Why beauty matters
by Bonnie Pockley
I’m a romantic at heart. I also have a particular passion for dresses. So when it comes to fashion I’ve spent the last two decades a little perplexed. Somehow, the industry has departed from a celebration of beautifully tailored, skilled and daring clothing, into something more perverse. While there have certainly been some extraordinary standouts, some remarkable talent and groundbreaking stuff, for the most part, I feel a little like the magic has gone. Somewhere the beauty got lost. Somehow, many cheap dresses replaced one expensive, but superb dress in our collective closet. Philosophically speaking is this symptomatic of our world at large where the importance of beauty has been replaced by utility? Where once there was value in the magnificence of a thing, in and unto itself, where once the purpose of the creation of beauty within something made, tailored or crafted was the very reason for its being, this is no longer the case. It is no longer enough even to even justify it. And this is not to say that beauty doesn’t exist in the common place or the ordinary but rather that something’s beauty is related to it’s ability to move and provoke a higher order of feeling that has the power to invoke the sublime. The importance of beauty to transcend and uplift, to transport and to humanize has been replaced by an almost morbid wallowing in reality which has thus produced the make-shift. Buildings are made cheaply only to deteriorate quickly and for the next generation regarded with aesthetic regret. Many are abandoned and unused. And now Haute Couture is in decline – once the territory in which creative talent had free reign for the sake of inspiring awe, pushing boundaries and bringing something both magical and fairytale to life.
So, of late, I have been quite excited. Somehow, some of the spark is back. While I am no expert, I do recognise beauty when I see it and this year’s Dolce and Gabbana A/W 2012-2013 is just that. Romantic, inspired and downright stunning, this collection recaptures a older age of fashion and style. See for yourself.