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Do we still partake in conspicuous consumption of fashion - Essay Example

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Conspicuous consumption is defined by Lehnert (2000) as “the display of wealth by individuals with an aim of achieving a state of prestige or class”. Therefore conspicuous consumption of fashion can be described as the display of clothing as a means of attaining a certain…
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Do we still partake in conspicuous consumption of fashion
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Download file to see previous pages This essay traces the history of fashion in relation to conspicuous consumption in order to determine if this concept is present in the modern culture and find out the motivation behind the use of fashion to display wealth and status.
According to Cassell (2000), conspicuous consumption of fashion is not a new concept because it can be traced back into the ancient tribal times. During this period, the elite within the society displayed various fashions to demonstrate their social class and thus distinguish themselves from the ordinary people. The history of conspicuous consumption and the developments in fashion was very competitive and it is attributed to the modern culture within the consumer society as explained by Woodruffe-Burton (1998). In the French empire, the rule of Louis XIV was characterized by conspicuous consumption of fashion and people showed off their wealth through the clothes they wore. The concept of conspicuous consumption of fashion is illustrated by the queen of France, Marie Antoinette who had the largest wardrobe in Versailles which was filled with expensive clothing as a status symbol of her wealthy and power. Feitelberg (2005) explains that the invention of handbags late in the 18th century clearly shows how fashion is valued in the society as “a symbolic tool for status and class”. Highly decorated handbags were carried around to achieve a certain desired level of prestige and wealthy.
Lehnert (2000) assets that the history of fashion reached its peak in the 19th century when cloth designs and fashions from France and London were used to separate people according to social classes. Decorative dressing by women in the upper social class was common in the society. A lot of money was spent by the wealthy on decorative fashion which were colorful with good designs and ostrich feathers being used to symbolize a higher social status. The development of fashion was parallel to the social status early in the 20th ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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