What Is Fashion to You?

Words by Zoe Sani
Photograph by Cottonbro

As simple as it may seem, I’ve always had a hard time finding an answer to this question.
I think that the concept of fashion is quite ambiguous and, most of the time, is considered, in a superficial way, as something of little importance.

People usually forget that even if they don’t follow fashion, or don’t care about it in general, they think about it anyway every morning when they wake up and have to go out, whether it’s for work, for school or for fun.
Fashion is not only fancy dresses or overpriced pieces of accessories, it’s not just a matter of trends to follow. What we wear isn’t simply clothes. They are what we are and what we feel, they are an expression of what and who we want to be and how we want to approach the world. Even the legendary Coco Chanel ones said: “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only … [it] has to do with ideas, the way we live.”

With our clothes, we create ourselves. Every piece we buy and wear becomes a piece of ourselves and makes us more complete. And it may seem silly, but sometimes it happens to everyone to think about a piece of clothing that they lost, or doesn’t fit them anymore or is too old that it falls apart, and it feels like they lost a piece and somehow every time they go out they look if they can find it again.

I think there is an ambivalence in the function of fashion or, more generally, of the clothes themselves; of course, we need them to protect ourselves and to cover up, but I think that they also give us the power to expose ourselves, to free our true nature and are a way to express our way of being.
This may seem like an attempt to romanticize the concept, but i think that is one of his many faces and also one of the most fascinating.

What I’d like to express is the incredible power that fashion holds, it can inspire people, it can make them feel something, and it can make them change opinion about themselves.
One of the most blowing things about the relationship between fashion and people is the number of style changes people experience in their life. We notice this aspect especially in the adolescent period, just when a person tries to find out who he is and, to do so, he experiments with different styles until he finds the one that best represents him.

All clothes have the important function to tell a story, a part of our life that we have passed but that could return. How many times have I found myself trying on old clothes to see how they fit and if I could wear them again or make them match my new style to integrate an old part of me that I still feel present and that needs to be brought to light.

This is the purpose of fashion, to show who we are and remember who we have been.

As I said before, fashion is something we use to present ourselves to the world, and we can say a lot about someone just by looking at the way they dress. Obviously, we don’t have to stop at the appearance, but it is also true that the first impression does most of the work in coming into contact with a person, and sometimes looking at someone’s style gives us more information than many words can give.

Having said that, I would therefore like to encourage you, readers, to ask yourselves what fashion is for you and, in case you need a little nudge, to try as many styles as you can, because you may find yourself surprised by the result of your choices.