Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Sounds about as yummy as Lima Bean Chutney.  But wait! It is  yummy.... 

First of all, fashion.  A lot of people don’t get what it’s all about, especially in DC, which is fine.  What I like about it is that it’s a 3-dimensional moving art form that uses the human being as its primary inspiration and form.  It deals with all the ways we as mammals signal to say “I’m looking for action,” or “I’m powerful,” or “I don’t give a damn what you think,” or many more complex and subtle conscious and unconscious messages.  Plus fashion is made of fabric, which is endlessly interesting to my eyes and hands.

Some people think fashion is awfully bourgeois, but, of course, creative endeavors have always been painted with that brush.  Fashion can be as high brow or edgy or accessible as the designer or wearer want to make it.

Fashion is one area of creative expression that literally touches all of us.  I daresay you will wear clothes today.  (If not, please tell us more about yourself in the comments.)  The Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce (Yes, it exists. http://gwfcc.org/.) reports that Washingtonians spend over $625 million annually on clothing and personal care services.  So it’s big business.  And it’s a sector of our economy that has lagged behind others in becoming green.

I can buy wind power over the grid, I can choose from a host of greener transportation options.  I can buy locally grown or organic or fair trade food at the grocer’s.  I still cannot go into a store and see a selection of clothing manufactured with materials or processes that make them easier on the earth.  And more so than many products we buy, people want to see, touch and try on clothing before buying it.  As I hope to convince you, there are many exciting, beautiful and ingenious products out there.  I want more people to be aware of them, and hungry for them, and I want retailers to catch the wave stock them.

(I was reading an artist’s manifesto the other day, and my 15-year-old said, “Only crazy people write manifestos.”  With this piercing wisdom in mind, I am hoping I have not written a manifesto….  Now I am wondering what shoes go best with a soapbox.  Platforms made from repurposed packing crates, no doubt.  Good-bye for now.)

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