CA’s fashion club CAFE has in recent months created its website, HUE. CAFE’s Co-Head, Carter Wood ’22, described HUE as a platform used to explore CA’s style and to lead discussions about the fashion world as a whole. However, in order to discuss the multi-dimensionality of the fashion world, one must acknowledge the industry’s relationship to class and wealth.
Throughout history, articles of clothing have been used to express wealth or lack there-of and create a materialistic divide between communities, whether it be the differentiation between different dress styles in the late thirteenth century, to wearing luxury brands such as Gucci and Chanel today. The reality is, classism in fashion is inescapable. This is not to say that the artistic and creative aspects of fashion are exclusive to certain people, but it is impossible to understand fashion without recognizing its classist history.
CA’s HUE understands the privilege it takes to consciously interact with fashion, and the club is working to highlight ways to make this artistic media more accessible and sustainable. In its October issue, HUE discusses sustainability and how sustainable fashion can be possibly achieved through second-hand shopping. One article written by Madison McCaslin ’23 introduces ways to thrift shop and make it personal by perhaps “thrift flipping” the goods.
Thrifting has long been a way for poorer communities to engage with fashion sustainably. Recently, younger generations began to acknowledge it as a source of their clothing goods. However, this is not to say that thrifting is inherently ethical. The HUE article makes no mention of certain thrifting no-nos. Wood explained that this is due to the fact that the world of thrifting is so broad that it would be impossible to capture it all in one article. McCaslin’s piece begins the series of HUE articles dedicated to the subject of thrifting.
HUE hopes to dismantle the common belief that fashion is irrelevant to our daily lives and that only those with wealth can enjoy it. Zoe Perlis ’22, CAFE’s other co-head, mentioned that a decision as simple as wearing basketball shorts is a form of self expression and fashion. Perlis and Wood hope that in time, HUE can begin to discuss topics such as race, gender and their relationship to fashion throughout history. It is important to remember that this aspect of CAFE is new and subject to imperfections. Looking forward, HUE hopes to diversify not only their article topics, but also their clothing models in order to reach out to a larger audience.