British fashion retailers ASOS and Boohoo are able to conceive, design, produce, and have clothing ready for shoppers on the sales floor quicker than Zara and H&M, according to a research note Goldman Sachs sent investors last month, and the two millennial-focused, social-media savvy brands are enjoying the rewards.
NYFW is now over and we have spotted one major trend: politics. Unexpected? Not really!
The world has recently been living a real political turmoil, a turmoil which climax was probably the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. As people fear for the dismantling of democracy, some of them chose to advocate for their fundamental rights and liberties. Nothing of an unprecedented situation…
However, what appears to be more original is fashion’s recent implication in these political matters. Even if some designers had already voiced their claims, what was really peculiar here was the generalisation of the political concern. Raf Simons coined: “When you have a voice, you should use it”, and this seems to epitomise the spirit of the designers for NYFW this season. NYFW was hence the occasion for designers to display rather unequivocal political point of views, but always sticking to their aesthetic identity.
It was a revolutionary idea that shouldn’t, really, have been so revolutionary.
“It’s become the new cruise,” said Marybeth Schmitt, the H & M communications director for North America. “It sets up a fantasy, a younger person’s vision of a holiday that’s set not in the tropics but the desert.”
The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the word ‘fashion’ is “a popular trend; producing and marketing styles of clothing etc.”, only barely verges on the true meaning and potential of fashion. While it often finds itself unjustly dismissed as a subject of frivolity, this is a grave misconception. Fashion’s function is in fact so complex that it is rooted in paradox as it operates on the basis of the amalgamation of opposites. Its effects can mirror the cathartic power of any good piece of art, ranging from awe to tragedy to comedy. It performs as a reputable tool for the sociological study of any given era, race or gender and also acts as both a physical manifestation and stimulus of psychological feelings.
Fashion is a soldier of great valour, honoured with the task of executing its duties in opposing territories. It possesses the ability to serve contradictory purposes through its paradoxical functions. For example, fashion is a means through which one may stand out from the crowd by exemplifying a unique sense of style. But it is also a method of fitting in if one chooses to dress similarly to others. For individuals who yearn for acceptance and approval, fashion can offer a sense of belonging. And for those who do not wish to be seen, fashion can be camouflage from the eyes of the world. However, for others, who view style as creative expression, fashion can be a means of transmitting their skill, embodying their personality and attracting coveted attention. Fashion is reality because of its primary role to clothe you. But it is also fantasy due to its capacity to act as an artistic medium for exhibitions of the imagination, just like paint or words. Fashion’s ambidexterity stems either from an elusive, fleeting nature that makes it incapable of deciding where its allegiances lie; from a tyrannical soul that intends to make us slaves to its limitless power; or from a heroic sense of duty to serve divergent realms.
“About Fashion”, by Nicole Clinton
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