The banality of generalizations
There was a time when I found myself drawn more towards overarching silhouette rather than falling for a charming detail. I would opt for the general idea of a garment. The details were erroneous so long as my lust for silhouette was satisfied. Pockets, pleats, appliqué, buttons, piped edges—such frivolities did not interest me. For example, if my aim was to find a mini skirt, my desire for it stemmed for the mini skirt in its starkness—its form and function. Or in terms of boots, as long as the heel was of the desired height, the leather black and contained a shaft that also met my expectations, inching over the heel just so, then I could be appeased.
In other words, as long as the goal I had envisioned was satisfied, then I, too, could be satisfied. In this instance, the silhouette was my main object. I wanted a skirt or a boot that matched an outline. All other details were negotiable. Had I filled out my vision more thoroughly, I likely would have ended up with a much different skirt.
We are free in that sense, endowed with the power to invent standards for ourselves and live by these intentions. Life, as with our closets, can be the creative product of this thoughtfulness reflecting our careful curation and aesthetic sensibilities.
Yet details are notoriously difficult to notice—especially thanks to, *the internet*. Whilst snapping selfies or shopping *online* we willingly forfeit experiencing the hand feel of a weighty, wooly fabric fabric or the delicacy and precision of a pin tuck. We become numb to a designer’s handiwork and are instead left with carbon copies of their more embellished ancestors or best intentions.
Brands are hip to this, obviously, and whole collections are designed slashing and eliminating what would otherwise differentiate the garment—all to the retailer’s bottom line advantage. And now that mass market retailers are snipping out details like pockets or dumbing down fabrics due to cost cutting measures and an effort to stay alive generally, I find myself starved for fabrics that have body, heft and won’t pill. I am coveting the details now more than ever, turning to second hand shops to hunt for brands who have not yet folded to the increasing pressure to save cost.
Designing in this climate is the challenge that entrepreneurs are faced with. And delivering innovative products that enhance our lives—be it practically or aesthetically— is the task of our entrepreneurs. And, it is the task of our leaders to nurture and protect the right social conditions for them to do so.
We cannot glaze over these facts apathetically or else we risk it manifesting in our culture in other ways—in say, the tolerance for non-truths, in the numbing of our sophisticated sensibilities and in the dulling of our once keen sensitivities to the vagaries of reality.