“Why talk about fashion? Is it really an interesting subject? A fashionable subject? One might ask a more general question. It would concern such contemporary institutions as fashion, sport, the holiday trade, community life, pedagogy, the ‘protection of nature’, the cultural environment, etc., which, it seems to me, are turning activities that at outset were only, or only intended to be , a pleasure or enjoyment into an ordeal, if not into a form of suffering or even a torment. We say of things that are in fashion that they are all the craze. But isn’t there something crazy, truly crazy, about fashion? And not only crazy, moreover, but also noisy, very noisy, thunderous. Fashion has not time for silence; it bursts your eardrums.”
from: Species of Spaces and other Pieces by Georges Perec (page 159)
What it ought to be about is pleasure: pleasure of the body, of play, of dressing, of dressing alike or else differently, he pleasure of sometimes of disguising yourself, of discovering, of imagining, he pleasure of rediscovering something, of changing.
That would be called fashion: a way of enjoyment, the sense of a small celebration, of waste. Something futile, useless, gratuitous, agreeable. We might invent a dish, a gesture, an expression, a game, a costume, a place to go walking, a dance, and then share our invention and share the inventions of others. This might last for several hours or several months. We would grow tired of it. It would return, or not. It would be like at school, during break. There it was prisoner’s base, the ball tag, then marbles, then an orchestra with combs and bog paper, then collections of cigarette packets. Yet it is not that obviously, not that at all. Even before we start to talk about fashion, before its facts have been illuminated by the more or less brilliant light of the various contemporary ideologies, we already know it wont’ be that. yet fashion speaks of caprice, of spontaneity, fantasy, invention, frivolity. But these are falsehoods. Fashion is entirely on the side of violence, the violence of conformity, of adhering to models, the violence of the social consensus and the contempt it conceals within it.”
From Species of Spaces and other Pieces by Georges Perec page 160