Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mind Control Through Fashion Trends: Industry Expert Describes “Fashion Zeitgeist”

The very best aspect of fashion is how creative and innovative a living necessity can become. We must wear clothing everyday, and fashion transforms to wearable art for the industry geniuses.

People always ask why the garments on a runway are so “out-there” and unusual, it seems like not a single person would actually wear any of it. In fashion school, professors taught me that it’s all as simple as repeated cycles of different trends. A runway acts as a showcase for all these new trends, which will be popular in that season.

Colours, patterns,  and textures can style a runway to retail transition
Every designer will focus on a few main trends to make their collection cohesive. The real money in fashion industry comes from the adaptation of couture to ready-to-wear. The trends on the runway are dramatically watered down in order for everyday people to wear the looks.

Today in Metro Times style section, an article titled, “Where do fashion trends come from?” explains the redundancy of fashion and that every season fashion collections are looking too similar to one another. The reason behind the copy-cat styles is textile mills hold bi-yearly fairs in Paris and Italy displaying the different materials available.

Very little variance between runway shows these days.
Kevin Carrigan, Global Creative Director of Calvin Klein describes the process for designers, 

“From these fabric fairs, designers begin to decipher the major global trends of the season with each house interpreting the inspiration in it’s own way and putting their spin on the fashion zeitgeist.”

The article goes on to describe the trickle-down theory of runway to retail, “Once a collection is shown, a whole copy-cat cycle begins where designers mimic what they see being done by fashion leaders such as Miccuia Prada, Marc Jacobs, Alber Elbaz and Pheobe Philo among others." 

Fashion leaders and textile mills are in complete control of what trends, symbols, and messages we receive from the fashion industry. Clothing is a necessity for us to survive, and yet the industry remains regressive rather than progressive. Are fashion designers actually addressing the real issues within their job? Not if they are only capable of showcasing a handful of trends two times a year on the world’s most beautiful supermodels. 

If runway is in fact just a showcase of different optical illusions achieved with the model’s body plus silhouettes, patterns, colours, textures, and line, then why are the guidelines for a model’s appearance so strict? Easily a designer could think outside of the box and design entire runway collections for individuals with fit issues.

Each and everyone of us is beautiful.
Adapting the trends from runway to retail would be the exact same process, even if non-conventional models, like little people or people in wheelchairs were on the runway. This idea would inspire and draw a lot of positive attention to women who are used to being neglected by fashion. As a perfect example, the only runway show I have ever seen was Cheri Milaney for Fall 2009 at Toronto Fashion Week, where her and model agent, Ben Barry teamed up to inspire the courageous souls of not models, but real women including breast cancer survivors. These women looked more beautiful than models, because they’re beauty was from within.

Cheri Milaney Fall 2009
When textile mills and fashion leaders decide fashion trends, then there is absolutely no excuse as to why hemp cannot be one of the majour materials showcased on the runway. Being a miracle fiber, it’s achieved varied appearance makes hemp the most valuable fabric, for the amount of different trends hemp can produce. Using inferior fabrics solely for “cost” reasons stunts the growth on hemp fashion and makes for a regressive industry. The proof of lack of thinking behind fashion trends makes it obvious that hemp can be a successful trend, a fashion leader just actually needs to use it.

Mountains of the Moon hemp fashion
When these “fashion leaders” for decades put an ultra-thin, emotionless robotic beauty measuring at least 5’7” in height on a conveyor belt runway, adorned in synthetics, I question that maybe fashion industry actually acts as mind-control against our own selves rather than a creative outlet.

Fembot Fashion
Our appointed “fashion leaders” work more like fascist dictators by minimizing opportunities, resisting positive change, and ignoring important design innovations, that would lead to comfort and happiness for many who are ignored from enjoying fashion. If I am incorrect about the fascism in fashion, then designers will change the shallow elements of their shows. Showcasing new collections twice a year, the clothing in runway shows and trends reads more like a fashion police uniform that is so well camouflaged because it’s appearance is changed every six months.  

Fashion industry already has a negative stigma about the cut-throat competition standard. Director of the A.A.S Fashion Design Program at Parsons School of Fashion describes the obvious visual outcome of the competition, which “often leads to redundancy and lack of trust in their own self expression.” 

The only way to break this cycle is to believe in the importance of self-awareness. When young designers are so intimidated by competition, their ideas are more likely suffocated than embraced, then the industry has absolutely no hope for growing. Without believing and trusting personal ideas, it is inevitable that we will be caught in mid mind-war of the zeitgeist movement of fashion. 

Always look to the bright side of the sun, 

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