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Friday, March 7, 2014

What Does It Take to Become a Fashion Icon: A Timely Intellectual Fashion Forum for the New Gen of Fashionistas


Wazzup Pilipinas!

It's really quite difficult if you name an event with a question or a statement that demands a very controversial answer. What Does It Take To Become a Fashion Icon was a timely intellectual fashion forum that's badly needed by the new generation of "fashionistas" or anybody living and breathing in the world of fashion. Has the term fashion icon become a little too inclusive and is clearly being tossed around like an old Nine West handbag?

With so many students attending the event and listening meticulously to what the Fashion Forum panel has to say, I was glad their questions finally focused on the asking the most pertinent questions. I was already experiencing a certain frisson when the panel discussion was becoming so vague. Sadly, we heard the safe and obvious answers that was known to many already.

They question how come the so called "fashionistas" themselves are the ones that promote foreign brands and not our local products. It would have been more beneficial for the country if everyone promotes locally made clothes made from fabrics made from the Philippines, or shoes from Marikina-manufactured leather, or bags made from raw materials coming from the many provinces of the country.



There was also an inquiry on why fashion magazines have the same traditional cover lay-out and poses from the chosen celebrity model obviously copied from their foreign counterparts. Couldn't we become more unique and experimental or is it simply not business-wise for these magazine publishers?

Does the market really make the demands or should we instead become more courageous to give our customers something they never realized they wanted?




The Fashion Forum was a pre-event to promote Full Gallop where Cherie Gil will play as fashion icon Diana Vreeland. There was a panel composed of notable personalities from the fashion industry and the attendees were mostly students from popular different fashion schools. The event was held at the new IMAX cinema of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong last March 4, 2014.





The panel never really clearly answered the question, they couldn't even name an individual they can consider as a fashion icon, and nobody will be able to simply because becoming a fashion icon is more than just a lady who made it big in the world of fashion. Their inclination towards pedantry kicked in and I found myself listening to some members of the panel nitpicking their way towards their definitions.

It was in this juncture that I realized, we may have the same definition of what a fashion icon is. We may see them headlining the news about the fashion industry, flaunting their beautiful bodies and faces in magazine covers, billboard ads and TV commercials. They grace the runways, quoted for their bits and pieces of advice regarding fashion, and are fondly referred to as the benchmarks of beauty, elegance, style and glamour. But are those really enough to become worthy to be called a fashion icon?

Let us take a look at some of the attendees and their outfits at the Fashion Forum:










Would you believe that most of them are still students, but they all look so good and fresh like fashion icons!


As Desdemona Delacroix has said "Attaining the status of a fashion icon is difficult as many a celebrity red carpet picture can tell you. It requires an impeccable sense of what styles look good on you combined with a knowledge of what others find trendy. In addition, your hairstyle and grooming regimen must always yield perfect results, so you are never caught in public looking less than fresh and put together.  When all is said and done, the way to become a fashion icon is to dedicate yourself to looking beautiful (inside and out) at all times."

It's hard to put your finger on exactly the thing that makes someone a fashion icon so I will just leave you with another statement from Lady Gaga:

"Whether it be Audrey Hepburn's signature classic updo, formfitting wear, and costume jewelry or Kate Moss's fringy bangs and "I'm coming off a drug binge" look... Maybe it's the way short mock dresses hang on Twiggy's boyish frame or how her spider-like eyelashes make her eyes pop. Maybe a fashion icon is simply someone who dares to wear anything just to be noticed." 


For me, a fashion icon is not just that celebrity who sports the quintessential uber cool look but the brain behind the creation of that look. She should have the creative eye to create the holistic but unconventional look that will go trending and doesn't follow what is usually already popular out there. I prefer an individual that can make an influential fashion statement uniquely her own with very little effort because it comes out naturally.

Borrowing from Cherie Gil's famous movie line I dislike someone who is "nothing but a second-rate trying hard copy-cat."

I am sure there are plenty more individuals out there that are perceived as fashion icons, especially the ones with the compulsion to astound and confound by hobbling around in seemingly outrageous outfits that to the untrained eye it will look really alien, like something that came from another planet, if worn around the Metro.

But who decides on what is sanely appropriate for the public gaze? I believe that as long as you don't sacrifice comfort just to impress others and is at peace with your individuality, then you are more than welcome to become iconic!

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