Why I like fashion documentaries:
It is escapism.
I acknowledge that I may never be able to devote myself to the fashion industry because I know it is not a true cause for devotion. I understand that luxury designer apparel is not saving lives, in fact it is probably more likely to be doing the opposite. The industry fuels vanity, greed, self-centeredness, shallowness and can arguably be held responsible for, essentially, propagating people’s insecurities and miseries.
But the quality of these films is that I can forget that I’ve made a thoughtful, wilful decision to steer away from being a part of this industry and for a few hours, be a part of it without my conscience and social consciousness nagging me. I can simply appreciate the beauty of what I see, be enthralled by the glamour of what’s presented to me and fascinated by the colourful industry characters and figures that appear.
I genuinely ponder and ask, is there anything wrong with that?
Story of my life at present.
“Active love? That’s another question, and what a question, what a question! You see, I love mankind so much that - would you believe it? - I sometimes dream of giving up all, all I have, of leaving Lise going to become a sister of mercy. I close my eyes, I think and dream, and in such moments I feel an invincible strength in myself. No wounds, no festering sores frighten me. I would bind them and cleanse them with my own hands, I would nurse the suffering, I am ready to kiss those sores…”
“It’s already a great deal and very well for you that you dream of that in your mind and not of something else. Once in a while, by chance, you may really do some good deed.”
“Yes, but could I survive such a life for so long?” the lady went on heatedly, almost frantically, as it were. “That’s the main question: that’s my most tormenting question of all. I close my eyes and ask myself: could you stand it for long on such a path? And if the sick man whose sores you are cleansing does not respond immediately with gratitude but, on the contrary, begins tormenting you with his whims, not appreciating and not noticing your philanthropic ministry, if he begins to shout at you, to make rude demands, even to complain to some sort of superiors (as often happens with people who are in pain) - what then? Will you go on loving or not? And, imagine, the answer already came to me with a shudder: if there’s anything that would immediately cool my ‘active’ love for mankind, that one thing is ingratitude. In short, I work for pay and demand my pay at once, that is praise and return of love for my love. Otherwise I’m unable to love anyone!”
… “I heard exactly the same thing, a long time ago to be sure, from a doctor,” the elder remarked. “He was then an old man, and unquestionably intelligent. He spoke just as frankly as you, humorously, but with a sorrowful humor. ‘I love mankind,’ he said, ‘but I am amazed at myself: the more I love mankind in general, the less I love people in particular, that is, individually, as separate persons. In my dreams’, he said, ‘I often went so far as to think passionately of serving mankind, and, it may be, would really have gone to the cross for people if were somehow necessary, and yet I am incapable of living in the same room with anyone for two days, this I know from experience…”
… “But what is to be done, then? What is to be done in such a case? Should one fall into despair?”
“No, for it is enough that you are distressed by it. Do what you can, and it will be reckoned unto you. You have already done much if you can understand yourself so deeply and sincerely! But if you spoke with me so sincerely just now in order to be praised, as I have praised you, for your truthfulness, then of course you will get nowhere with your efforts at active love; it will all remain merely a dream, and your whole life will flit by like a phantom. Then, naturally, you will forget about the future life, and in the end, will somehow calm down by yourself.”
- Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov