The expression “fashion accessories” is extraordinarily extensive and consists of lots of products. Many people have a strong passion against it. There are Fashion frills that are premeditated for every size. The nearly all famous fashion accessory is our jewelry. For young people and kids, costume jewelry is popular frequently contain multicolored, extra-large pieces and charm necklaces or magnetism trinkets. For male, trendy pieces of jewelry frequently include bulky ornament. As for female, trendy pieces of costume jewelry include watches, studs, trinkets, necklaces, bracelets, pins, and onwards.
If you raise a question on the subject that what does fashion signify to them, you will astonishingly obtain countless answers. Furthermore, some people have views about fashion are omnipresent. They articulate that individual fashion is leading their fashioning of thoughts. The whole lot moves according to the thoughts. Thoughts in their preliminary stages are the externalization of environment. This is the rationale that still the people trend proclamation keeps varying through escalating era. Our customary can vary notion the life span along with consequently varying our preferences in the mode globe.
Women effortlessly get fascinated towards mode accessories yet if they embrace numerous accessories stored in their attire. Collecting mode frills to augment their personality is their main leisure pursuit on which they canister splurge quite a lot of hours.
Female’s mode accessories are those stunning articles that auxiliary compose women glimmer and compose them to plunk out of the usual. From costume jewelry to footwear, females are affectionate of tiresome all sorts of up market accessories. Every single man who craves to astonish women should seem to be striking assortment of women’s mode accessories. Nowadays trendy hand baggage is in style, and all woman desires to get this gear similar to their dresses, but a lot of loyalty is mandatory to decide the whole lot corresponding in favor of women.
Most women are quite knowledgeable about their wardrobe essentials, the little black dress, the perfect pair of pumps, eye catching makeup… But you can’t make the proper statement without the right piece of jewelry. For many women, jewelry is a trendsetting status symbol that defines who you are and what you like. Woman invest a significant amount of time and money in their appearance. For most, jewelry is another way to look and feel beautiful. Choosing the right piece of jewelry to compliment your wardrobe is a satisfying experience.
Jewelry is also a status symbol for many. Many people have associated expensive and sparkling diamond jewelry with a wealthier social class. Members of the royal families are often seen with fine jewelry strewn across their bodies. Those who are materialistic and judgmental understand that a fine piece of jewelry can truly enhance their social standing.
Many women will purchase expensive pieces of jewelry to demonstrate their wealth. However, with the large influx of imitation sterling silver and gold jewelry being sold, it is becoming more difficult to define the true value of one’s jewelry.
It is no secret that jewelry is a woman’s most favorite gift. Women value and love to wear jewelry that is sentimental to them. Whether it is a gift from a loved one, a holiday gift or just a memory from a specific time, women will continuously favor their jewelry that has sentimental value.
Jewelry isn’t limited to 14 karat gold and diamonds anymore. Sterling silver jewelry and costume jewelry are becoming more and more popular. Rising prices of gold have paved the way for many other fashionable accessories. While gold jewelry symbolizes wealth, fashion jewelry is so much more versatile and cheaper. Costume jewelry allows the wearer to truly express their individuality.
Wanting to look good is a basic human tendency. If you want to look good, it’s important that you match the right accessories to your clothes. Therefore, it is important to do research. Find out the latest trends in jewelry by perusing fashion shows and magazines. You must get an idea of what is fashionable and how it fits in with your wardrobe. Looking good doesn’t necessarily involve spending a lot of money. Fashion jewelry is great for a tight budget and keeping up with the ever changing styles. Some pieces of costume jewelry are high quality replicas; no one will know they aren’t real.
One of the trends for the fall will be the “military look.” It will not be the heavy duty look that was once in style but more of a subtle look that will focus on color and lighter fabric.
Another trend for the fall is the “underwear for outerwear” look. Delicate lace and exposed bras will be the new thing. The underwear will mainly be used as layers over longer warmer clothes.
Leather is still going to be one of the mainstays in fashion. It will be available in everything from dresses, leggings and even shorts. Leather will be especially hot when paired with the military look. The trend in shirts and blouses will be to button them all the way up, even the collars. No more open collars or sloppy loose shirts. Sophistication and business-like will be the way to go with shirts and blouses.
Even though boots are still big on the fashion scene they can’t be worn every day so knee high, over the knee and thigh high socks will be a new trend for winter. The new way to wear them will be to layer them over leggings. Leggings are going to be mostly white, leaving the dark colors behind. Velvet will make the scene this fall and winter and not only at holiday time. There will be an array of colors and the styles will be everything from masculine to girly-girly.
The trendiest outerwear for fall and winter will be the cape. The versatility of this wrap makes it easy to dress, whether its day or night. The choice of fabric, color and style will be up to the individual.
Men’s fashion will be focused on the suit. Suits have never really gone out of fashion they have just changed styles. The latest style will be a three piece and will include a bow tie. The cut will be relaxed and the suit will have all the classic features. Causal styles for men will now feature a more put together look. No longer will it be the “thing” to look sloppy. Causal fitted pants and buttoned down shirts will be the hottest look.
Colors for the fall will range from bold and bright to deep shades. Color blocking with strong graphic designs in jewel tones and bright shades will also help define the fall and winter color fashion. Mixing bright and jewel tones will also be seen on skirts and pants.
With the recent success of McQueen’s fashion exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011, must-see 2012 fashion exhibitions are on the rise with some of the most notable fashion designers out there. Harold Koda, curator in charge of the Custom Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, told the trade, “Clearly the critical as well as popular success of the McQueen show suggests that fashion design has a more secure place in the precincts of an art museum.” If fashion is no longer just for those interested in following trends, but rather for all who are interested in art, then fashion museum exhibitions are here to stay. Here is a list of the top three fashion displays that can be found at your local museum this year.
Fashion Exhibit 1: “IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA”
The Council of Fashion Designers of America is an organization that supports industry initiatives, rising talent and has some of the country’s most important designers as members. CFDA is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a show of over a hundred pieces of clothing and accessories, along with images and acknowledgements of the nearly six hundred designers who have been CFDA members over the years. This 2012 exhibition will be at The Museum at FIT in New York from February 10 to April 27.
Fashion Exhibit 2: “Louis Vuitton – Marc Jacobs”
This Paris show will convene Louis Vuitton’s past and present. See how Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs cultivated the label, from its conception and look when Vuitton was at the helm during the 19th century, to the contemporary ready-to-wear collections created during Jacobs’s 13 years as creative director. This show will be featured at the Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris from March 9 to September 16.
Fashion Exhibit 3: “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”
The couture, cone bras, striped sailor shirts and costumes worn by celebrities like Madonna and Kylie Minogue make their way to San Francisco. The third stop on this touring exhibition will give Californians a reason to applaud fashion’s enfant terrible. This exciting exhibit will be at the De Young Museum in San Francisco starting on March 24 continuing until August 19.
Be sure to stay current will all fashion trends as well as the fashion industry’s history and see these fashion museum exhibitions. 2012 is definitely an exciting year for a glimpse into the rich history of fashion designs and houses.
There are a number of fashion items that, instead of slipping off into obscurity, appear to have weathered the test of time with their uncanny knack of reinvention, remaining as sought-after by this generation as others.
The wristwatch has endured for eons
These days we are surrounded by gizmos and gadgets that tell us the time every minute of the day, yet the wristwatch has endured for eons and each season seems to re-create itself into a range of very different sizes, shapes, forms and colours. Whether ultra-modern or quaintly old-fashioned, watches are no longer worn simply to mark off the seconds of a day but as necessary accessories for the fashion-conscious out there. Watches are now often purchased for their glamorous bling appeal and the message they send out to the broader public, such as “My Rolex will tell you I’ve made it”.
Scarves have foiled the accessory gods
Another accessory that has foiled attempts by the accessory gods to bury it perpetually is the ever-enduring scarf. A simple piece of silk or linen has the amazing ability to enhance even the drabbest of attire and has the added benefit of keeping the neck and shoulders snug. Granted, the trendies out there no longer wear the unassuming triangle on their heads, as their forebearers did, but rather as a splash of colour or texture to the neck.
Leather handbags forever
Handbags have endured for centuries, with the San Bushmen of South Africa crafting the first handbags out of the skins of hunted animals. Today, ostrich skin bags, crocodile handbags and snakeskin purses are all the rage, particularly with the fairer sex, and until woman learn to limit the ‘stuff’ they lug around with them on a daily basis, it is unlikely handbags will ever disappear.
The versatile T-shirt
The unassuming but amazingly versatile T-shirt is also here to stay. The simply designed cotton T-shirt has been worn as the main attraction, over long-sleeved tops or under shirts and jackets. It is mostly a blank canvas used by designers to view their opinions and thoughts about the world, which more often than not garners more attention than the T itself.
Black is best
Last but not least is the evergreen LBD. Black material has the heart-warming ability to make us look svelte and sassy when we’re fighting flab, to seldom show up spills or spots and to smarten up most outfits. The LBD (Little Black Dress) has reinvented itself so many times over the centuries because of its ability to focus attention on assets while evaporating liabilities that this little number is set never to drop off the fashion radar. Small wonder so many have already joined the burgeoning ‘black is best’ queue.
The Bratz fashion world is not only about dressing up and doing makeover that will pass the present trend in fashion. More than that, the Bratz fashion world is also a haven for aspiring artists who want to explore new things and apply their creative imagination through dress design. While the basic fashion designing is based on some science that you need to consider before trying to make a dress masterpiece, the thinking or the
When it comes to design, you should know the basics about patterns, prints and plains. This will help you decide if you are doing right or you are bit overloaded with prints. It is important that you know this so you can play with colors, cuts and patterns easily. Another point is to find the perfect model to show off you designs to the fashion world. Finding the one qualified? Why not have the most fashionable and fabulous celebrities? The Bratz will work perfectly for you!
With the Bratz games, you can be the virtual fashion designer and apply all you know about fashion designing. Get the right patterns, find the stylish cut and design the dress to perfectly fit ones body structure. Jade, Yasmin, Cloe and Sasha will be excited to wear on your fashionable designs.
Start off the task by learning which color complements the other. Work out first with the tops. Most often the most simple cut and design becomes the most fashionable outfit. You do not need to overload with designs. Try a silk blouse with a bow. Pair it up with high-waisted pants. While keeping the outfit simple, like a contrast of white and black, you can have the outfit accentuated with wooden cuff detailed with gold plates. A classic pair of pumps in the color of gold will suit the ensemble for a more glamorous look. Keep the whole outfit simple, it will define itself from others.
Another good fashion example you can do with Bratz games is to do fashionable dresses. A silk dress with silk grosgrain ribbon detail can perfectly match your days outfit. This versatile piece of clothing can take you from office to a party. Match it with a patented belt and a pair of stiletto sandals.
There are still other ways you can play with outfits and match clothing. When designing with Bratz games or even in the real world of fashion, take into consider both the functionality and the design of the outfit. These two should perfectly work well so you can be a good fashion designer.
Fashion trends change all the time, some pieces of clothing becoming old-fashioned and others making their way to the top of people’s preferences. However, there are certain pieces of clothing which don’t go out of fashion and these would be jeans. Now, you can wear jeans on all kinds of occasions, at work or at picnics, at parties or when going for a beer with your friends.
Therefore, you can invest your money in a few pairs of jeans made by different famous designers and put them aside for different occasions. You can start with a good-looking pair of Gucci jeans, extremely fashionable just like it is normal for them to be given the name of the Italian fashion stage. These jeans are often straight leg jeans, nor too dark, nor too light, nor too low, nor too high. These jeans are perfect for formal occasions being made after the classic style of the Italian fashion.
Also, you can choose a pair of Paul Smith jeans, jeans which have a stranger irregular finish. Many of the models launched by this designer go in indigo. These jeans are the perfect casual clothing you are looking for, some of them with five pockets attached and straight leg means and matching any sort of shoes you may choose.
Last but not least, Levi’s is a very powerful name in the world of jeans designers. These jeans are extremely presentable, always looking good on you, showing the entire experience this designer has built in one hundred thirty years of activity. In fact, no further presentations are required with this designer being probably the best-known in the world of jeans.
Whatever brand you choose to wear, you will definitely always be in fashion and all you have to decide on is which brand to choose and what the occasion you need your jeans for is.
In our days everybody wants to look fashionable, be it a man or a woman. If in the last years the idea of
Excessive accessorizing. The most common accessories for men are the watch and a ring, preferably the wedding ring. If however, you are looking for some more accessories then you can simply opt to wear a bracelet when you go out. But when you are attending a business meeting then you should not wear anything but your watch and ring. Wearing too many accessories will make you be a bit overdressed for such an occasion.
Baseball caps. In the past men wore dress hats that they took off whenever the occasion asked for it. However, in our days men wear baseball hats indoors and outdoors, basically wherever they want. Taking the hat off is a matter of politeness and education also, wearing it while you are at the office doesn’t make one look good.
Sneakers every day. Sneakers are one of the most comfortable footwear that can be found on the market. All of us like to wear them however, we should not exaggerate. There has to be a difference in how you dress for work and how you dress for going out for a job. There are other types of footwear that are very comfortable also and they look nice if they are worn with a suit or with a pair of jeans.
Wrinkled clothes. When we wear our clothes like this we create a messy outfit that doesn’t inspire much confidence. Even when our clothes are clean and elegant, the wrinkles will make us look like we dressed in a hurry. Our appearance is the first thing that people notice in us so, the first impact is very important. The personal style is something that is a matter of taste and personality but these simple fashion rules should be respected no matter what.
Another Barbie fashion game is to dress each doll in a top or bottom and then have each child choose what piece of clothing and which accessories they think would work best with that look. It forces them to think quickly and come up with stylish ideas on the spot. This is the perfect game for any young girls who are thinking of working towards a career in the world of fashion.
For older girls, try playing games with some of their favorite celebrities. Buy a couple fashion or style magazines and have the girls look through them and guess – without peeking at the text – who is wearing what. They should be able to tell which designer’s have designed the different outfits and best of all this will help them study up on the different designers and style trends. You keep things fun by having modern magazines with their favorite celebs.
Use the Internet to your advantage and find online fashion games. Browse through different sites and see what you can come up with. The Internet offers tons of fresh, fun
The notion that trends in fashion take part in a phenomenon known as the trickle down effect has long been recognised by fashion pundits. A process of social emulation of society’s upper echelons by the subordinates provides myriad incentives for perpetual and incessant changes in fashion through a sequence of novelty and imitation. Dior’s ‘New Look’ of 1947 consisted of creations that were only affordable to a minority of affluent women of the time. Fashion was governed by haute-couture designers and presented to the masses to aspire toward. However, this traditional prospective has been vigorously challenged by many throughout the fashion world. Revisionist observations have introduced a paradoxical argument that fashion trends have, on numerous occasions, inadvertently emerged from the more obscure spheres of society onto the glamorous catwalks of high-fashion designers.
These styles can originate from a range of unorthodox sources, from leather-jacketed punks and dramatic Goths, the teddy boys of the 1950s, to ethnic minority cultures from all edges of the globe. Styles that emerge from the bottom of the social hierarchy are increasingly bubbling up to become the status of high fashion. There has been significant concern over the implications of this so-called bubble-up effect, such as the ambiguity between the notions of flattering imitation and outright exploitation of subcultures and minority groups. Democratization and globalisation of fashion has contributed to the abrasion of the authenticity and original identity of street-style culture. The inadvertent massification of maverick ideas undermines the ‘street value’ of the fashions for the very people who originally created them.
The underlying definition of subculture, with regards to anthropology and sociology, is a group of people who differentiates from the larger prevailing culture surrounding them. Members of a subculture have their own shared values and conventions, tending to oppose mainstream culture, for example in fashion and music tastes. Gelder proposed several principal characteristics that subcultures portrayed in general: negative relations to work and class, association with their own territory, living in non-domestic habitats, profligate sense of stylistic exaggeration, and stubborn refusal of massification. Hebdige emphasised that the opposition by subcultures to conform to standard societal values has been slated as a negative trait, where in fact the misunderstood groups are only attempting to find their own identity and meaning. The divergence away from social normalcy has unsurprisingly proliferated new ideas and styles, and this can be distinctly observed through the existence of fashion diversity. Ethnicity, race, class and gender can be physical distinctions of subcultures. Furthermore, qualities which determine a subculture may be aesthetic, linguistic, sexual, political, religious, or a mixture of these factors.
Sigmund Freud and his nephew Edward Bernays investigated the drivers of social control and the engineering of consent. Their psychological theories provide insight into the causes of deviation, by members of a subculture, from social norms. They highlighted the irrationality of human beings and discovered that by tapping into their deepest desires, it is possible to manipulate unconscious minds in order to manage society. Freud believed that stimulating the unconscious was crucial to creating desire, and therefore is conducive to economic progress and mass democracy. Bernays argued that individual freedom was unattainable because it would be “too dangerous to allow human beings to truly express themselves”. Through various methods of advertising, a distinctive ‘majority’ can be created in society, where a person belonging to this group is perceived to be normal, conventional and conformist. By using techniques to satisfy people’s inner desires, the rise of widespread consumerism plays a part in the organized manipulation of the masses. However, through the unleashing of certain uncontrolled aggressive instincts, occasional irrationality emerged in groups, and this repudiation of the banalities of ordinary life is believed to be a key factor in the generation of subcultures.
The expansion of youth styles from subcultures into the fashion market is a real network or infrastructure of new kinds of commercial and economic institutions. The creation of new and startling styles will be inextricably linked to a process of production and publicity inevitably leading to the diffusion and spread of the subversive subculture trends. For example, both mod and punk innovations have become incorporated into high and mainstream fashion after the initial low-key emergence of such styles. The complexities of society perpetuate continuous change in style and taste, with different classes or groups prevailing during certain periods of time. To deal with the question of which is the most influential source of fashion, it is necessary to consider distribution of power. It is not the same for all classes to have access to the means by which ideas are disseminated in our society, principally the mass media. In history, the elites have had greater power to prescribe meaning and dictate what is to be defined as normality.
Trickling down to shape the views of the substantial passive parts of the population, designers from high places were able to set trends that diffused from the upper to lower spectrum of society. Subcultures, it was suggested, go against nature and are subject to abhorrence and disapproval by followers of mainstream trends. Regrettably, criminal gangs, homeless subcultures and reckless skateboarders, among other ‘negative’ portrayals of subcultures have been accused of dragging down the image of other ‘positive’ subcultures which demonstrate creativity and inspiration. There is an unstable relationship between socialising and de-socialising forces. Nevertheless, German philosopher Kant observed that actual social life should and always will consist of in some way its own opposite asocial life, which he described as “unsociable sociality”.
Without doubt, fashion exhibits a dichotomy of conformity and differentiation, with contradictory groups aspiring to fit in and stand out from a crowd. Previously, the pace of change that fashion went through has spawned social emulation, a phenomenon whereby subordinate groups follow a process of imitation of the fashion tastes adopted by the upper echelons of society. Veblen, a Norwegian-American sociologist and economist, criticized in detail the rise of consumerism, especially the notion of conspicuous consumption, initiated by people of high status. Another influential sociologist Georg Simmel, classified two basic human instincts – the impetus to imitate one’s neighbours, and conversely, the individualistic behaviour of distinguishing oneself.
Simmel indicated the tendency towards social equalization with the desire for individual differentiation and change. Indeed, to elucidate Simmel’s theory of distinction versus imitation, the distinctiveness of subcultures in the early stages of a set fashion assures for its destruction as the fashion spreads. An idea or a custom has its optimal innovative intensity when it is constrained to a small clandestine group. After the original symbolic value of the idea has been exploited by commercialisation and accepted as a part of mass culture, the balance will have a tendency to tip towards imitation over distinction. An example of the imitation of a distinctive subculture is the evolution of blue jeans, which originating from humble American cowboys and gold-miners, demonstrate a bubble-up effect of a subculture. On a larger scale, it can be said that Western style dressing ‘bubbled-up’ from 19th Century Quaker’s attire, rather than ‘trickling down’ from the styles of Court aristocracy.
Simmel describes fashion as a process by which the society consolidates itself by reintegrating what disrupts it. The existence of fashion requires that some members of society must be perceived as superior or inferior. From economist Harvey Leibenstein’s perspective, fashion is a market constituted of ‘snobs’. The phenomenon of ‘snob-demand’ depicts consumers as snobs who will stop buying a product when the price drops too much. The trickle down effect has been related to a ‘band-wagon effect’ where the turnovers of a product are particularly high as a result of imitation. Every economic choice is bound not only to the pure computational rationality of individuals, but is influenced by irrational factors, such social imitation, contrary to what Simmel calls the ‘need for distinction’. However, a ‘reverse bandwagon effect’ acts as an opposing force when a snobbish consumer stops buying a product because too many others are buying it as well. The resultant force depends on the relative intensity of the two forces.
Subcultures have often endured a less than agreeable relationship with the mainstream as a result of exploitation and cultural appropriation. This often leads to the demise or evolution of a particular subculture once the originally novel ideas have been commercially popularised to an extent where the ideologies of the subculture have lost their fundamental connotations. The insatiable commercial hunger for new trends instigated the counterfeiting of subculture fashion, unjustifiably used on the sophisticated catwalks in fashion dictatorships of Paris, Milan and New York. It is not purely sartorial fashion but also music subcultures that are particularly vulnerable to the massification process. Certain types of music like jazz, punk, hip hop and rave were only listened to by minority groups at the initial stages of its history.
Events in history have had substantial impacts on the rise, development and evolution of subcultures. The First World War had an impact on men’s hairstyles as lice and fleas were ubiquitous in wartime trenches. Those with shaved heads were presumed to have served at the Front while those with long hair were branded cowards, deserters, and pacifists. During the 1920s, standard social etiquettes were discarded by certain youth subcultures, as drink, drugs and jazz infiltrated America, intensified by the alcohol prohibition of the time. A crime subculture emerged as smugglers discovered profit opportunities with Mexican and Cuban drug plantations. The Great Depression of the late 20s in North America caused pervasive poverty and unemployment. Consequently, a significant number of adolescents discovered identity and expression through urban youth gangs, such as the ‘dead end kids’.
Existentialists like Camus and Sartre also played a significant part in influencing the subcultures of the 1950s and 60s. Emphasis on freedom of the individual created a version of existential bohemianism resembling the beat generation. This subculture represented a version of bohemian hedonism; McClure declares that “non-conformity and spontaneous creativity were crucial”. In literature, Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” depicted the economic hardship of these times. Initially burned and banned to American citizens, condemned as communist propaganda, this book was given the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962. It only took a few decades for the previously socially unacceptable book to diffuse into mainstream culture.
The popularisation of folk and cowboy songs led to their unique underlying patterns being mixed with elements of jazz, blues and soul, creating a new subculture of western swing. Technological progress facilitated “instantaneous mass media creating large subcultures from the ideas of a range of smaller subcultures”. Accordingly, a bubble-up effect can be seen where, through a process of innovation and diffusion, original ideas can spread into mass culture.
The process of integration has a potential to lead to the polarisation of warring subcultures, contributing to social disorganization. Shaw and Mckay assessed that although their data is not sufficient to determine “the extent to which membership in delinquent gangs produces delinquency”, membership is probably a contributing factor. They use the term ‘differential social organisation’ to depict how subculture formation is a result of broader economic and demographic forces that undermine conventional local institutions of control.
The institution of the family is weakened by these forces, and as a result, alternatives to the traditional family have arisen as various subcultures. Ethan Watters elucidated this social trend in his book defining urban tribes as “groups of never-married’s between the ages of 25 and 45 who gather in common-interest groups and enjoy an urban lifestyle”. Analysis of the long term perspective of street trends reveal that youth trends bubble-up every five to ten years, and that individualism, anarchy and self-realization, are universal in these trends.
In the process of bubbling up, there are two important concepts to consider, that of ‘diffusion’ and ‘defusion’. Fashion diffusion focuses on the individual and the crowd, particularly in this case the spreading of fashion in a systematic way from small scale to large scale institutions. It highlights the idea that fashion innovation and creativity drawn from subcultures are integrated into mass culture. In the process, non-conformist fashion may be subject to defusion, a diluting of the fundamental intrinsic meaning of the original subculture. The commercialisation of fashion is especially central to the danger of decontextualisation of trend origins. For example, the wearing of ripped jeans, an accepted form of attire nowadays, does not necessarily relate to the image of ‘hippies’ in modern times. The concept of identity and its modifications and transformations after a period of time should be carefully considered.
Analysis of street style is another fundamental aspect in determining the extent of a bubble-up effect in fashion. It is an idea that opposes the view that high fashion has given way to popular culture. Polhemus proposed that “styles which start life on the street corner have a way of ending up on the backs of top models on the world’s most prestigious fashion catwalks”. Prior to this new train of thought, the predominant view was that new looks began with couture and ‘trickle down’ to the mass market mainline fashion industry. Polhemus suggested that the evidence he found gave insight to a chain of events; initially genuine street innovation appears, followed by the featuring in mass media, such as magazines or television programmes, of street kids. In time, the ritzy version of the original idea makes an appearance, as a part of a top designer’s collection.
Polhemus identified two basic street-styles involving dressing up or dressing down. Those from a relatively affluent sector of society, such as the Beatniks and Hippies developed a penchant for the latter, preferring to descend down the socio-economic ladder in the interest of authenticity. Nowadays, the variety of attire seen on streets and nightclubs show that culture is no longer only a prerogative of the upper class. Although, the creatively democratic society that we progress towards optimizes fashion innovation, cynics of the bubble-up effect, such as Johnny Stuart, condemned in his book on rockers, “the fancy fashionable versions of the Perfecto which you see all over the place, dilute the significance, taking away its original magic, castrating it”.
Social crises of the 1950s and 1970s brought about new ideological constructions in response to the worsening economy, scarcity of jobs, loss of community, and the failure of consumerism to satisfy real needs. Racism became a solution to the problems of working-class life. Such periods of social turmoil resulted in fashion defusion, with many subcultures becoming increasingly detached from their foundation symbolisms. The connotations of the attire of the teddy boys during the 1970s bore little resemblance to the style of 1956. The original narcissistic upper-class style was somewhat irrevocably lost in a wave of ‘second generation teds’ that preferred fidelity to the classic ‘bad-boy’ stereotypes. The concept of specificity, subcultures responding to circumstances at distinctive moments in history, is depicted as vital to the study of subcultures.
Therefore the resultant mass-consumed item may draw distance from the emblem of the original subculture, attainable to all who can afford it. The loss of identity may prove to be a serious problem as subcultures may feel exploited, estranged and meaningless without a sense of belonging. Subcultures established a sense of community to certain individuals during a new post-war age that witnessed the deterioration of traditional social groupings. Polhemus claims that subcultures like Teddy Boys, Mods, Rockers, Skinheads, Rockabillies, Hipsters, Surfers, Hippies, Rastafarians, Headbangers, Goths, etc, as “social phenomenon style tribes cannot be dismissed as something transitory”. Known as the Kogal phenomenon, a subculture emerged where groups of young girls between the ages of 15 and 18 appeared on the streets of Tokyo with long dyed-brown or bleached-blond hair, tanned skin, heavy makeup, brightly coloured miniskirts or short pants that flare out at the bottom, and high platform boots.
‘Field’ has become more appropriate in the analysis of fashion changes. People engaged in similar lifestyles with intrinsically similar cultural capital, i.e. nationality, profession, family and friends form group identities interacting with others in the same ‘field’. This has been an important contributing factor to the birth of subcultures.The anachronistic belief that class was a determinant of fashion has reduced significantly, as confirmed by Bauman, who proposed the idea of ‘liquid society’, where fashion exists in a more flexible and malleable state.
A particular phenomenon of recent times, subject to both a trickle-down and a bubble-up effect of varying degrees, is the democratization and globalization of fashion. There has been an emergence of ‘prêt-a-porter’ invented by John Claude Weill in 1949. This development has increased the speed and diffusion of fashion trends across the world, which amplified the culture of fast fashion, massification and global standardisation. Standardised factory-made prêt-a-porter clothes, of which ‘wearability’ is crucial, sometimes descend from places of high fashion, for example inspired from couture. Designers such as Poiret, Dior and Lacroix produce a ready-to-wear line alongside their haute couture collection to take advantage of a wider market. Nevertheless, its mass-produced industrial nature detracts away from the exclusivity of traditional couture.
By 1930, couturiers like Schiaparelli, Delauney, and Patou began to design their own ready-to-wear boutiques, understanding the new emerging system of fashion whereby the moment that people stop copying you, it means that you are no longer any good. The democratization of couture disallowed it to sustain its elitist nature and therefore haute couture was beginning to accept that fashion was about emulation. Nevertheless, attire was not entirely uniform and equalised. Subtle nuances continued to mark social distinctions but mitigated the upper class penchant for conspicuous consumption.
Democratising fashion came hand in hand with a ‘disunification’ of feminine attire, which varied more in form and became less homogeneous. The fundamental attraction of making profit inspired innovation in styles and a perpetual search for lower costs through efficient industrial manufacturing. Institutions were evolving to an extent that the pretentious elitist sectors diminished in favour of universal mass production. The end of the Second World War brought about increased demand for fashion, encouraged by films and magazines of the time and the take off of global advertising campaigns, i.e. Levi’s, Rodier, Benetton, Naf-Naf, etc, highlighting the need for high standards of living, well-being and hedonistic mass culture. It is the globalisation and rapidity of fashion movements, as Kawamura amply discussed, that underline the fact that “fast-changing tastes of consumers are matched only by the cleverness of the department store that identifies trendsetters among young consumers and feeds their knowledge into the production cycle”.
It is impossible to conduct discourse in fashion without associating it with change, unpredictability and a high degree of uncertainty. It is very difficult to distinguish which goods will be adorned by the mass population and which trends will be instantaneously rejected. In general, industries need economic capital and political solidarity to function but these institutions are particularly difficult to uphold in the aesthetic industry. A paradox exists in that while on a superficial level everyone associates fashion with change, the underlying forces value stability. They argue that it is not possible to speak of one single fashion, but rather of different fashions existing at the same time. This is especially the case for an intrinsically fast-paced, competitive and fragmented industry. A bubble-up effect is inherent to a globalised fashion world, and the upward flow of fashion stemming from various subcultures contributes abundantly to this process.