ALFREDO CROSS MEADOWS, PHILOSOPHER INVITED TO THE CIM2008
For: Mª Mercedes Álvarez
He is neither a journalist nor professional of the design nor proprietor of a luxurious multinational. He is a philosopher. A "thinker" the one that likes stopping and theorizing – "to lead then to the practical life", he affirms - on the phenomenon of the fashion, his entroncamiento with the culture, his relation with the beauty and the dignity of the person, with the uses and social customs. Alfredo Cruz Prados is a speaker invited in I International Congress of Fashion (CIM2008) that organized by the Association Fashion, University and Company (AMUE) and the Top Center of Design of Fashion of Madrid (CSDMM), will take place in the Museum of the Suit from October 22 until next October 24.
Cruz Prados is a teacher of the Department of Philosophy of the University of Navarre. Doctor of Philosophy, investigator and essayist. It has given courses, seminars and conferences in national and foreign centers. It has released numerous articles about fashion, ethics and society, and several books on political thought and philosophy. In the CIM it will give itself a titled lecture "The function humanizadora of the fashion".
- teacher: of what does this function consist humanizadora of the fashion about which he will speak his conference?
- the human being has a nature and must find the way of living through this nature appropriately. An example that I put often is eating: for nature, the man has to eat, but eat can become more human or not. For example, to eat to bites is a way of animal feeding although the man realizes it. When we humanize something so basic and biological as it is eating we are before the gastronomy, the dietetics, the protocol, etc. We eat in the table with plates, with silverware, conversing with others... is culturizado the biological thing. This is a function of the culture, since this one humanizes the practice of our nature. With the fashion the same happens. The fashion is a culture, because it humanizes a dimension: our concrete physical presence, our way of being with the garment.
- Can there be a fashion that it dehumanizes?
- Yes. The fashion can dehumanize so much like a certain way of eating dehumanizes. The fashion that biologiza our physical presence dehumanizes us: a naked body does not say further away that what shows the pure biology. Dressing what it does is not only to cover the body, but to load with sense and expressiveness our physical presence.
- Does that mean that the more elaborated the most human designs are they are?
- not necessary. Yes it has to have making, certain creativity, but it does not mean that it is better the more artful is the fashion. It is necessary to support a balance between the pure biology and the excessive complexity in the design, which makes it incomprehensible. An artificiosidad excess in dressing him can be something so impenetrable like the nakedness.
- but the naturalistic current, little rousseauniana, of returning to the origins and as a result undressing the body: is not it also a type of culture?
- not. This is to resign precisely from the culture, because it is to think that the human thing takes root only in the primary and biological thing. Precisely what characterizes the human being is that there cannot be contrast between nature and culture because the "natural thing" in us is to create culture. It is like saying that the natural thing is not to speak, because the spontaneous thing is to be quiet. We all, to speak, had to learn a language that only is learned in society. It is not possible to confuse the nature of the man with the spontaneity or the primitivism, but the other way round: the natural thing to the man is to cultivate the primary and of that time thing the culture begins. To walk on two feet is not anything spontaneous, the child has to learn it, but it is the natural motive form to the human being.
- Does consider the decency in dressing a natural aptitude of the person, or slightly cultural fruit of learning?
- the decency is so much a natural feeling as culturally, because it is necessary to educate it. For the fact that it is acquired he does not stop being a native. It is like the bipedismo, it is natural and there is a tendency towards him, but it is necessary to learn it. The decency facilitates this humanization of the form in which we dress.
- the need to protect the body of the climate has existed from the same origin of the man. When does it turn into the phenomenon called "fashion"?
- it is necessary to distinguish between the body wraps itself up and to adorn it. If it consists only of protecting the body of the cold it is a primary need. The fashion appears when we look for something more than a simple satisfaction of a material need, doing that something of us expresses this way of wrapping ourselves up.
- Who believes that it humanizes more the fashion: who creates it or who chooses it and the ride?
- I would distinguish between design and fashion, because they are the people, the public, who turns into fashion the design of a couturier. The designer proposes a product and presents it, well in a footbridge or in a shop window. That will be a fashion if the public accepts it, it incorporates it into his clothing and receives social validity. The designer does not know if his design will be a success or a defeat. The final decision has the consumer. The fashionable creator must realize that if he wants that his proposal turns into fashion it has to fulfill a few requisites: that is ponible, that his design is understood by the people, who humanizes the person who dresses his model. It is as if one writes a book and wants that it turns in best seller, for it he has to write it in a certain way, if it does it in a minority language it will not be a best seller. Those who for an eccentricity excess propose something that does not fit with the social statuses, are not doing fashion in strict sense, it would be simply esthetic.
- Does always reflect the fashion the personality and the values that move a person or it does not have why?
- the fashion should reflect our values. But not always it does it. Our way of dressing should be announced by something of us ourselves. It is a language. Our presence has to be saying about us something without need that we should express it with the word. Our outfit speaks eloquently on us, although we do not have this intention. That's why we should be coherent in our way of dressing.
- but the people in general do not realize much all this...
- not, not very much. There it brings in the phenomenon of the overcrowding. When the fashion is despotic, when the people dress what is simply because it is fashionable - and today it dresses of a way and tomorrow of other and, even of a contradictory form - it is revealed that there is an absence of personality, that someone has given up saying something about himself. This turns him into a being moldeable, without personality.
- What are the symptoms of that the fashion enslaves?
- the fashion can enslave when one is ready to allow to enslave, when one does not have a clear concept of what he wants. The fashion enslaves when the only thing for that one looks the mimetización is, to be one more piece of the social environment, when there is no reflection. When one the only thing for that he looks recognition is in the group and his only reference point is the social environment, it allows to be enslaved by the fashion.
- Does he think that emulation exists today too much for "seeming" more than in "being"?
- rather we have to look like what we are, and with the garment what we show in the appearance. The coherence is that the appearance shows what we are. The problem is when one does not know what is, has no identity, then for what he looks is to be like others, a passive imitation.
- Is the beauty a factor of humanization of the fashion?
- the persons we look for the beauty of natural form. The feísmo in the art or in the fashion is a very affected, very artful position, and that can be a product of a weariness, of a creative sterility, because perhaps one cannot create anything beautiful and of that time the resource for the originality rests on the negative thing, the destructive thing, the vulgar thing. The culture in general thinks about how to transmit beauty, just as the fashion has to embellish us.
- What do you think when you see the people for the street as it is dressed?
- I see an enormous absence of personality, of proper criterion, there is a big despotism masificante. If we were asking: "why do you put yourself this?", undoubtedly they would answer us: "so because it takes, it does not happen me to take another thing". He does not think about how to stand out, it is afraid about going differently, dominates the emulation for the uniformity. There is also enough passivity before what it offers us the commerce.
- in the world of the fashion as in that of the television: do the people consume what exists?
- I am sure that the people would choose better if there were other things. When the quality is well commercialized, the quality sells. Opposite to a few bad and dehumanizing, superficial and bland proposals, the good design, the quality, the grace and the beauty, it is always commercially successful.
- For what does he expect from CIM?
- I wish this Congress to be able to serve so that the producers of designs and the professionals of this union receive a concept more serious than they do and of the transcendency of his profession, taking with more responsibility the human and social function of the highest importance that they have between hands. Of the field of the fashion mercantilist as the approach would be necessary to eliminate so much the approach exclusively exclusively esteticista or playfully, because the fashion is something much deeper.
- you have dealt with the phenomenon of the fashion not seldom: do the thinkers deal today in "thinking" what is the fashion?
- in the last years there has grown the academic interest in the phenomenon of the fashion, there have been days, congresses. The fashion has entered the academic world and there has taken place reflection, thought, writings and essays. All this is very positive. The important thing now is that all this intellectual and theoretical work is drawing in practice: in the design, in the production, in the commercialization and in the consumption.