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Current State of Fashion

What if fashion was a state? What kind of state would it be? Probably not a democracy. Something more sinister, more controlling, more elitist; a state of exclusion and violence.
       A state with no dictator, but with a population all too eager to follow every command and demarcation. A population that happily embrace the superiority consumerism evokes and turn the terror to each other through acts of judgments, micro-aggression, micro-violence, bullying and passionate micro-fascism. Fashion is a totalitarian state hidden under the consumer paradigm of "free choice", a mythical superpower with a political mannerism in the footsteps of what political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls "Inverted Totalitarianism".
      This is the Current State of Fashion.
 
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(Latest press release from The Current State of Fashion on top)

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February 14th 2015
from The Office of the Spokesperson / Department of State
Release of Ralf Wronsov's The Kaiser: A treatise on fashion and power

The Kaiser - cover

The Kaiser is avaliable here as [pdf] and at Amazon
About The Kaiser:
Fashion is a power to die for.
      This brief treatise on the power of fashion analyses the deceptive and violent means by which men seize, retain, and exercise political power through the realm of dress.
In his dissection of power Wronsov adds a dimension of incisive realism to some of the major philosophical and political issues of our time, such as the relationships between fashion and imitation, violence and deception, and the ruthless conquering of the human spirit.
 

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June 1 2014
from The Office of the Spokesperson / Department of State
Release of Ralf Wronsov's The Mark of Cain: The Aesthetic Superiority of the Fashionable

 

Mark of Cain

The Mark of Cain is avaliable here as [pdf] and at Amazon
About The Mark of Cain:
Fashion is nature’s beauty contest, blessed in the blood of the weak, degenerate, poor and ugly. Through its heritage of Cain, the killer, the overhuman, fashion is the divine justification, the law of tooth and claw. Under the mark of Cain, the fashionable are meant to rule, to kill.
     Like Coco Chanel said: "Beauty, what a weapon!"
In his latest book, Ralf Wronsov traces the history of fashion supremacy back to the oldest canonized murder in history: Cain's killing of his brother Abel. Cain, the first passionate fashion designer, was given a mark by God: the double talons of the predator. Throughout time, it became the icon of the artistocratic soul, the soul of the superior, the beautiful killer. Under the sign of the black mark the rule of tooth and claw was set to conquer the degenerate and vile through the aesthetic violence of fashion.
      The symbol still lives today, perhaps stronger than ever. It is the mark of civil war, the strugge between siblings, the exquisite token of tasteful class warfare. We can see it in politics and warfare, art and street style, the stylized double talons of the vulture that is the mark of aesthetic superiority.
      It is the mark of the beatified killer: The Mark of Cain.

Cain logo

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March 12 2014
from The Office of the Spokesperson / Department of State
Release of Ralf Wronsov's Tractatus Fashionablo-Politicus: The Political Philosophy of The Current State of Fashion

Tractatus Fashionablo-Politicus

The Tractatus Fashionablo-Politicus is avaliable here as [pdf] and at Amazon
About the Tractatus:
Because man is by nature evil, he therefore needs dominion, power and popularity. He needs a demarcation between "in" and "out".
Fashion is this demarcation, it is the rule of the strong, the law of beauty, attraction and popularity and the suppression of the ugly.
Fashion is the rage, an ecstasy of power, fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture.
About the Author:
Under the title of High Commissar, professor Ralf Wronsov leads the ideological education of the Current State of Fashion. He is considered one of the main authors of key ideological creeds of fashion theory, such as aesthetic violence and fashion rage, fashion supremacy, the rightful persecution of the ugly and poor, dismissal of democratic or "fast" fashion, and opposition to "degenerate" socialist subcultures or "sissy style". Ralf Wronsov is also the Secretary of State of The Current State of Fashion
 

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December 19, 2013
from The Office of the Spokesperson / Department of State
by Ralf Wronsov, Secretary of State, The Current State of Fashion

"Fashion, red in tooth and claw" - A short note on the political aims of The Current State of Fashion

Global fashion today exists in a lawless state, with a surplus of cheap copies of horrible quality. It is a chaotic situation, similar to the “state of nature” which Hobbes noted to be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short". In resonance with Hobbes, Karl Lagerfeld, one of today’s greatest philosophers of fashion (and honorary citizen of The Current State of Fashion), has expounded how fashion is ”ephemeral, dangerous and unfair.” (Lagerfeld 2007) There is today an urgent need to administer fashion under the rule of law. As concerned fashionistas, we have assembled under the constitution of The Current State of Fashion.
The days of fashion tyranny dictated from Paris are finally over. We live in times where so many different and accessible fashions overlap that it may seem as if “anything goes”. Yet, fast fashion and cheap consumerism is so ubiquitous and abundant that today, nobody can opt out of the sociality of fashion. The tyranny of fashion is replaced by what political philosopher Sheldon Wolin has called the “managed democracy” of “inverted totalitarianism”, a corporate run legitimization of the culture of consumerism where voters are as “predictable as consumers” (Wolin 2008: 47). Fashion may have lost Paris but won the world.
There is a tendency to mainly regard fashion as an expression of lifestyle, or as a matter of mere symbolism. However, fashion is not a way of life in consumer culture, nor is it an identity issue, and this needs to be made clear: fashion is an existential threat of the other to my own social well-being. A garment is a theatre of war in the battle for social status. Fashion guides the social relationships between me and other members of consumer culture. It negotiates rank, popularity and human worth in the attention economy. This makes fashion a political weapon in the arena of social warfare. You may be a pacifist, but your clothes are already on the battlefield, and today that theatre is ruled by chaos. There needs to be laws of war and engagement, Jus in Bello, upheld by the Laws of Fashion. The Current State of Fashion aims to regulate and “bracket” the social warfare under the rule of law, and establish a more peaceful world order: a Pax Fashionabla. The first step towards order is by acknowledging the violence inherent in fashion.
From the State’s perspective, fashion is best approached through the lens of German political philosopher Carl Schmitt, who had a disagreeable career as a Nazi and anti-Semite, yet clearly articulated the confrontational aspects of politics in the social realm. Aristotle’s claim that man is the zoôn politikon, the political animal, and that the political life is the highest life for man, has to Schmitt some drastic implications. In Schmitt’s The Concept of the Political (1932/1996), “the political”, properly understood, refers primarily to the friend/enemy distinction, which in the realm of fashion must be translated as the foundational demarcation between in/out. This distinction is between inclusion and exclusion from the social community, in and out of the latest fashion. To Schmitt, the “friend and enemy concepts are to be understood in their concrete and existential sense, not as metaphors or symbols” (27). On the social arena we need to take the consequences of Schmitt’s argument seriously, as he proposes that the “friend, enemy, and combat concepts receive their real meaning precisely because they refer to the real possibility of physical killing.” (33) Thus the politics of fashion has to involve real conflict and the real chance for (social) casualties. A political perspective on fashion must involve interpersonal violence. If there are no enemies, or no hostilities, there are no politics and there is no fashion.
Even if not all political conflicts involve real casualties, or physical warfare, Schmitt makes clear that “[w]ar is neither the aim nor the purpose nor even the very content of politics. But as an ever present possibility, it is the leading presupposition which determines in a characteristic way human action and thinking and thereby creates a specifically political behavior.”(33) We are thus approaching the brute sartorial reality of bullies, harassments, tyranny, and explicit social violence based on the judgments of clothing. For Schmitt the political antagonism should not be seen as personal hatred, instead the conflict emerges because the enemy threatens the other’s way of life, it’s an “existential threat to one’s own way of life” (49). An overall morality, of tolerance or liberty, only breeds more hostility. The ancient ideal of a cosmopolis, a community embracing all “humanity”, is a pacifist fiction neglecting both social dynamics and real politics; “whoever invokes humanity wants to cheat.” (54) The current situation of overlapping and confusing styles and seemingly parallel fashions may mask some of the immanent conflicts of fashion, and the “democratization” of fashion may indeed seem “humanitarian”. Yet, it is nothing but a cheat. It is a masking of the necessary cruel nature of fashion. The only way there can be fashion is by demarcation and exclusion, judgment and social execution. The only way to be popular, to wield social power, is to defeat others at the social arena.
To Schmitt, power is the domination of the strong over the weak. This is indeed the aim of politics itself: to rule. Withdrawal from politics is a sure sign of defeat or even annihilation. He continues,
No one thinks it possible that the world could, for example, be transformed into a condition of pure morality by the renunciation of every aesthetic or economic productivity. Even less can a people hope to bring about a purely moral or purely economic condition of humanity by evading every political decision. If a people no longer possesses the energy or the will to maintain itself in the sphere of politics, the latter will not thereby vanish from the world. Only the weak people will disappear. (53)
Fashion that does not seek to rule is weak and will disappear. It will lack distinction and popularity and thus be annihilated and purged from the social realm. This is the cruel reality of fashion.
Schmitt reveals the flaws of liberalism, as liberalism is based on a perception that man is intrinsically good and seeks compromise. A similar view today would argue that consumer society disarms social conflict, and fashion theorist Gilles Lipovetsky even argues that fashion is part of such social pacification endeavor (Lipovetsky 1994) and thus defuses hatred and enmity. However, Schmitt would argue the contrary, “all genuine political theories presuppose man to be evil, i.e., by no means an unproblematic but a dangerous and dynamic being.”(61) Indeed, as Lagerfeld argues, fashion is  ”ephemeral, dangerous and unfair”, and Schmitt would add that fashion needs to be so. The political world is by definition a world of friends and enemies, us and them, in and out, of existential confrontation, and thus ruled by the law of the strongest and most violent.
Yet, of course, the everyday fashionista refuses to see the blood on his hands, and wishes for an apolitical fashion. It may be of no surprise that the leading fast fashion and sissy style chains, H&M and Acne, emerges from Sweden, a pacifist, socialist, and petit bourgeois nation of revisionist cowards. Like the bourgeois, the fashionista is afraid to loose out, afraid of conflict, and clings to the safe ground of possessions and the shielded consumption of mainstream fast fashion and sissy style. As Schmitt argues,
The bourgeois is an individual who does not want to leave the apolitical riskless private sphere. He rests in the possession of his private property, and under the justification of his possessive individualism he acts as an individual against the totality. He is a man who finds his compensation from his political nullity in the fruits of freedom and enrichment and above all in the total security of its use. Consequently he wants to be spared bravery and exempted from the danger of violent death. (62-63) 
However, even the consumption of mainstream fashion is engulfed in perennial violence, as the main mechanism of fashion is that of continuously evolving distinction, a perpetuum mobile (Bauman 2010). Consumers are pushed ahead by a social force, all too similar to that of Schmitt’s bourgeois, a status anxiety or social fear where “‘progress’ appears in the context of the avoidance of being excluded.” (Bauman 2010: 59) This makes war eternal, even within pacifist sissy markets. There are no ending conditions and everybody invested in the game needs it to go on forever. Here, fashion thus coincides with the everlasting state of exception or emergency, where George Orwell’s doublethink slogans of the Ingsoc Party resonate the core truths of fashion; “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.” (Orwell 1949)
This is why The Current State of Fashion seeks to administer the rule of fashion in a peaceful manner through a social contract of fashion. As our constitution says,
We the People of the Current State of Fashion, in Order to form a more perfect sociality, establish The Concept of Fashion, insure global commitment to Consumerism, provide for the common Defense of the popular, promote Welfare for the few, and secure the Blessings of Possessions to ourselves and next season's Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Current State of Fashion.
Citizens of The Current State of Fashion have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of Fashion in order to live lives of popular glamour. We cannot liberate ourselves from fashion, and neither should we. A world free from fashion would be depoliticized, make social life meaningless and mere dulled and distanced entertainment. We must recognize fashion’s power and celebrate it by consuming more and thus further its influence on the social arena in order to further our own rights to be the popular, the beautiful, the included. We legitimate the authority of fashion over the individual and submit to the “contract of fashion” to take us higher into the realm of the political, to live as true Aristotelian beings, the true zoôn politikon, the political predator of style, in a nature red in tooth and claw.
Nevertheless, we must recognize that fashion violence is usually a weaponized flanking maneuver. A comment on someone’s clothes seems to attack personal style, but it aims to strike at the soul of the wearer. It strikes not for defeat, but for annihilation. Every public citizen of consumer society is drawn into its crossfire. You may be invested in neither fashion nor politics, but fashion and politics is invested in you. You better be dressed to kill.
We welcome you to submit to the laws of fashion and apply for visa to visit The Current State of Fashion.
References:
Bauman, Zygmunt (2010) ‘Perpetuum mobile’, Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty 1: 1
Lagerfeld, Karl (2007) Lagerfeld Confidential, movie by Rodolphe Marconi
Lipovetsky, Gilles (1994) The Empire of Fashion: Dressing Modern Democracy, Princeton: Princeton University Press
Orwell, George (1949) Nineteen Eighy-Four, London: Secker and Warburg
Schmitt, Carl (1932/1996) The Concept of the Political, Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Wolin, Sheldon (2008) Democracy incorporated: Managed democracy and the specter of inverte
 
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(from the official site of the C.S.F. - retrieved January 2, 2013)
CSF
 

Welcome to The Current State of Fashion

The Current State of Fashion (C.S.F.) Department of State - Fashion in Action
The C.S.F. Department of State strives to shape and sustain a fashionable and prosperous world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the people of fashion and people everywhere. Citizens of C.S.F. have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of Fashion in order to live lives of popular glamour.
The Department of State, often referred to as the State Department, is the Current State of Fashion's executive department responsible for international relations of the C.S.F. The Department was created in 1803, as formal successor to the Autonomous Guilds and Militant Tailors of the Ancien Régime, later making the first syndical claims of fashion in 1868. It was the first executive department created under the new Constitution of Fashion and was established to protect the interests of the citizens of Fashion. It has since then been the keeper of The Great Seal of Fashion.
The preamble of the Constitution of the Current State of Fashion reads,
We the People of the Current State of Fashion, in Order to form a more perfect sociality, establish The Concept of Fashion, insure global commitment to Consumerism, provide for the common Defense of the popular, promote Welfare for the few, and secure the Blessings of Possessions to ourselves and next season's Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Current State of Fashion.
As stated by the Constitution, under The Great Seal of Fashion, the Department's purpose includes:
- Protecting and assisting C.S.F. interests and its citizens living or traveling abroad;
- Assisting and enforcing the decrees of C.S.F. businesses in the international marketplace;
- Coordinating and providing support for international activities of other C.S.F. agencies, official negotiations, and other diplomatic efforts;
- Assisting the C.S.F. in carrying out authority, direction and control in the exercise of policy development, planning, resource management and program responsibilities;
- Coordinating C.S.F. foreign policy and relations with other external forces.
Under the Department of State Reorganization Act of 1946 (Pubic Law 86-899), channels of authority within the department were streamlined, while still maintaining the authority manifested by the Constitution.
 
Department of Fashion Security

For the security of the state answers the Department of Fashion Security (DFS).
The DFS has a vital mission: to secure the state from the many threats we face. Under Fashion Commission Act of 1997 (Public Law 110:3-95) the office oversees and coordinates a comprehensive strategy to safeguard the state against infiltrations, illicit activities, counterfeits, terrorism and attacks.
The DFS has several subdivisions;
The Fashion Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
The FBI focuses on threats that challenge the foundations of fashion and the very heart of FBI operations lies in our investigations. As an intelligence-driven and a threat-focused security and law enforcement organization, the mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the Current State of Fashion from domestic and foreign fashion intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the laws of the Current State of Fashion, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to other state and international agencies and partners dealing with the threats against fashion.
A number of advisory councils, commissions, committees, and boards exist to maintain an open dialogue between the C.S.F. Government and the private sector on various issues. Due to the increasingly hostile environment for fashion the C.S.F. Government has set up a series of new agencies and government bodies to answer to these threats under Fashion Governance Act (Public Law 117:2-5). The following lists those that pertain to the work of the C.S.F. Department of State, and are under formation:
Advisory Commission on Intersubjective Diplomacy
Advisory Committee on Economic Expansion Policy
Counter Insurgency Advisory Commission
Cultural Property Advisory Committee
Fashion Security Advisory Board

Since of November 2011, the Department of State is also responsible for the Fashion Aid and Development (CSFAID) programs under the Fashion Development Act (Public Law 129-2). CSFAID has working relationships with thousands of fashion companies and hundreds of C.S.F.-based private voluntary organisations engaged in fashion aid to under developed communities. Since the recent threats to our citizens these programs have been considered in need of state security.

 

GARAP

 

Distinction and Border regulation, Visa and migration
The CSF Distinction and Border Protection (DBP)
The DBP is one of the Department of Fashion Security’s largest and most complex components, with a priority mission of keeping the distinctions between Fashion and other cultural expressions clear. The DBP also has a responsibility for securing and facilitating design and creation while still enforcing hundreds of distinction regulations, including immigration, trade and border protection, legitimate trade and travel.
Bureau of Consular Affairs, GARAP
The mission of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, also known as GARAP, is to protect the interests of the Current State of Fashion abroad and to strengthen the security of C.S.F. borders through the vigilant adjudication of visas and passports. GARAP contributes significantly to C.S.F.'s goal of promoting international exchange and understanding, yet simultaneously protect the boundaries that uphold the reign of Fashion. Our vision is to help Fashion engage the world.

GARAP Visa office

C.S.F. Ephemeral Embassy in New York
The C.S.F. ephemeral embassy in New York assists in the promotion of strong multilateral ties between the C.S.F., New York Fashion Week and the Garment District and plays an active role in public diplomacy, business services, and traditional diplomatic relations.
The mission devotes a large proportion of time to consular matters such as the issuance of documents of distinction and services for Fashion. As the C.S.F. and the Fashion Weeks are important trading partners, considerable effort is also devoted to the promotion of close business and commercial ties.
The interests of the C.S.F. and New York Fashion Week converge and correspond in many areas. In addition to those cited above, the C.S.F. Embassy directs its energies to building close ties in economic, commercial, and fashionable relations.
The C.S.F. embassy was open at Parsons The New School for Design, 2 West 13th Street, 10011 New York, NY in May 2012
New location for the embassy and its opening hours will be announced shortly

GARAP Parsons

 
Careers Representing Fashion
The C.S.F. Department of State needs adaptable, resourceful, intelligent and innovative strategic-thinkers, from diverse educational, geographic and cultural backgrounds, to contribute to making our world a better looking place.
The mission of a C.S.F. diplomat in Foreign Fashion Service is to promote peace and fashion, support prosperity, and protect C.S.F. citizens while advancing the interests of the C.S.F. abroad, most commonly at the international fashion weeks.
If you’re passionate about fashion and public service and want to represent the C.S.F. around the world, a challenging and rewarding career is waiting for you. The opportunity to work and experience cultures, customs and good looking people of different nations is truly a career unlike any other.
The work you’ll do will have a huge impact on the world. You will be asked to serve at one of any of the more than 165 embassies, consulates and other diplomatic missions in The Americas, Africa, Europe and Eurasia, East Asia and Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and the Arctic. Some of these posts are in ugly, difficult and even dangerous environments, but working in them affords great challenges and rewards.
Explore a career in the Foreign Fashion Service and start your journey with the Department today. Start by looking at where we work, contact one of our embassies, or taking the (upcoming) quiz to find out if the Foreign Fashion Service is right for you.
 

 

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Site updates made under the office of Ralf Wronsov, Secretary of State