sábado, septiembre 01, 2007

¿Por qué la moda es la mayor fuerza cultural en el mundo?

El mundo se ha occidentalizado en los últimos cinco siglos, y en especial él último, a una gran velocidad. Es decir, ha aprendido a amar más el cambio, la novedad, que la tradición y lo permanente. El poder de la ciencia y de la duda metódica que conlleva la democracia han chocado contra poderes tribales, monopolios religiosos y viejas supersticiones. Por eso, en contra de todo, la moda es la hoy la reina de la Tierra, y sobre ello reporta el New York Times con un divertido encabezado: "Admit it, You love it. It matters." Y como Gilles Lipovetsky explica en su profético libro El Imperio de lo Efímero (Anagrama) la moda ha ayudado desde que se inventó a ampliar la libertad humana. Copio del reportaje de Guy Trebay en el NYT:

DEPENDING on who is doing the talking, fashion is bourgeois, girly, unfeminist, conformist, elitist, frivolous, anti-intellectual and a cultural stepchild barely worth the attention paid to even the most minor arts.

With Fashion Week beginning in New York on Tuesday — the start of a twice-yearly, monthlong cycle of designer presentations on two continents and in four cities that will showcase hundreds of individual designers — it is worth asking why fashion remains the most culturally potent force that everyone loves to deride...

Why else was Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign moved to attack the fashion critic of The Washington Post for attempting to read the candidate’s clothes? The editorial blitz that followed Senator Clinton’s outraged response to some blameless observations about a slight show of cleavage on the Senate floor was instructive, as was Mrs. Clinton’s summoning up of feminist cant about the sexism of focusing on what a woman wears to the exclusion of her ideas.

But clothes are ideas; to use a fashionism — Hello! Scholars like the art historian Anne Hollander have spent decades laying out the way that costume serves to billboard the self. One would have thought that few people understand this truth as well as the woman occasionally known as Hairband Hillary, who, after all, assiduously recast her image from that of demure and wifely second-banana to power-suited policy wonk, dressed to go forth and lead the free world...

In our deeply Puritan culture, to care about appearance is like trying to be better than you really are, morally wrong,” she said.

It is to be driven by the dictates of desires and not needs. And yet the appetite for change so essential to fashion is a more culturally dynamic force than is generally imagined. Luxury, and not necessity, may be the true mother of invention, as the writer Henry Petroski observed. This proposition is an easier sell when the luxury in question is an iPhone, and not a Balenciaga handbag, but the same principles hold..."

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