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Fashion: A Reflecting Rip In The Fabric Of Our Society (Angelino.

us)

LOS ANGELES, CA October 21, 2009 - The trends in fashion today mirror a world in turmoil
where injustice, social inequality, environmental peril, and economic woes have engendered
feelings of frustration and even hopelessness.

As a fashion clothing designer, Alex Angelino has long been cognizant of the relationship
between the inner emotions and clothing choices. Putting together an outfit to wear involves a
complex thought process of both the conscience and subconscious mind. Color, texture,
materials and style are primary elements, as are the fit and proportions of the garments. In fact,
cut and proportion are the two main factors when it comes to expressing oneself as funny,
serious, victorious, indifferent, sexy, conservative, etc.

In pre-industrial societies, clothes often reflected


occupation and/or religious affiliation, as well as standing in
the social structure, but with the advent of ready-made goods
in the late Nineteenth Century, consumers began to have
options. As Diana Crane writes in her compelling book Fashion
and its Social Agenda, as “the construction of personal
identity outside the workplace became increasingly
important,” clothing became “a major tool” to do so, “offering
a wide range of choices for the expression of lifestyles or sub-
cultural identities” as well as of the individual’s emotional state.

Crane continues by offering an analysis of the blue jean as


signaling rebellion, adding that when blue jeans are worn with
white T-shirt and black leather jacket, the rebellious connotations
are accentuated. When the punk movement emerged, such
elements as metal studs took the theme further, as did safety pins
struck into the ear and eyebrows. As Crane writes: “Abuse of the body and clothing expressed
derisive and nihilistic attitudes toward establishment values.”

Indeed, generations express themselves with their looks, make-up, hairstyle and accessories, and
since the Hippie movement in the Sixties, Designer Jeans have clearly been a tool to express
rebelliousness. Today’s Hip Hop and teenager trends are no different, the younger generation
adding a twist by wearing designer jeans below the waist at a sagging level. The sloppy look that
results has angered and worried parents and school officials, leading to the passing of ordinances
in various cities around the country which ban the wearing of low-slung pants and fine those who
ignore the code. This is a violation of civil and constitutional rights. As a clothing designer,
Alex believes these young people are not only making a fashion statement, they are clearly
making a social and political statement also.

Certainly, something has gone terribly wrong with our justice system, Alex explains, which
lately seems more like an ‘injustice system’ where justice can be purchased. Attorneys often

turn a blind eye or even facilitate pay-offs to judges. Alex himself was a victim of such a
scheme. His personal court battle has had a profound effect on his clothing choices and
creativity. Formerly, Alex was in suit and tie every day and he was designing formal clothing.
But his bitter court experience, affecting him emotionally, shifted his attention away from
textures and motifs that represent establishment values and more toward those that represent the
anti-establishment. Alex eventually ceased wearing and designing suits altogether, instead
wearing and designing jeans. Alex now uses textures, motifs, and styles that comfort him and
express his inner emotions.

Looking sloppy by wearing sagging pants satisfies the need to express an objection to what is
happening today and to express doubt about the challenges which lie ahead personally and
globally. This not only pertains to clothing, but also to contemporary art, music, dance,
painting, etc. In fact, as our social justice system has declined in strength and moral backbone,
society’s contemporary art has grown more aggressive, artists voicing anger.

The discussion of what to do about art and fashion trends should never focus on legislating codes
and ordinances against the wearers or the artists, but rather on the social conditions which need
to change in order for people to feel more hopeful and ultimately to express themselves
differently. Perhaps it is time for everyone to be responsible and to make our voices heard by
expressing ideas based on knowledge and wisdom. For more information please contact Alex
Angelino at 213-748-2440 and by visiting http://www.angelino.us.