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Moda Maleficarum - the Dark Allure of Fashion
When fashion works at its best you feel it: the arousal, lubrication, horniness, domination, adoration, emission. When fashion works at its best, it thrives in the same animalistic sensorium as the arousing labor and gratification in sexual conquest: the labor of allure.
Yet, fashion is not only pretty: it is also grim. Like Fate, fashion caresses the few, but molests the many. Fashion is a cruel partner. It cares nothing about our frail bodies and wounded spirits. As we employ it in our social games, and form a pact with this social force, we are duped to run its interests. We use the affect of fashion to lure and deceive, ensnare and reject. We seduce our prey and savage our rivals.
Fashion is used as an instrument to enhance our attractiveness in the processes of sexual selection, but we also employ it as a territorial marker and weapon in the process of natural selection, for predatory conquest against peers, rivals and prey. Fashion works as both a surface of beautification as well as bullying. From a realist perspective, fashion is part of Machiavellian games of merciless aesthetic rivalry, employing allure and deceit to produce adoration, one of the most powerful tools of domination known to man, making obedience and enslavement an experience of pleasure.
There is a spectre haunting fashion, the spectre of witchcraft, a dark allure of social sorcery, a demonic reality of appearances, carnal pleasures of seduction and rivalry. This conjuring of dressed deception lures us, entices us towards arousal, servitude and evildoing; Maleficium.
Like the mirror, it always asks itself. Look at me.
Why are you ashamed to look at me?

von Busch, Otto (2016) Moda Maleficarum, or, the Dark Allure of Fashion, New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon

 


Praestigium #14, 2016 (left), Praestigium #2, 2016 (right) Collage and akrylic ink on vellum bristol (11 x 14 in.)