The Deadly Cost of Fashion

As a fashion blogger, I feel it is one of my responsibilities to raise awareness of how the clothes we see in stores every day are created and transported to us. Like this blogger says, we really shouldn’t take fashion for granted. I believe that as a human, each and every one of us has a responsibility to understand what is happening in other parts of this world and should strive to help other humans in need.

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This video is such a great reminder of what we as americans have. We honestly have no reason to complain about anything. We aren’t losing family members/ friends because they are making clothes for people in another who don’t even know they exist and most of the time forget where their stuff comes from. It’s also such a powerful message about the inequality other countries have. Living off $68 a month or less is really hard to wrap my head around. My fam spends more than that for a weeks worth of groceries and we also spend money in many other places as well. Sometimes being this blessed is such a curse but we just need to remember to not take it all for granted.

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VOGUE Confuses Me

Hey readers,

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This photo pretty much sums up my evening. Since midterms exams ended two days ago, I no longer had to fight back against the urge to run straight to the nearest bookstore and get my copy of the controversial Kim Kardashian&Kanye West (aka ‘Kimye’) covered latest issue of VOGUE magazine.

After purchasing the magazine, I carried it home(obviously), feeling the weight of the magazine, the weight of the 286 pages of the epitome of the fashion industry, pressing on my palms. Arriving home, I flopped my body onto my sofabed in the most comfortable position I could create with my throw pillows, and tentatively opened the cover of VOGUE USA 2014/APR.

The first 50 pages or so were smothered with advertisements for all sorts of different high-fashion brands, the sort that most fashion bloggers would die for. The other two-hundred and something pages mostly featured skinny models in weird poses(except for an article featuring an athlete known as ‘the world’s fittest woman’), squinting at the camera, or showed photos of celebrities livin’ the good life.

I probably sound not like a fashion blogger but like a grumpy old person with no understanding of the fashion industry. Well, maybe that’s true. Ironically, although my lifelong dream, for a few years now, has been to become the editor of VOGUE one day, I can’t help but wrinkle my nose at the fashion industry, more often than a dedicated fashion blogger should. I must admit that although I have an immense passion for style and fashion, I’m not yet able to sympathize with the motives of the industry itself. It still confuses me, and today I was having an ultimate mental breakdown while flipping through the glamour-filled pages of VOGUE, the magazine of my dreams that I both adore and feel skeptical of at the same time.

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(image above: Vogue UK  cover from January 1958)

Am I obsessed with reading the magazine? No.

Am I obsessed with the vibes that the magazine gives off in regard of the intriguing world of fashion and exquisite design; the very concept of such a magazine as VOGUE? Yes.

In short, to me, VOGUE is one of the most alluring solidificated masterpieces of creative human culture, and simultaneously it is the representation of the many flaws of the overly exclusive fashion world that promotes unhealthy idolization.

This is why VOGUE is such a confusing thing to me. I just can’t take a definite stance.

I mean, I’ve always been intrigued by human creations rather than the natural, already existent patterns of nature. Personally I find the former so much more interesting, because it gives me an idea of what we are capable of doing; what we can achieve as intelligent human beings. Also, human creations are a direct accumulation of our past-what we’ve done so far. And this is probably why fashion clicks with me. It’s such a magical concept, and anything beyond the limits of the laws of nature can be realized through human imagination and creativity.

You’d think, because of my views and feelings toward fashion that are portrayed in the paragraph above, that I should worship fashion magazines like VOGUE. But that’s not all. Like I assert fervently in many of my posts, the fashion industry and fashion magazines are greatly distorted in a way that promotes certain unified standards of beauty and style that, in my opinion, are extremely harmful for society, especially the younger generation(since they/we tend to be more influenced by lookism standards). That’s why I’m appalled whenever I open magazines like VOGUE and see a ton of brand labels each featuring the same standardized skinny, cheekbone-flashing model bombarding me and my 165cm, over-50-kg body.

I do understand that Conde Nast is a business, and that the fashion industry is indeed one of the most thriving money-generating hubs of this century, but I personally do believe that the fashion industry needs to be rooted in more philosophical values and a deep artistic passion for the world of fashion to be able to appeal to crowds of the other gender(men), wider generations, and people of different occupations. We need to work towards getting rid of the extensive glamour in order to let fashion show its true light from within. And although I’m still confused about why the fashion industry has to be so materialistic sometimes, one thing I know for sure is that that’s what I wanna do when I (hopefully) become the editor of VOGUE one day.

 

To comment or like, just click the title of this post, then scroll down. You’ll see the Like button and Comment box at the bottom of the post. I love hearing your opinions(whether they’re for or against my articles), so go ahead and tell me what you think! : )

Interview with artist Jennifer Dalton

Long time no see, readers!

Sorry for being absent for the past two~three weeks. It was exam season and I was working hard, but now I’m back and ready to roll again!

I was replying to tweets by readers on the Konni Kim Designs twitter page, when I came across some photos of Ms. Dalton’s artwork. It’s not very often that a piece of artwork catches my eye at first glance, but Ms. Dalton’s pieces instantly triggered a rush of personal emotions, as the way she expressed her insights on society made it very easy to sympathize and consequently understand the artwork in depth.

I decided to ask her if I could interview her not only because I had fallen in love with her artwork but also because I wanted to hear about her viewpoint on different aspects of art, especially since she has expertise and talent in the field of art. Fortunately Ms. Dalton was happy to talk to me about her thoughts on life and art! Scroll down to read the insightful interview.

(Click here to visit Jennifer Dalton’s Twitter page.)

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Enough talk from me-get to know talented artist Jennifer Dalton through the one-on-one interview that I did with her.

(K: Konni, J:Jennifer Dalton)

K: When was the moment that you first felt you wanted to become an artist?
J: I always drew as a kid but I don’t think I saw it as a possibility to be an artist until I was in college and I took art classes and met grownup artist/art professors.

K: Were your parents supportive of your decision to become an artist?
J: They have always been very supportive! They come to my shows whenever they can.

K: What type of art form do you disapprove of?
J: I don’t disapprove of any art forms. Of course there is art I don’t like, but there isn’t a whole art form I think is bad.

K: I love all your artwork, but your ‘Hi, I Like You’ piece caught my eye in particular. What were you meaning to convey through the backpacks?
J: That piece is a recreation of a backpack I asked my mom to make me when I was a kid. It was during the iron-on letter craze of the early 1980s and I asked my mom to make me a backpack that said “Hi I Like You.” I wore it to the first day of 4th grade but everyone made fun of me so I wanted to get rid of it immediately. Now as an adult I wanted to recover it.

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K: Do you have to try and think really hard to create art or does it just come to you?
J: Sometimes the ideas just come but I have to work and think really hard to make them come to life in the best way.

K: Who should judge art, if anyone?
J: Everyone should judge art! It is supposed to be for everyone. I would like for more people to feel they were allowed to judge art.

K: What would you have become if you hadn’t become an artist?
J: Either a writer or a sociologist maybe? I love writing, and I love studying people and how weird they/we are.

K: Most musicians seem to have a certain ‘muse’ that inspires them to write songs. It could be a girl/boyfriend, a book, or even a place. Do most artists have a ‘muse’? Do you?
J: No, I don’t have any one “muse.” But many times my work starts with a thought that is something like “Is it just me or is [this or that thing] really that [crazy/stupid/interesting/surprising]?” And then I have to investigate and it might turn into something good.

K: Is art closer to reality or unreality/dreaminess/fiction/surreality?
J: For me it is closer to reality. Other artists might answer differently…

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K: Which city is the best place to be an artist in?
J: Impossible to say. I love being in New York because so many other artists are working here. But it’s a difficult place to make a living/life.

K: What was your most memorable exhibition?
J: I really can’t say. I love them all for different reasons. Each of my solo exhibitions has been an expression of where I was in that moment.

K: Do you think I’m an artist?
J: I don’t know but my guess is yes.

K: Honestly, what came to mind when you recieved an email from a random South Korean 17 year old fashion/art blogger?
J: I was super impressed. I’m also impressed with your questions!

K: Does pain create good art? Between A) a person that grew up in poverty, hunger, and pain, and B) a person that was raised in a healthy, wealthy, happy environment -who would be the better artist?
J: Impossible to say! Depends on the individual people and circumstances. Sometimes people can channel pain or difficulty into art but sometimes they are beaten down by it too much.

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K: What’s an annoying stereotype that people tend to have against artists?
J: There are probably a lot. People think artists are weirder and more immature than non-artists. Most artists I know are fairly normal well-adjusted people.

K: What would you tell parents that strongly oppose the idea of their child becoming an artist because they think it won’t give their children an economically sustainable life?
J: If you want to be an artist you usually have to find another way to sustain yourself economically. I would tell a parent to help their kid find a good way to earn a living so they can pursue their dream of being an artist from an economically secure place.

K: What is the difference between a young artist and an older, more experienced one?
J: Just time. There are fewer older artists because many younger artists give up after not finding instant success. Don’t give up!

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Aaand that’s a wrap! I’d like to say a huge thank you to Ms. Dalton and Mr. James for making this interview possible. This was truly a meaningful experience for me and I learned a lot through Ms. Dalton’s answers about her views on art!

Thanks for reading : )

 

Image Credits: all images are from the pdf catalog of Jennifer Dalton and the Charlie James Gallery.