Originally Posted by David Reeves
Originally Posted by Caustic Man
I'm far too tired to keep up with a mistress on a daily basis. I'd rather stay at home with the wife and watch Star Trek TNG while eating a deep dish pizza.
I am glad you are all getting into the spirit of this debate.
I myself have probably seen every episode of STNG at least 5 times. Currently I am more of a fan of DS9......(deep space nine).My favorite is Weyoun
Which one? :)
Actually, to drift back from Star Trek to the style/fashion topic, there's an interesting parallel here.
DS9 SPOILERS BELOW!
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
For the uninitiated, a running gag with Weyoun is that he's a clone, and so occasionally gets killed off, only to pop up again a few episodes later in a new body. IIRC, there was some kind of personality back-up too, so most clones ended up very similar but one "went wrong" (in this case, I suppose "went good" might be more accurate) and felt regret for the immoral actions of his predecessors. The Chandler quote about personality and style is pertinent as you could say that Weyoun had a certain consistent style and succumbed to a transient fashion when his personality was altered. :D
But the Chandler quote is misleading too, for various reasons. For example, it implicitly assumes that the ultimate goal of an art form is to express the artist's personality. This is a relatively recent concept, only a few centuries or so old, and only taken to the fullest extent over the last century. Moreover, even if deemed to be true, not everyone who dresses does so with the aims of personal expression in mind; many dress (often, subconsciously) with the precise opposite goal: to obfuscate their actual personality in favour of creating the image of a (sub)culturally-acceptable one. The obvious question then, is whether it's possible to work within a constrained framework and be truly stylish, if the aim of style is to express personality?
Logically, it would only be possible if your personality happened to naturally coincide with the strictures of that framework. However, what we call "personality" is itself (often, heavily) a product of our upbringing and early experiences. It's considered very durable in adulthood, but not entirely immutable. Expose it to enough contrary & powerful stimuli and it is possible to effect (at least outward) change, especially when allied to a strong motivation to do so. In other words, grow up in a different setting, and your concept of style will likely be different as would your personality.
This is precisely why I, as a rather stubborn & individualist person, dislike the position of seeking to emulate an ideal/eternal/classic (or even glacially-moving) style. For there to be such a style, there must be a collective agreement on what that is. It is by definition a collective construct ("taste", to use the loaded word), whereas personality is by definition individual. If style is collective, Chandler is wrong to say that style is the product of personality; rather, the two are an interdependent relationship, one influencing the other. A strong/durable personality will tend to have a more consistent style but this may or may not be helpful to them, depending on their life situation, and it may not be the style they want.
IMO, David is actually quite correct to consider both Style & Fashion to be essentially the same thing (women, by his analogy), but trapped/categorised by individual perception into different contexts (wife vs mistress). Neither is a full or true representation of the actual woman, only that slice of the person that is relevant to the perceiver. Equally, when we look at another person - or even ourselves - we don't see their personality, regardless of what they're wearing (or doing), we see a construct which may or may not have been deliberately conceived. A consistent construct is what we call a personal style, just as a consistent cultural construct of dress is called Style. It is not necessarily an expression of personality in either case, however (and even less an example of moral rectitude).
In a way, at least Fashion is intellectually honest about its own superficiality, ephemerality & glamour (to use that word in its oldest/truest sense).