What does Fashion mean?

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  Being a professional Fashion photographer I am often asked: What does Fashion Mean? I respond to one's question with the question of my own, "Do you want to know what Fashion means? Or what Fashion means to me?"
The first question is easy to answer. I refer my inquirer to the World's dictionary according to which Fashion refers to current trends in look and dress up of a person, as well as to prevailing styles in behavior.
But even the World's dictionary cannot give us the precise answer.

  Fashion has it's own meaning to each individual. As each one is defined by our own style. Fashion is what makes each of us different from others.

  Now let's  go back to the question of what fashion means to me.  I think that I will never figure out no matter how much experience I gain in this field. Some address me as a great expert and a fashion guru. And yes, I can safely advise, criticize and draw the line on what is trendy and what is not. But at some sporadic moment I get petrified and realize that I have no idea what fashion really is. And what difference does it make if it's a photo, clothes or just a lifestyle.

  If we stop for a moment and ask ourselves, "Is there a person who knows EXACTLY what fashion is?" Is it a the world's most famous designer? But doesn't  each designer while showing their newest collection to the world is terrified to be criticized and not be accepted by the fashion world?

  Then who decides for us what is Fashion? Who creates a certain style at a certain time and labels it a FASHIONABLE item, puts certain item on a world's pedestal and assures everyone that this is "IT”. Who decides that? On the other hand, we also should not forget that there is always someone who would consider that particular fashionable item  not corresponding to their standard. 
Of course in some ways we all at least to some extent copy what we see on the covers of fashion magazines, but in the end we produce to the world something new, something unique. And the future success of the public
will depend on us.

  One can strive for months working on his or her own unique masterpiece that could be in a second denied by the public and fail under the world's criticism. Or what can seem to be so effortless, make no sense at the first sight might be accepted by the majority and become a next big thing.
So I have to  rephrase the question from "What fashion means?" to "What fashion means to ME?" All I can say is that Fashion is unpredictable, has no limits, no boundaries and no rules. The main thing is to keep your head high and be confident in yourself, in what you do and what you wear.  

  In conclusion, with my years of experience, I learnt one thing for sure: are no standards in fashion and  no exact definitions. Fashion is defined by your belief & passion. Do not live someone else's life, do not follow someone else's rules, do not repeat the mistakes of others, be yourself, create your own fashion.

Alena Soboleva.

And special thanks to Film Annex for the new blog platform that allows me to carry my ideas.

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About the author


Alena is a Russian born, New York City based fashion photographer. Currently 21 years of age, Alena is one-of-a kind, with a number of notable career achievements under her belt. Alena is well honed in the field of fashion photography shooting amazing models from top agencies in New York City…

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