Fashion and Identity
Picture Source: le21eme.com
This is a post that I have been wanting to share for a few months but I wasn't sure if this was a relevant topic or if what I wanted to say made any sense. I love the topic of fashion and identity and I often think about the factors that build one's identity, especially regarding fashion. What makes a person wear skinny jeans and not flared jeans? or in general terms, what determines your choices, is it really you? or is it the market?
First of all, how do I know that I like what I really like and it is not something that the market or society wants me to like? This probably sounds like a tongue twister. But going back to the question, I think it is not that easy to determine why we choose one thing over the other one or how our taste is created.
The first thing that comes to my mind is that the market plays an important role in our choices. You aren’t going to buy something that the market doesn’t sell, that’s obvious, so we are getting what they want us to consume. We have a variety of things to choose from but this doesn’t mean that we are free in all senses.
This is a general idea, let's focus on fashion. Who controls the fashion industry? that would be the most important brands that make it to fashion week. They propose to us new styles for the next season. Right after, the fast fashion retailers start working on new pieces based on the proposals of those designers. So what we get at the end is calculated by the big brands.
Moreover, I think that this sense of “identity” is slowly disappearing. Think about globalisation. Trends are becoming global. Markets used to have have a tough task making a collection that different countries were going to love. Each country has its different values, different notions of fashion and taste. Now, with globalisation, these barriers are vanishing which is great for markets and we have fashion more accessible thanks to online shopping but at the same time, a country’s own fashion identity is no longer that definite, although I must say that we can still see clues that determine a country’s certain style, for example think about the different fashion weeks and you will see that Paris FW is more classy and dressier whereas Milan FW, is always more colourful and extravagant.
But even if I still believe in the pessimistic view of the market wanting to control us, I think that we conserve our own identity which is reflected in our clothes. There is always a personal reason why we choose one garment over the other, and that my friends, is what style is all about. I think that clothes mirror our personality in some way or another even though sometimes we are attracted to clothes that we will never wear. I’m thinking about the trends that come and go and I wonder if I am faithful to my own style. For instance, the 70s are back, would I have worn that style a few years ago? would I wear this style if it wasn’t on trend? But on the other hand, we change. Our personalities and tastes change and we aren’t the same person as we were yesterday. So it is reasonable that our style changes as we change. We are in a constant evolution and in a process of self-discovery so I guess that's why we own so many things which are so different and why at the end we end up wearing half of them. We just want to feel part of a trend but we realise that it doesn't represent us 100%. As I always say fashion shouldn't be strict and follow the rules, it should be fun, a creative outlet which at the end represent our identity.
I'm aware that there are many other factors that define one's style, so I would love to open a discussion because I don't know much about this and I would like to know your thoughts on how we make our own fashion choices and how these create our own sense of identity.
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