Fashion throughout history has always been a reflection of the needs and circumstances of the times that we are living. When we started evolving and we lost our body hair, we needed to cover up for warmth; the opposite happened with hats, because when we started commuting in covered transport there was no longer a reason for keeping our heads warm; and when the binding oppression of corsets became unbearable, fluid and soft clothes became the new norm. So, if fashion has always been at the forefront of innovation, why are we copying each other so much?
I see it in photography: if you spend some time on social media you soon realize that you can divide photographers into the ones who shoot in a certain style and the ones who shoot in another. I see it in design: designers get "inspired" by other designers and then the fast fashion retailers copy these designers to make those clothes cheaper and available to the mass. I see it in makeup: one big name makeup artist comes up with a technique and in less than the blink of an eye all the models are wearing the same look.
I feel like we are not taking risks anymore. We do what seems to work for others and what is selling more. Investors just want their money's worth and if something is working and selling, why change it? Money-driven mentalities seem to be ruining the industry and demoting creativity to a the bottom of the priority list. And I know what you are thinking: this is a business and we all need to make money to pay wages and rent. But when everyone gets bored of seeing the same things over and over again, the only ones left standing will be the ones doing something different than the rest.
Lately I have been challenging myself to break this cycle and pay less attention to what others are doing and start taking some risks. I am trying to do things differently by coming up with alternative approaches to existing solutions but also with new solutions of my own. I am trying to answer the question "what makes me, me?" and see how that reflects in my work. Like Juergen Teller says: "I just want to create a picture that no-one's ever seen before".
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