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Fashion Culture - Essay Example

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The essay explores fashion culture. Different societies and even individuals within the same society define fashion in their own way. Loschek defines fashion as ‘a personal aesthetic perception in the collective’while Emerson defines fashion as ‘attempt to organize beauty out of behavior’…
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Fashion Culture
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Download file to see previous pages The essay "Fashion Culture" states the culture of fashion. The society, in the modern times, is deeply influenced by fashion as they see in the popular media; represented by their favorite celebrities and icons. Fashion is often criticized for affecting the society in a negative manner through its portrayals of beauty. These portrayals of beauty compel the ordinary people to go to extreme measures in order to be labeled as beautiful and chic. As fashion influences society, it is also influenced by the society in which it resides. The fashion of Paris would be altogether different from the fashion of an Arab country. Thus fashion in a way is constricted by the dictates of the society. Individualist expressions also find a way into contemporary fashion and fashion becomes a mode of expression. The history of fashion in America is a testimony to this fact. However, it is difficult to understand the extent of the impact of fashion on the culture as culture is also impacted by fashion and this two-sided affect makes the situation difficult to evaluate. In this paper, we attempt to understand the role that fashion plays on culture and vice versa for the role that culture plays on fashion. Each is impacted by the other and this paper will attempt to generate a conclusion on the extent of the influence of both fashion and culture on each other. Fashion in America was predominately inspired by the British. It was the British who came into America in large numbers and brought their fashion with them. In the earliest days, American fashion was exactly like the British fashion with its gowns with mutton shaped sleeves and corsets that stressed on the hour glass figures of the women. Fashion, at that time, was inspired by the society’s ideal of beauty. During the 1920s, the ideal beauty was petite and feminine. For this reason, corsets were a necessary part of every woman’s wardrobe; also shoes where pointed and small, so as to give the impression of a delicate being who could be compared to a bird. Fashion at that time was thus not about comfort but about looking beautiful and presentable (Boyer and Dubofsky, 137). The next change in fashion began with the industrial revolution. Industrial revolution was an era of mass production that led to an increase in consumerism and materialism. As products were produced in mass quantities, they cost cheaper and fashion was available to the common public. This was aided with the boom in cotton industry of America that allowed Americans local access to the crop. Thus these mass products were sold in retail shops throughout the country along with catalogues for consumers outside the reach of the retail shops. Fashion at this time was still dictated by the Europeans. Also the concepts regarding women was changing as women were getting liberated and moving out of the constraints of their corsets and moving towards adopted the brassiere (Frings, 30). Another change in fashion came with the civil war. As social unrest in the country increased, individuals became more expressive with their sense of fashion. The blacks began to express their African origins while the Middle Class adopted the hippie fashion. T-shirts were adopted by the hippies as a means of protest and propaganda (English, 91)However, during the 1960s and ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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