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Fashion: An ever-evolving social phenomena


Fashion is bold and daring which reflects a generation that is not afraid to say what they think, or wear what they want.

By Devika Ch

Fashion is a non-verbal way of communication that conveys a lot about the person’s personality and style. Besides, fashion reflects the evolution of ideas, which begins as a fad, but in course of time gets accepted in society as style, which is a more rigid and an established form of its erstwhile predecessor.

Earlier this was an exclusive domain of the rich, affluent, celebrities, and royalty. However, fashion is now within the reach of the common man. The complexities of the ‘modern society’ of the 21st century mean that fashion has now dominated the discourse of the youth. The ever-changing definition of what is considered fashionable keeps changing. There is extreme pressure to be presentable. New trends have emerged in home-wear design, office wear, make-up fashion, and people’s overall attitude.

In the 60s ‘flower power’ did not only mean flares and tunics, rather it summed up the whole attitude of a generation and this is even more prominent today. The world was recovering from social unrest that follows any bars and it reflected in the fashion. Bell-bottoms which signifies the politically conscious, artsy movement, in America, soon turned into a symbol of rebellion in the rest of the world. It is an established fact that the pulse of society, determines the fashion trend of that period.

In the past few years, we have witnessed the social revolution of fashion trends. Social media now plays an important role in the establishment and promotion of the fashion industry worldwide. Online fashion websites exhibit trendy clothing and accessories while social media marketers have boosted the sites with attractive content, headings, captions, model images, and so on. Fashion ideas and concepts are no longer an exclusive social statement but have become more personalized, each one unique from the rest. It has now become a medium of self-expression.

The emergence of raw, uncompromising young fashion talents brimming with vigorous ideas questions all our assumptions on luxury and status, the twin underpinnings that fashion always held. Fashion has somehow become bold and daring and this reflects a generation that is not afraid to say what they think or wear what they want. Trends in fashion unify men and women around the world, allow people to portray their own individual styles at the same time.

Fashion designers are now creating their own trendy garments and introducing them to the global market. Such designers have been accepted by customers worldwide and their products sell in high quantity. Nowadays, half of these designs are heavily inspired by the past. Designers seem to have realized that there was no need to start afresh and throw out the old but revive what was left behind and make it their own by their signature styles. The revival of style appears to have been built on classic pieces of past decades, particularly the style of 20s, 40s and 50s, though with a modern interpretation. Evidently, vintage and vintage-inspired pieces have started to run smoothly everywhere.

High society people who possess the ability to own designers, keep them abreast of the current trends, while the remaining populace curious of the new fashion lines, closely follows what celebrities and influencers are wearing. Being ahead of fashion is for many; the ultimate achievement, although, being ahead of fashion is just as bad as behind it. The dress we put on, the makeup we do, are no longer for my own but because of the enormous pressure to look ‘fashionable’.

This pressure is even more aggravated by social media and its projection of fashion. Youths have been highly impacted in a negative way as youngsters are put under immense stress by peers. They become highly obsessed with creating style statements at an age where they need to focus on their studies and other important aspects of life. Apparently, the fashion trend has become a cult with today’s generation. They blindly try to imitate the models or celebrities without understanding the true essence of fashion. History is a testimonial of the timeless nature of certain fashion trends and how some fade without even leaving a mark. The mad race for fashion is a lot like that carrot before horse analogy, once we feel that we have caught up with the trend, it had far moved on to another. One must realise that the biggest fashion statement we can make is to wear our positive attitude and not just fashionable clothes and accessories. It influences not only what we wear, but everything we do.

(The writer is a final year student of Mass Communication Department, Manipur University, a person with a keen interest in fashion)

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