So I watched a bit of the blockbuster The Devil Wears Prada this weekend. There are many scenes that make me laugh, smile, and even cringe. But one thing that really makes me laugh about this movie is the fact that it actually sheds some insight into the power and influence of the fashion world on many other industries and arenas. Take for instance the scene where Miranda Priestly (who is reportedly to represent the Ms. Ana Wintour) describes the intricacies of choosing clothing and accessories for a photo spread in the magazine.
Miranda Priestly: [Miranda and some assistants are deciding between two similar belts for an outfit. Andy snickers because she thinks they look exactly the same] Something funny?
Andy Sachs: No, no, nothing. Y'know, it's just that both those belts look exactly the same to me. Y'know, I'm still learning about all this stuff.
Miranda Priestly: This... 'stuff'? Oh... ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. You're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of 8 different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff.
Wow. I couldn't have said it better. While sarcasm and a slight disdain for the unfashionable assistant are obvious, Miranda is absolutely correct. When iconic designers show a color or style repeatedly throughout a collection, pay attention. That same look will no doubted be replicated, imitated, and reproduced, or at least copied in an array of lesser quality, less attention to detail, and incredibly less design integrity. When John Galliano for Dior is showing a collection inspired by the Gauchos of Argentina in 2006, expect to see those same colors, details, and elements well into 2008.
You don't have to spend alot of money to be fashion forward. With unparalleled access to collections and designers online, you can always google your favorites to see what they're up to. If you like a look, make it your own.