Skip to main content

The Three Aesthetic Problems

February 28th, 2008 | 4 min read

By Anodos

The Sword and the Shaving Brush

Towards a Biblical Understanding of fashion

By Timothy Bartel

Part III – The Three Aesthetic Problems

How can the Bible inform our understanding of fashion today? Surely the runways of Milan are a different world than the dust floors of the tabernacle, and, as mentioned earlier, our current concerns about clothing are much more complex than those of the ashamed Adam and shivering Eve. Before I examine our current situation regarding fashion, I think it will be important to make a distinction between the word ‘fashion’ and the word ‘clothing.’ Both refer, of course, most basically to garments, to the fabric that humans fold around themselves. Yet ‘fashion’ goes beyond garments; the word implies an aura of taste and preference—the clothes that a culture deems worthy of wear at a certain time. More simply said, fashion is the art of garment making and distributing with reference to cultural taste and custom. Just as words are used in poetry, but not all words are poetry, so clothing is used in fashion, but not all clothes are fashion. By most basic definition, the word ‘fashion’ refers to a fluctuation—clothes go in and out of ‘fashion.’ This is, incidentally, both the lament of the fashion designer, and the reason for their livelihood.

Login to read more

Sign in or create a free account to access Subscriber-only content. 

Sign in