By  on January 12, 2011

Fashion with a capital F. The kind produced by the masters of the genre, and that used to be celebrated for its artistry, its provocation, its trickle-down influence, the dreams it inspired — has that kind of Fashion joined the ranks of the bighorn sheep and the West Indian manatee? Which is to say, is it endangered?

On one level, fashion has never been of greater interest than it is today. The general population is more aware than ever of fashion as a factor in everyday life, in terms of entertainment if not always in the personal sartorial sense. Mediawise, wecan’t escape fashion via vehicles traditional and new, including every handheld device this side of an eggbeater. The Web provides instant access to all: live-streamed collections; the minutia of magazine staff moves (“and the latest intern upgraded to the closet full-time is -----!”); endless photos of any starlet in a cocktail dress, no matter how mundane the girl, dress or event. And all this while the blogosphere and Twitter provide platforms for a culture of self-proclaimed critical experts, some apparently knowledgeable and definitely influential in that proverbial high school seizure-of-power way.

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