Professor Amanda Hallay Discusses the Burgeoning Interest in Brains
In a world that seems intent upon the antics of The Housewives, Kim and Kanye, and Honey Boo-Boo, it is heartening to see a burgeoning interest in brains. After all, there was once a time when intellect was sought and celebrated, yet the past twenty years have seen a dwindling of interest in intelligence. Rom-coms and comic book heroes top the box office, and reality TV of the very worst kind (Who could possibly be interested in Hoarders?) are more popular than ever.
Happily, smarts are making a comeback. The phenomenal and international success of BBC’s Sherlock was the first sign that we’re becoming as enamored with brains as with brawn, and recent movies like The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game (the former, a biography of the life of Stephen Hawking, the latter, the story of Alan Turing, the celebrated cracker of Nazi codes and computer pioneer) render quintessential ”brainiacs” as cool, romantic heroes.
On TV, new shows debuting in 2015 are jumping on the cerebral trend as well. The USA Network’s Dig is a thriller set in the world of archeology, while Lifetime’s new reality show, Child Genius, promises to explore the nation’s most intellectually gifted children—quite a departure from Toddlers and Tiaras.
This interest in intellect is sure to impact fashion. Instead of the overly embellished, raunchy, rock n’ roll attire we have been programed to like, recent collections are simple, stylish and – above all – smart.
Is brainy the new sexy? If the heartthrob status of Benedict Cumberbatch (star of both Sherlock and The Imitation Game) and The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne are anything to go by, the answer seems to be a well-informed “yes”.
Amanda Hallay is a full-time faculty member at LIM College where her courses, Cultural Connections to Fashion, Who Wore What When, and Fashion Forecasting explore the relationship between fashion and the world that wears it.