Fashion Is Superficial but That Doesn’t Have To Be a Bad Thing
I’ve always regarded Sacha Baron Cohen’s Austrian alter ego, Brüno Gehard, as an embarrassing post-Borat low point in his career. But then I stumbled across this video, which appears to have been filmed in the early-to-mid 2000s, SBC’s golden period. In it, we see the comedian trolling his way through fashion week, luring naive American style industry insiders into his satirical honey-trap, which they inevitably fall into and come up looking utterly stupid.
Where Borat existed to depict Middle America as a nation of dumbed-down ignoramuses whose knowledge of the world barely extends beyond their own state, let alone country, Brüno took aim at the fashion world, which he lampooned as shallow and vapid. These criticisms of fashion are so common that they go well beyond the point of cliche, but is there a degree of truth to them? Is fashion inherently superficial, or is that just a tired and lazy prejudice?
The aforementioned Brüno spoof effectively summarizes why so many people roll their eyes at the fashion industry: from stylists who laugh about the fact that poor people can’t afford the clothes that they provide the inspiration for, to New Yorkers talking about unfashionable outsiders with conceited disdain, and a casting director who quite clearly doesn’t know who Osama Bin Laden is after describing him as “really cool”, it becomes painfully obvious why fashion is often caricatured as a cesspit of Paris Hilton-esque airheads