced messages, then I don’t know what is. 

And talking about masculinity, I’m sure many people are going to find this outfit repelling because “I’m not dressing for my body type” or “I’m wearing clothes from the men’s section” or “Because you can only see my flab”. So go ahead and find me repelling or stupid or whatever you want to. But I’m not going to stop pairing my crop tops with sweatpants and running shoes even if it’s not Anna Wintour approved. Oh, and if you thought feminists were frumpy, unattractive women who couldn’t give two hoots about fashion, you should think again. Have you met Beyonce, Chimamanda Adichie, Tavi Gevinson, Karen Elson and Simon de Beauvoir? 


P.S: Still not over crop tops. Let’s just accept it?

P.P.S: Shot these at sunrise


  1. You should have a 'like' button for your posts ! Great post! :)

  2. "If fashion bloggers aren’t example enough of the challenge being posed to gendered, sexist, sized and raced messages, then I don’t know what is." I think this line sums up why I blog. There are many who still present the normal standard of pretty and challenge nothing..but the fact that plus sized bloggers and bloggers of colour have actually affected how the industry works is proof enough that blogging is a big deal. fashion is art and is a part of the capitalistic system as well, there can be no denying that. but that is also not a point to trivialize it's importance.

  3. You channel such chic in crop top & sweat pants too!! And loving the necklace headpiece too!!! <3

  4. Very well written Sonshu. It is not just about fashion. There are many things for which the same logic can be given. However, at the end of the day, one cannot stop people from wearing what they want to wear. And not all are influenced by what they are told to wear.

    Jenny’s Bicycle-Indian Fashion Blog!!

  5. You are so cute!

  6. I am not someone that really pays a lot of attention to meanings or what people have to say just because in the world we are currently living in, everything is wrong for at least one person! It's just the way the system works and to be honest before starting my own blog I always thought that fashion is about expensive clothes but now I think fashion is more of a personality rather than anything else. Is a way to express and be accepted for who you are. I don't think there should be any 'barriers' with regards to sizes or anything really! I love what you are wearing because you are wearing what you like and not lots of people do that!