In the May 2007 issue, Harper's Bazaar Editor in Chief Glenda Bailey accused Shakespeare of being mistaken: "All the world is, in fact, a runway, and all of the men and women are fashion critics." Well, Glenda, I'm not sure about everyone being a fashion critic, because if they were we'd probably have a significantly better dressed population, but you might be on to something with the whole runway thing.
Today, the difference between a stage and a runway isn't that great. In Shakespeare's time (though not always in his plays), players would masquerade across the stage in gorgeous, pricey costumes... today, well, we have couture shows in Paris and red carpets where men and women essentially do the same masquerading, except the "stage" is slightly longer and narrower, and sometimes red (obviously). In many modern circles (with the exceptions of particular circles that are made up of devoted theatre patrons), the whole concept of the stage is lost. We have movies now. But, that's where the line between stage and runway gets smudged. Actresses double as fashionistas and trendsetters, often letting their acting slide in the process (Lindsay Lohan?). Star-struck teens and young adults are exposed to actors and actresses more frequently for their fashion "choices" (in quotes because it seems they rarely make these choices themselves anymore; enter Rachel Zoe) than their roles. Instead of emulating their characters, imagining the whole world a stage and ourselves as merely players, we emulate their fashions and, as Bailey suggested, the world becomes a runway and we are merely, um, I hesitate to say models, but at least "players." Fine.
So, running with this "whole world's a runway" concept that Bailey introduced to me, I implore people to keep this in mind while getting dressed in the morning. Honestly, does it take that much effort to pull on a pair of jeans, at the very least? Keep the hoodie, fine... But the cartoon animal print pj pants? Erm, no thanks. People have to look at you, myself included. Let's make the world a prettier place, one minute of minor effort at a time. K, thanks.