Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | October 31, 2008

How to Avoid the Herd Mentality

Moo.  I say MOO!  Why am I lowing like a cow you ask (in Hindi it’s “Ambaa” in case you were curious)?  To make a point that we humans are a funny lot.  Anyone notice the herd mentality in play at the current moment?  Reality is it’s always in play but right now it’s particularly amusing, or not depending on what color of lenses you decide to look through on any given day.  From the stock market to the fashion world I have this sense that we are just a bunch of cows heading over a cliff together.

I’ll leave the economic world for others to pontificate on but allow me to pull out my soap box for the fashion world.  So I headed down to the Spring 2009 shows a couple of weeks ago to amuse myself by watching the buyers and the accompanying brouhaha.  This is always fun because you’ll find a little bit of everything at these events.  From the hardcore corporate Devil-Wears-Prada Fashionista (Oh my God, I’m like one stomach flu away from a size 0) to the uber stressed out rep who has realized that her orders have taken a nose dive because her designer didn’t invest in branding and come recession time….big buyers invest in big brands.  Moo, I say MOO!

Not even the trays of roaming margaritas and bleached blonde models handing out soda pop lightened up the mood.  So to get myself out of this funk I decided to watch everyone’s choice of clothing and once again I say MOO.  I had a conversation with a friend recently who used to frequent the shows and she was commenting on how she’d notice gaggles of girls roaming the floors wearing identical outfits and she wondered “Do they like what they are wearing?”   And I had to wonder.

Firstly, I witnessed a woman teeter across 9th in a pair of booties so inappropriate for the occasion she looked like she’d just had her feet wrapped with traditional Japanese foot binding.  No bueno!  Then as I entered the elevator I watched a woman in her 40’s step out in the skinniest jeans which ooh-la-la so chic but uhm, she looked like a lollipop because the skinny jean just wasn’t designed for the Jessica Rabbit physique if you know what I mean.   And last but not least, of course everyone was sporting their trendy hats.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m digging on hats and wish men still wore them and suits every day (so sexy), but seriously it looked like a scene out the Thomas Crown Affair as I came out of the elevator.  This of course all occurred in a matter of about 2 minutes.  Fashion overload!

What’s my point on this soap box rant?  Before you head out to work, to party, to pontificate, or whatever, think MOO and ask if you are following the herd or if you are respecting the true and tried basics of dressing well.  Is it age appropriate?  Is it occasion appropriate?  Does the silhouette work for you?  Does it fit you?  Do you exude confidence?  And with this I head out to find my “Fashion Disaster” outfit for Halloween.  I just hope that people realize it’s a joke and not a serious attempt at channeling Carrie Bradshaw in the first few seasons of S&C.

Peace Out or Moo Out as the case may be.
Viviana M. Rueda
Anti-Herder (I hope)
Fashion Advisor and Devotee

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