The diffusion of bad taste
Why elegance is dead
Bad taste has never been so dominant. You see it in fashion magazines, street style outfits, events, workplaces, everywhere.
People cannot dress properly. And dressing up depending on the occasion does not seem to be a rule, so the dress code is dead along with elegance. Definitely, we can say that bad taste has caught on. Yet, they call it fashion!
However, good taste is not limited to luxury clothes. Indeed, we see many rich people wearing expensive clothes, but without a trace of elegance. Just scroll through your social media, and the show is served with disarmingly gross images. But the same tacky style dominates television too. There are no icons of elegance anymore.
We came across this interview Stefano Pilati released to Vice in 2012. Still very current and worth reading. We quote him:
“My idea of elegance—and this refers to women as well as men—is that someone is elegant when he or she shows a good knowledge of what fits them, where you can find naturalness and self-esteem. Not showing off. Elegance is the idea of showing an optimistic depiction of oneself and to lose oneself in the frivolity of style and fashion. Nowadays nobody gives a shit about being elegant, or chic. If you’re doing it, you’re doing it for yourself, because it’s your way of being. When you’re not thinking, “This is fashion,” and you’re not buying clothes to create statements, you’re on the right path. If fashion goes low waisted and you’re fat bottomed, well, forget it; don’t put slim-fitting jeans on. They’re going to look awful on you. You should dress in black; it would be better.
But seriously, it’s not easy to find elegant women. There are a few, the majority of whom are old—and there are one or maybe two in the world who created a new style when they were young. Today when I go to New York and survey art and fashion, I see smart women and the level is high. But there’s a difference between this and saying a woman is elegant.”
Clearly, the downfall started a while ago, it’s just more evident now.
The bad taste era – What went wrong?
The diffusion of bad taste is a phenomenon strictly connected to the decadence of our society. To put it another way, it is a cultural issue. In fact, in a context of growing uncertainty, we lost the points of reference. Many rules and roles collapsed. We seemed to have acquired certain freedom, which unfortunately reveals more about rudeness and lack of manners than freedom of expression.
If elegance is a dying breed, the problem is rooted in our society.
Culture is at the heart of the issue, but if elegance is dead and bad taste takes its place, it signifies our culture is in a poor state.
We should rediscover a sense of limit and dignity.