"Luxury is a word that has become so overused that sometimes it can be hard to remember what it actually means. A bit like the word designer. Marketers have been throwing 'designer' in front of things for so long that it's now basically meaningless. Although you could argue that it has always been meaningless as surely every product - good or bad - has been 'designed' by someone at some point in the production process. Maybe what marketers really mean is that a good designer, or a designer with actual design qualifications, was responsible for whatever it is they're trying to sell."
- David Meagher in his editor's letter, The Australian WISH magazine April 2013
I have a design degree. I'm hesitant to call myself a designer - but I have a fairly substantial understanding of the field. Aesthetics may be subjective, but one can be objective about design, and design practices. The fashion industry is built on design. That 'YES they've nailed it that's AMAZING' feeling you get when you respond well to good design is magical - so it stands to reason that poor design has the opposite effect...and I've been feeling extremely design depressed lately.
To me design is, first and foremost, about solving a problem. We need clothing to protect us (both from the elements, and the horrors of being nudists), and being generally vain creatures we want to look good. The fact that we all define looking good in different ways (& have different means to do so) brings the challenge into place and creates the industry dynamic. Of course, there are certain standards of dress which vary culturally and socially, but more and more anything goes, so the onus falls on coming up with something new and hoping the consumer believes the hype. When the cycle of fashion moved more slowly there was time to develop ideas, really create new things of beauty and function, but now it's completely acceptable to just be 'inspired' by something that's already been done 4 million times because of the tail-chasing pressure of delivery deadlines and profit margins, rather than thinking about why something is being brought into existence. It's safe to say this isn't working for most of the industry any more. There's too much half-arsed crap being produced (at varying levels of the market, mind, I'm not pointing the finger merely at the Valleygirls of this world, though they are serious offenders) that no one wants, let alone needs, and the industry as a whole is suffering for it.
I'm not suggesting for a minute that pure aestheticism isn't a valid reason, but I believe design needs motivation, not just inspiration. What do you value in 'good' design?