Going Vogue: American Beauty
Fashion has seen its fair share of weird trends. At best, these unfortunate sartorial missteps are passing fads, and while mildly irritating, are often easy to ignore. But sometimes a fashion trend appears on the scene that is genuinely terrible.
Right now, that trend is Americana printed clothing: sweaters printed with American flags, high-waisted vintage denim shorts with faded American flags printed on the pockets. Just fielding a guess here, but I imagine that this detestable trend is not due to a resurgence of patriotism; instead it’s fashion’s attempt to ironically mock American culture. The people sporting it the most? Twenty-something hipster females who, last season, wore black lipstick and upside-down crosses around their necks for six months. Call me old fashioned, but slapping an American flag on a pair of $150 shorts is not style. Fashionistas have become so lazy. The mere thought of a bunch of girls huddled around a computer scrolling through photos of American-flag-patterned clothes and screeching, “That is SO CUTE” makes me shudder. Fashion should make a statement. What statement does wearing an American flag on your butt make? That you think more people will stare at your backside if there’s a pattern on it? Classy. Next thing you know everyone will be wandering around Coachella with presidential seal semi-permanent tattoos.
But more than that, the Americana trend represents the dumbing down of fashion. It makes it easy. Being fashionable, being truly stylish, is not easy. Throwing on your American-flag-emblazoned T-shirt does not make you well dressed. It makes you trendy. There is a difference. Trendy people take the easy way out. They don’t take time to cultivate a well-crafted image, elegant and refined. Putting real effort into your appearance means deciding what will last throughout the season, what flatters my body, what defines my personality. This Americana trend is another example of the wind storm of trends that women get caught up in and confuse for style. Style endures, it breaks boundaries instead of staying confined to them. Trends have no personality because they’re fabricated by the masses and then worn by them, en masse. True style should single you out as an individual, not consign you to forever blend into the crowd. Seeing this trend propagated around the city makes me think that we’ve lost sight of that, one of the most basic principles of fashion.