Op-Ed

Do Fashionistas Have Become Part of the Borg Collective?

Seven of Nine of the Borg

Seven of Nine of the Borg

DALLAS, Mar 23, 2008 / FW/ — Deciding not to go out of town for Easter has its advantages; I was able to watch on tape all the shows I missed during the season. The biggest surprise for me – the abundance of fashion advice from TV shows, to station breaks, including commercials.

To those who watch Lipstick Jungle, then you already know that author and executive producer Candace Bushnell dole out fashion advice several times during an episode, discussing what each character is wearing and why.

Meanwhile, Sears had collaborated with Redbook Magazine for its ‘Re-imagine campaign’ wherein the magazine’s editor-in-chief actually gives fashion advice in the TV spot. Finally, on WE TV, the station break is actually a fashion advice!

Is our world so narcissistic that Madison Avenue and TV networks have joined forces to make everyone look PRETTY? Or, is the economic situation so dire that everyone is fighting for every percentage point of market share. Maybe, it’s a little bit of both, and that is actually, what makes things so scary.

Fashion, being what it is, has become an extension of almost everything. If an apocalyptic sci-fi TV show like ‘Jericho’ would mention shopping at Neiman Marcus for designer clothes as a casualty of war, then as a society we have to accept that luxury fashion has become part of our culture.

So, are Madison Avenue and TV producers really to blame for this unexpected turn in our pop culture? Or are they, like everyone else just going with the flow? Does the term ‘fashionista’ now loosely apply to anyone who can spell Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren? Has everyone become part of the collective called FASHION BORG?

Borg, a Star Trek creation defined as a cybernetic being that has a hive mind. They do not reproduce; they assimilate other beings to increase their numbers. They are ruled by a queen (like in a hive) and there is no such thing as individuality. They think and act as one.

With almost everyone claiming to be a fashion adviser or fashion pundit, and with everyone intent on listening, are we also losing our own individuality and style? Are we going to be the mindless automaton called drones, or are we going to be like Seven of Nine who was reclaimed her individuality? With fashion advice coming from all sides, I hope we will be able to cling to our individuality as long as possible.

[MARI DAVIS]