A skeleton as a fashionably dressed womanDeath never goes out of style. Death isn't sensitive to trends. On the contrary, Death's popularity is never-changing. Death and Fashion are closely linked to each other. In fact, they are sisters. This statement was presented by the Italian poet, essayist, and philosopher Giacomo Leopardi in his romantic poem "Dialogue Between Fashion and Death" in 1824. The poem begins with Fashion reaching out to her sister, Death: "Do you not remember we are both born of Decay?". Death does, at first, not recognise Fashion as her sister. Fashion insists that they are bound to each other and "both equally profit by the incessant change and destruction of things here below", that, "our common nature and custom is to incessantly renew the world." Death and Fashion are both executing decay and destruction of the body. In the poem, Fashion ultimately proves to Death their sisterhood in describing the obvious inflictions on the human body. Throughout the dialogue Fashion claims that she could be of assistance, aiding Death in shortening human life. Death replies: "Well, well: time enough to talk of this when you introduce the custom of not dying. But at present, I want you, like a good sister, to aid me in rendering my task more easy and expeditious than it has hitherto been." Fashion is transient and frivolous. Death is permanent and serious. Fashion, in general, is a way of testing the limits of our mortality and reconcile with death. It's an imaginative play with concepts and symbols. Aesthetics and trends in fashion often interact with symbolism and representations of death and human frailty or sufffering. The clothes we wear are not just fabric sewn together in patterns, it's so much more. It's a statement of who we are or want to be perceived. Dress for success. The step from Leopardi to Gothic fashion isn't that far. On the contrary, there's a straight line between them. Death and Fashion, are together forever. 


 

All Blog Posts