Völuspá: Lays of Dead Idols
A man who has his feet hacked off cannot scurry far, as the Norse saying goes.
The Völuspá is the first and most famous of the old Norse Eddic poems, capturing the birth and violent death of the Æsir. The myths of the dark battlefields of the Gods reveal the violent nature of the social realm of dress. Fashion is part of our shared reality, a condition of our world we cannot run away from.
If we are to understand the more competitive, violent, and unforgiving traces of fashion, other spiritual narratives than the Judeo-Christian norm may be of better help. Narratives which do not shy away from the glory of warfare, the great deeds of violent struggle and the force of hostile antagonism and rivalry. Similarly, it could be of great merit to turn to records of the more brutal realities of life, beyond good and evil, and beyond the “why”, to the halls of real glory where the heroes are but tools of greater cosmic forces.
With such cosmic perspective, fashion is transformed from being merely an aesthetic phenomenon of bodies wrapped in cloth, into becoming a dark agency beyond the control of man. Instead of ornament, fashion becomes a feral beast which has overcome its creator, a shapeshifting raptor, a werewolf, or a carapace preying on its human host: a harrowing passion, which possesses man to enact its will. With human agency displaced, the only means to overcome the average and pedestrian doom of the low-life is enraged heroism, blessed by the ferocious heathen Gods of dress.
von Busch, Otto (ed) (2015) Völuspá: Lays of Dead Idols New York: Selfpassage [pdf] - order from Amazon
Völuspá tells the prophesy of a sorceress to Othin, chief of the gods. She rises from the grave to tell him of the past, the beginning of years, the end days and death of the Gods, and finally, the rise of a new dawn and new order. But, as a reader will notice, she also tells the story of fashion, that swathed prophesy of the life, death and rebirth of the brutal passions: the violent struggle of our dark enfoldment under the seasons of the black mark.
Open yourself to fashion, that endless raiding party against time itself; the destiny of desire is a battle over the very nature of reality. You must see: fashion is a reality more intense than life itself. It is a reality as thick as water. It will drown you if try to breath it in. Let it enfold you with its dark pleasure.