When I was a little girl, cartoons didn’t interest me like they did other 8 year olds. What captured my attention (and eye) was a Canadian TV program on CNN called “Fashion Files,” where every Saturday morning, they would update the viewer — likely 30-50 year olds, and me — on the latest fashion news, trends, and runway shows. I have no idea how I came across this program, but when I landed on it, I clearly stopped channel surfing and tuned in intensely. I soon began to learn all the “it” model names — Kate, Naomi, Christy, Cindy — then would mimic their moves while twirling around in my mom’s chicest dresses and heels. I even remember the hosts’ names like it was yesterday: Tim Blanks and Jeanne Beker. Does anyone else remember this?
Inspired by what I was seeing on the catwalks, playing dress up became an activity filled with so much creativity and fantasy. Back in the early ‘90s, there were no smart phones and style apps — if you loved fashion, you had to devour paper magazines from top to bottom. Thanks to magazines like Vogue and Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, I still have images of the old-school ‘90s ads of houses like Gucci and Versace and Calvin Klein plastered in my brain. When I catch a glimpse of them now, while flipping through old magazines I’ve kept, it takes me right back to my youth.
Reminiscing about the past makes me ponder whether the advancement of technology and social media has helped or hurt fashion. In some senses, it has helped designers of all calibers get their name out there in a much quicker manner, especially if celebrities are wearing their designs. In other ways, it has saturated and polluted the market — doesn’t the amount of fashion fodder out there on the web feel overwhelming sometimes? But, no one can deny that the fashion industry has blown up thanks to social media. Bringing accessible and affordable ready to wear to the masses has made fashion less cliquey and more inclusive to people of all socioeconomic statuses (hello high-end designer collaborations with H&M, Target, among other mass brands). For that reason, fashion doesn’t hold that certain status and insider feeling like it did back in the day — anyone with a credit card and camera can be a “model” or a street style star today.
I have to admit; I miss that special feeling of looking forward to something. Unlike today, where instant fashion makes everything available at our fingertips at any time, it was nice to wake up on Saturday mornings and realize I could finally catch that new episode of “Fashion Files” I had been anticipating all week.