Street caught up with Design2Show’s fashion show director, Blaine Beshah, to discuss how Penn students handle fashion and style. Visit pennfashionweek.com for a schedule of events.
Street: How do you think fashion has changed in the recent past?
Blaine Beshah: I think that fashion has changed in that trends aren’t as one–dimensional anymore. People are encouraged and celebrated for being innovative, but also for the small ways in which we fuse individuality with ubiquitous trends. Young people are also being more proactive with their experiences in fashion; instead of just mindlessly adopting every trend, they are critically looking at what’s out there and establishing distinctive styles at a much earlier age.
Street: From your experience and observation, how do Penn students embrace fashion and trends?
BB: Penn students definitely embrace fashion and trends, though there are definitely some distinctions between the “fashionistas” and the typical student. It’s definitely something that’s incorporated more in going out and spring/summer outfits than typical class and day–wear, but I mainly attribute that to the culture of college life. Compared to most schools, though, we are definitely much more fashionably inclined.
Street: What is the difference between fashion and art or artistic expression?
BB: Fashion is unique in that it serves both a utilitarian and artistic purpose. This isn’t always the case, but I’d definitely argue that fashion can be described as “wearable art,” especially when you look at couture gowns (and even some of the pieces in our D2S fashion show!). You don’t have to be capable of designing great clothes in order to style yourself in an artistic way, making it easier for anyone to express themselves with fashion. What you wear also stays with you all day, while great art is not exactly portable.