Fashion and Communism

By Ludmila Corlateanu on April 11, 2009

BUCHAREST (Herald de Paris) – I know that political correctness is a big issue everywhere and I also know that many of the fashion industry professionals do not mingle politics with business. My mind agrees totally with this. My heart though has a mind of its own.

But I am a fashion designer and the least I can do is to provide some arguments on why a communist political system and fashion are notions that contradict one another.

I’ve lived in communism, I was born there. I was dreaming of becoming a fashion designer one day. Only it was impossible should I haven’t had decided one day to change my location.

Firstly, in order to create/analyze trends/forecast styles one needs to be informed. In a communist system information is scarce and is regarded as a tool of mind control, therefore it is not accessible (because God forbid one can get ideas from some of the Alexander McQueen collections which are clear instigation to violence), books and magazines are not available, internet sites are banned.

Secondly, we all know that fashion (besides being a business ‘per se’) is a mixture of craft and art. And art is a slippery field, as inspiration can come from everywhere, and that is dangerous (“hey you! get inspired from here til here, and not an inch beyond!!”).

Thirdly. If you manage to overcome the lack of information and settle to get inspired from flowers forever, you still need to sell your product. That is where another challenge comes in, because the fear, insecurity and poverty (the regular companions of any communist system) are shoving any potential costumers.

Fourthly. Fashion is a system that creates stories, personages, new identities and then offers them on a plate for you to try on. If you’re living in poverty and fear, you don’t want an identity, you don’t want to stand out. You just one to be left in peace and have some food. That is the saddest thing.

That is why I am against any system that puts the otherwise beautiful and free human beings in a position of hunted animals.

Today, I am only as free as my financial possibilities allow me to be, but that is a huge step from what some people in other countries are still living today.

With lots of love and best wishes for those that fight for their freedom,

Ludmila Corlateanu

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