Morning at the doctors' office, flipping through the September Issue of Italian Vogue. Advertising, advertising, advertising, ... Oh, table of contents! Advertising, advertising, advertising, ... Beautiful, gorgeous! Chanel, Dior, and all of the other masters of Haute Couture know how to create inspiring images. They truly take you away to a different place, a parallel reality. A dream world where everything is pretty, where love conquers all and where there is no existence of anything bad. They make you aware of what is not and what could be. One photo caught and locked my attention for a while. Black and white, yet a warm, sepia alike, vibe. It seems to be cold there where the woman is. You can see it in the expression on her face, by the wind that lifts the hair away from her cheek. By the heavy knit turtleneck sweater she wears.
She holds on tight to a baby goat. Oh you cute, fuzzy little creature. So much innocence gathered in one tiny body. Those eyes. They look like a little black, almond-shaped button. There is trust there. Trust towards the woman who holds her. Yet a little sad. She doesn't have a choice, does she?
Think about the emotions this photo wakes in you. First, you think: "Ohh!! So sweet!". Then, you connect that emotion to the product. Then, you connect that positive feeling towards the brand. And then, you end up trusting and purchasing from that brand. You end up believing that this is what knitwear is made of. Love.
But we are no fools. We are not naive. We are not blind. Or are we? Or do we choose to be?
I know am done watching "the harsh reality behind the fashion industry"-YouTube clips. Ignorance? No. I don't need to press play and watch it over and over again to stop myself from buying something that has caused tremendous pain to an innocent creature. A well-documented image will not win my trust. The only thing that will ever be able to seduce me to the highest level of irrationality is an obscene amount of alcohol. (Lucky me, it also made me forget a big part of that behavior #AMEN).
The industry, evolution, urbanization, the media, have distanced us from the origin of everything. "This magnificent flip bag is made of the finest, softest calf leather, the quality is amazing, feel it!" Say what now? Calf leather? As in calfskin? As in ripped-off skin from a baby cow? (Remember that the meat industry and leather industry are two separate things. There may be cases where it's not like that. But, so far, I haven't heard of it).
Fashion is fashion. Publishing is publishing. Business is business. A photo, a fashion campaign will never show you the reality. It's a photographer's job to create art. To capture emotions. To tell you a story. A story that starts at the atelier. A story that inspires you to be empowered, to be confident, to slay. It will not tell you the story of how someone else is slaying at the slaughter house. Or during the mulesing process. If a photographer would choose to tell that story, he would end up being fired and banished from the fashion industry.
Fashion, something that we all love, has a cost. That cost cannot include suffering. Our love (obsession for some) for clothing cannot overrule respect for nature and wellbeing of animals.