It seems we live in a time where everyone wants to be edgy. Well, at least, everyone on social media who is part of the cultural commitment to live a uniquely artistic life. Our new, unprecedented world is seeing influencers bagging money by promoting brands, and we are actively watching the world of retail beauty and fashion become overcrowded with thousands of companies trying to climb the ladder to be at the top. In all of this, there’s one main motto: stand out from the crowd.
It’s always easy to blend in and become one-dimensional, or two dimensional, at best.The way to cut through this is to find an edge. Merriem-Webster defines our newly colloqusalised use of ‘edgy’ as: ‘having a bold, provocative, or unconventional quality.’ The traditional word itself symbolizes having ‘a sharp edge’, something that is biting and disturbs the general course of life. Essentially, we all know that to have an edge is to be different and to beg a reaction of some sort.
Whilst some people are still unaware of what editorial really is, a lot of people realise that it does not exist to live by the norm. Editorial elevates and illuminates but doesn’t necessarily find the need to exaggerate. It’s for this reason why Gucci models walked down the FW18Milan runway holding their own heads. Two years on that story lives on.Editorial is memorable and turns weird into fashion. Importantly, for that little moment, it makes the weirdness appear as if it is normal, and there’s nothing more avant-garde than that. So far, it seems like edgy and editorial are siblings, at the very least.
Whilst editorial is edgy, edgy can’t always be editorial. The art of editorial lies in the fact that it is always high fashion. With edginess, there is always the risk of sacrificing the fashion element in the bid to shock and disturb. In the editorial world, there is a risk of edgy becoming trashy, which is not always as appealing as it seems. Challenging the norm is always attractive, until the fashion element is sacrificed.
The mastery of editorial is that it doesn’t have to do too much. It finds the perfect balance between edge and couture, where it plays on the niche but doesn’t always need to risk it all to get that reaction. Some of the best editorial works are elegant and evoke response in different ways outside of being shocking. The line doesn’t have to be crossed so far that the response has to be maximalist or controversial. Editorial champions playfulness, emotion, vision and concept.
So, it’s safe to say that editorial and edgy are more like cousins, rather than siblings. Or at least, friends. Neither of them strives to be normal and they are not known for being normal. However, editorial beauty is refined and quintessentially fashionable, and champions image. The concept can be edgy, but to be too edgy with the visuals can often compromise the element of story and the flair of finesse. It’s like how they say, you can’t say you’re cool and still be cool. In the same rite of passage, you can’t be edgy but proclaiming you are edgy. That’s for the people to decide.