Strange Fruits

Fashion is a strange fruit, straddling a strange dichotomy. It prescribes what people should wear whilst celebrating personal expression: clothes are at once a reflection of self and a reflection of season. But when it all boils down to it, which is it really? As February’s issues of Vogue, Elle and Harper’s thud softly through letterboxes this week, stacked full of SS11 trend guides, does studying them signal an act of individual interest or one of sheep-like compliance? 

Skeptics seize upon the latter description, scorning seasonal shifts in what is considered stylish as the workings of a mob mentality. Yet fashion insiders have always insisted upon the former, fashion as self-expression, adamant that what they wear is never anything but personal preference. Alexa Chung declares, “I’m not very good with trends. I don’t really know what’s in or out.” But with such pledges of non-allegiance, of unaffected originality in the face of current fashions, where can trends ever come into the equation?

Herein lies what it means to be fashionable today – it’s the trick of being both seen and unseen, to become a part of the crowd whilst at the same time setting oneself apart from it. Chung slips on a new-season Christopher Kane dress, aligning herself with those who can recognise the designer and trend it belongs to, but then diverts the look from its expected editorial direction with a personal twist, a battered men's briefcase or a grandma knit. This roundabout route is the road to fashion itself: an insiders-outsiders club of non-conformity, where entry begins with a trend and ends with the individual. We may all start in the same place each season, with the same magazines and shows and clothes, but where we might end up is a different, far-reaching matter entirely. 

So as a little inspiration for your own individual mapping of the coming season, take a look at these gems from the legendary Japanese street-style magazine, Fruits. Shot by Shoichi Aoki throughout the ‘90s, the resulting book, also called Fruits, is a cornucopia of the weird and wonderful, and one which shows that caring about fashion is never about following, and always about having fun: sheep we are most definitely not. 




1 comment:

  1. Thank you!!!
    I really like your blog!I'm a new follower!!


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