Monday, February 28, 2011

Creativity and Capitalism?

outfit deets: boots - c/o Big Buddha // tights - We Love Colours // skirt - F21 // tee - H&M // flannel - thrifted // jacket - my Nans (altered by me)

I've been thinking about individualism a lot lately and it's connection to fashion and what it all means to me. There are extremely predominant theorists out there who will tell you that fashion just perpetuates the hegemony of capitalism. In other words, fashion allows us to operate under the pretence that we are individuals with agency when in fact we are doing exactly what the 'capitalists' want us to do. To a certain degree, it is true that fast fashion chains (H&M, F21 etc.) in part probably work to perpetuate some sort of capitalist ideology in the way that they provide mass produced goods and the clothes are often made without a particular person in mind but just made for a mass of people so as to gain the most profit. This only speaks to the actual production and consumption of the items and while I would probably rather not consume things from fast fashion chains and would rather give all of my money to local sellers and artists the nature of the beast (the dirty rotten beast) is such that it is much more expensive to go that route and I am a poor student. With all of that said, I DO NOT think that buying items from fast fashion chains necessarily takes away from our ability to express our individuality as freely as possible within the society we live in.

A perfect example of how and why I believe this to be true lies within the swap groups like Wardrobe Wanderlust and the Delightful Dozen. These groups take one item of clothing (often from places like F21 and H&M) and pass it around between girls allowing one another to style them up in different ways. The fun in following these groups come from seeing the items styled up in a bunch of totally different ways. In that way, yah the big chains decide what to put in the stores but they have no say in how we're going to wear it and that is the fun part! The fun part is getting the item and exploring all the possibilities of how it can be worn. So yah, it sucks that we're stuck in a world we basically have to make the best of a shitty situation. Where we have to give our money to some evil and hope that it doesn't kick us in the ass later. Of course, as a poor student you do have other options (buying vintage, used, thrift) but it is a hard task to have and maintain an entirely vintage or thrifted wardrobe!

Anyway, enough of that! Kudos if you read the whole thing haha. Leave a comment if you have any additional thoughts about this whole thing - my thoughts on it are still very unsettled.

My outfit today was put together in the wee hours of the morning right before I had to run out the door to get to my mid-term exam. It's a bit of a jumble but I like it that way!

Happy Monday lovelies,

xo Robyn


  1. i love seeing people remixing clothes all the time weather it is in a group or by oneself..
    ever passing season i always come up with something new on certain dresses and i get so giddy when it happens!
    but..i have realized that more and more i am buying vintage dresses..bc they are so beautiful and well..i am getting closer to 30 everyday & i can not wear forever21 dresses that are so flippin short for the rest of my life..haha.
    (i wish i could though.. :P)

    looooove your jacket. i love it even more knowing it is your Nan's!
    how wonderful..
    have a wonderful week love.

  2. Great post. I love the swap groups because you can truly see each girl's individuality in the way they decide to style a particular item, whether or not it's a one-of-a-kind vintage jacket, or a dress from H&M.

    I really love all the layering you're doing here! Your jacket is awesome, & it's so cool that it's your Nan's. (:

  3. I think it's really interesting that you've brought this up. I'm doing research on personal style blogging for my doctorate. One of the things that drew me to research blogging is the interplay between consumption and creativity. It's something I think about a lot in my own blogging.

  4. Love the layering here. I agree with you about still being able to express yourself even in chain store clothing. If you put yourself into your looks, and stop trying to be something you're not you will be able to make any piece of clothing "your own." Ya know?

  5. I agree with you. The way i understand the theorists who critical of capitalism (such as marx), it was because they believed that the mechanization of capitalism strips a human of their humanity and takes away creativity. I think fashion can be the opposite of that. Obviously like you said, chain stores can be instruments of extreme capitalism and can strip away your creativity if everyone is wearing the same thing, but it doesnt have to be that way.

  6. Hello from London!

    Love this page! Please take a look at our blog, themed on quintessential British fashion and how to pull of seasonal trends with a capsule wardrobe. We've just started out, so if you do like it any support would be hugely, hugely appreciated!
    Lots of love xxx

  7. Girl, I love this outfit so much!
    That jacket and beret make the entire outfit look super gorgeous!

    I think one of the reasons why I got so into blogging was because of how people remixed their clothes. I dont mind buying clothes from regular stores, but it doesnt compare to buying something thats thrifted and you know you are probably the only person who owns something like it, which can make you want to express yourself a bit diff than others. Anyhow, very interesting topic!

  8. In love with the buttons on your jacket! And so cool you're from Toronto. I spent a lot of time in Markham one summer...

    x Elizabeth / Http://

  9. This outfit is to die for!! I love the pretty jacket!

    If you're interested in shopping for Forever21 items for pretty cheap I'd check into consignment stores like Plato Closet. They always have tons of Forever21, H&M, and Zara. I'm not sure if they're in Canada, but I'm sure there are other similar stores:)

  10. First of all- I love your outfit and your blog and will now be following!!
    Second of all- I think this is really interesting and you've definitely hit the nail on the head. I launched a clothes swap group a few months ago and the girls come up with some amazing remixes for pieces we all bought really cheap. I can't afford to constantly replace my clothes so I have to remix. I think it's definitely a show of creativity and individuality.

    Charlotte xxx

  11. i loooove that jacket! so great. and the colors are awesome together


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