BY NATASHA STAGG
"Fashion was invented to expose the differences between ethnic groups and classes. It historically separated tribes, marked family lineages, rewarded royal blood, and stratified the wealthy. Now, it is a tool used to accelerate consumerism by putting pressure on a calendar, segmenting and sub-segmenting time periods into shopping cycles. It is a language that one has to relearn every few months. Much like meme culture or celebrity gossip, it invents ways to evaluate a person’s wit and interests.
In fact, the term “cultural appropriation” can be used to describe fashion. Everything we wear must come from somewhere, and the idea that some items of clothing are culture-free, that they are the blank catalyst for an inoffensive new custom, is similar in its whitewashed outlook to the categorization of the majority (the fluctuating idea of white people) and its others. Is a T-shirt more basic than a sari? Does it matter who is making it? Basic Western collars are derived from the traditional dresses of Eastern cultures: the mandarin collar came from the Manchu, the halter top from a Vietnamese yếm."