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So often dismissed as superficial

So often dismissed as superficial, fashion has the power to change behaviour and attitudes. And that’s something that’s needed now more than ever, says Laura Craik.

“Fashion? You don’t want to study fashion, do you? You’re bright. You could go to university.” So, aged 17 and obsessed with Elle magazine, as well as making questionable clothes on an old Singer, I went to university. I did what my teachers thought was best: studied English, read Chaucer, got my degree. And then I went to fashion college.

Happily, the notion that fashion is only about clothes, and therefore superficial – surface in the most literal sense – is not as prevalent as it once was. Nor is the conviction that “clever” people should pursue a higher cause. While those with the fashion gene have always understood its depths, even those who would love to dismiss it can’t fail to have noticed that fashion has far more power than simply the ability to shape your look. To discount fashion from the equation while acknowledging art, music, history and politics as agents of change is remiss – not least when fashion is currently more political than ever.

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