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Paradigm Shifts - Laura Wise

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January 2nd, 2015


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12:11 pm - Paradigm Shifts
One cool thing about reading is how it can take you somewhere you didn't expect.

As I think I said previously, I'm currently working on The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris, by Alicia Drake. (It was written in 2006, a couple of years before Yves Saint Laurent died.) I'm a third of the way in, but we've only now reached the 70s -- in part because Drake has to set up the paradigm shift of 1960s Paris fashion.

It's a truism that the 1960s changed fashion into a youth-driven culture; Drake's book details the ways in which this was profoundly true for Paris, with the real shift not happening until after the May 1968 student uprising. Yves Saint Laurent in the 1960s was the couturier who dressed the cream of society matrons; Karl Lagerfeld in the 1960s worked in the less prestigious ready-to-wear sector, but as a style designer was much closer to street influences than was YSL and adapted a little better to the paradigm shift in the target audience for Important Clothes. (Interestingly, Drake quotes a lot of fashion insiders about Paris's relative tardiness in adopting youth culture compared to, say, London and NYC.)

Drake's really good about showing how 1968 was the public acknowledged catalyst for change but there was subterranean change all along the way, shifting the ground for that big moment. This made me contemplate what almost hidden things might be happening in my own life, making a way for a Big Moment or Realization.

(Sometimes it happens without one's realizing it, of course. This last trip to London was striking to me because I absolutely relied on wifi at the flat where I was staying. My laptop and phone brought me news and kept me connected. Five, even ten years ago, of course, I had a daily stop at an internet cafe instead. And before that, I was on my own with daily newspapers and maybe an expensive phone call or two.)

What good changes are you working on for this new year? I hope all your paradigm shifts are positive. :)

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:paratti
Date:January 2nd, 2015 08:13 pm (UTC)
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Coolness:)
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From:laurawise
Date:January 2nd, 2015 09:51 pm (UTC)
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It's a cool book!

Even though I am now more than ever convinced that I am a boring person, because I read about all the wild parties and think, "Ick. No."

:)
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From:gwynnega
Date:January 2nd, 2015 09:54 pm (UTC)
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Wild parties are overrated. :-)
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From:laurawise
Date:January 3rd, 2015 12:13 am (UTC)
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I think so! :)

[hugs]
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From:paratti
Date:January 2nd, 2015 10:30 pm (UTC)
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You are not boring in the least.

I can do wild parties, but only if I can recharge in between.
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From:laurawise
Date:January 3rd, 2015 12:13 am (UTC)
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I think my days of wild parties are gone. And I'm okay with that. :)
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From:janus_74
Date:January 2nd, 2015 11:21 pm (UTC)
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I'm going to try and be positive (and nice) about the couple of people at work that annoy the tar out of me. It's my one resolution besides the usual eat better, spend less, lose weight...blah, blah, blah.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:January 3rd, 2015 12:14 am (UTC)
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Oh, that's a tough one. I send support through the internet for your endeavour. :)

Cheers for your weekend!

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