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“The Grand Illusion”


All motifs from the thematic photo sequence showcased here are available in high-quality limited editions signed by the artist, in a variety of mediums, formats and executions. You will find further details under Limited Editions.


Illusory beauty

Fashion is no invention of recent times, though the concept has undergone a distinct change in implication. In his photo sequence SYNTHESIZED FASHION Achim Koerfer shows us quite plainly how the dictates of fashion affect society, how the spirit of the times shows its nightmarish face, in that individualism may actually lead to exclusion from social acceptance.

As avatars of chic presenting the range of ceaselessly changing fashion trends, showroom mannequins are deliberately manufactured devoid of personality or distinctive feature. Any semblance of beauty is abstract and standardized so as to permit the mannequin to be adapted to any current trend with a minimum of trappings. Their faces are expressionless masks designed to evoke neither liking nor animosity. In this photographic mise en scène they are imparted a semblance of presence, personality, meaning.


Fashion as mass hysteria

In the Early Middle Ages in Europe, garments of the rich and poor differed from each other in fabric and color. In the 12th century, when the tailor’s craft emerged, the well-to-do stopped sewing their own clothes and started hiring tailors to do it for them. Fashion as we know it in present times took until the 14th century to come into being. The unbelievable hype it mutated into is a product of the late 20th.

Anyone who refuses to bow to fashion these days is bound to be left out and eyed with suspicion. Who does not don the current uniform of choice risks being ignored. Here is where the person as a social being takes conformity to absurdly self-defeating lengths.

Then when everybody puts on the same attire in order to stand out – and fit in at the same time – then everybody will dress and look the same! Nevertheless, every person wants to receive attention and approval and to stand out in the crowd. What a dilemma!


Is keeping up all that counts?

Obviously, people have an urgent need to don a uniform; to fit in. Often, this urge goes against all reason. Celebrity fashion designers, especially male ones, design the least part of their range of outfits with the average person in mind. Abetted by the media which publish thousands of glamour photos of the rich and famous wearing said fabulous rags, this average person insists on forcing him/herself into apparel catering to an unrealistic type, completely unsuitable to his/her personal look.

People need role-models to look up to. Sadly, they find the wrong ones and young women end up starving themselves to death to conform to an illusory standard of beauty, in an attempt to attain anorexic supermodel-like measurements. They make the fatal error of giving up identifying with themselves, identifying instead with a mirage, an idol, an illusion of questionable nature.


In search of role-models

Achim Koerfer’s SYNTHESIZED FASHION is a declaration of independence from inhuman templates which benefit no one, only those who turn a fine profit from selling them. If we look for role-models, we should not search the pages of glossy fashion magazines where they are not to be found. Slavishly following the hippest trends could lead one to lose sight of oneself, and all authenticity and credibility.

The more one concentrates on being up-to-date the less one sees beyond the fashion hype – and becomes blind to the real world where it is not really the fashion plates who adopt the latest look fastest who earn true approval.

Respect and admiration, but those genuine people who are true to themselves and their convictions, and who stand for values which benefit society at large.


Clothes make the man

Does this maxim still hold true in this day and age when fashion and branded products are knocked off and flood the market with their untold millions of copies? In blindly following fashion, does one not reveal that one is incapable of deciding for oneself what best to wear? How best to look? Making the effort to find our own style, cultivating it and taking it further is the best way to express our personality.

Liberating ourselves from the compulsion to conform to every vagary of fashion will bring us zest for life. It is sooner our independence and poise which will win true acceptance and approval.


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