Homeless Chic, via sociological images. Yep, that is a faux frosted face model pushing a shopping cart full of faux crap, in their faux vagrant clothes. This "look" has appeared on ANTM and in W magazine before. It is a trend now. The company says that the designer :
found inspiration in the roving vagrant whose daily get-up is a battle gear for the harsh weather conditions… Quilted bombers and snug hoodies also work well in keeping the vagrant warm.
I guess when you see the world in Fashion Vision you see people in terms of how exploitable they are, rather than in terms of their humanity. Instead of being inspired to say, give to a homeless shelter or HELP someone in that situation, she saw what she could gain from someone who has absolutely nothing.
If it catches on, very real sweatshop workers will be producing the fake homeless gear for almost nothing, so that people who can afford it can look fucking stupid enough to think that this is a cool thing to do. The idea here isn't to really appear to be homeless, it is to be rich enough to afford the newest vagrant inspired clothes. The idea isn't to actually be mistaken for homeless people, it is to make yourself as separate from the homeless (class wise) as possible. Knowing this, it is hard to see how embracing this trend could be anything but openly mocking homeless people.
I suppose I shouldn't be so shocked that it has come to this; without a constant stream of 'new' fashions people spend less money. This model of over consumption is meant to (and does) trickle down to people with less money to spend, they just replace their non-designer fashions often in order to feel closer to the class ideal of appearance. The seemingly arbitrary changes from season to season makes it easy to ostracize or popularize just about anything depending on the whims of a few powerful people. Such a system is obviously beneficial to the people making a lot of money, and mostly fucks over everyone not in that group. People who make money this way cannot have much respect for people who buy the clothes, either.
This is not about clothes or self expression being bad, it is about the commercial fashion industry and the consequences. This is how it exists right now, and it is hard to morally justify participating in a luxury industry that costs others so much. It is almost impossible to buy clothes and shoes that were not made by people being exploited via sweatshops (claims to the contrary are hard to verify), the least we can all do is not throw away clothes that are still usable or buy new ones we don't need. We can buy clothes that are practical rather than ornamental. Anyone who has worked at a thrift store for even a day knows how many expensive clothes are donated each day, and it is a safe bet that many people throw away clothes rather than donating them. There is an entire industry that resells the waste of over consumption. I recommend buying clothes from thift stores, at least a portion of the money goes to charity. I realize that if everyone did this there wouldn't be anything to buy, but that is very unlikely to happen in a sudden way. Changes happen when people get on board with a cause little by little, that is how pressure on industry forms as well. It is certainly worth a shot. What we have to lose by doing this pales in comparison to what others lose when we choose to perpetuate this system (along with values like over consumption and classism).