This Week on The Blog - Fashion & Mental Health
"Art is to console those who are broken by life" - Vincent Van Gogh
To me, art is everything. Fashion, music, paintings on walls, even the beauty in that tiny film of dew on a browning leaf in the crisp autumnal mornings captured by a photographer. Ultimately, art reflects the state of mind and therein the beauty lies.
Day to day, I find myself expressing my own art/state of mind through the clothes that I wear. On those down days, you won't see me wearing anything but the pyjamas I may or may not have worn for the past week. However, when I do feel a bit more up to ~life~, clothes that I've scoured thrift shops, high street shops and the internet for are my true pride. In all different shades of black - if there was a darker colour, I'd wear it - and the occasional jazzy shirt.
Fashion as an industry is full of mental illness, though, something often overlooked. In a form discussion at school when I was about 14, we had a debate on whether size zero models should be allowed and it's stayed with me since. A large majority of these models pretty much starve, excessively exercise or throw up in order to get the job, and no matter how thick their skin is, telling a very slim person to lose that extra 'weight' must severely impact their mental health. But obviously, models are just a tiny part of the fashion industry, there's designers, stylists, students, photographers - long hours, tiring work and a very difficult industry to break into. Many of whom are riddled with mental illnesses (depression, anxiety, OCD, eating disorders, the list is exhaustive).
These issues aren't going to be solved overnight but talking about the issues can make a huge difference. In particular, through education. After working in the 'art' block at university, whilst studying journalism, I would see the fashion students - you could always tell who were the fashion students - working when I arrived for my 9 am lecture and still working after my 5 pm lecture had finished. I don't know if they ever really slept. But the underlying cause is education - at university, at school, in the workplace - especially in areas that may cause mental health issues, but that's an issue for another day...
Fashion can be the best thing in the world, but may also bring some of the hardest problems too. If you're suffering, practice self-care, get to the GP, get help to sort it out.