Sunday, January 31, 2010

Paco Rabanne- History Reflection

The 1960s was a time in history that was very dramatic in the changes that occured in fashion and in society. This was a growing post war economy, where the baby boomers had already begin to show their influence in fashion and in culture. Modern art and architecture was novel and inspiring to many. Fashion designers looked to the streets, art and looked into the future to find inspiration for fashion innovations. A leader in fashion during this time period was a designer name Paco Rabanne.

paco Rabanne was born in San Sebastian in Spain and grew up in an environment that was dominated by war, and economic strife. He had experiences many bombings during his childhood and even claims to have had supernatural experiences that had influenced and inspired him. Rabanne had always been witness to fashion as he was growing up and had been a part of the industry. His mother worked as a seamstress for Balenciaga and with his family Rabanne used to make leather buttons. He claims that in 1966 designers had bought his illustrations and Gerard Pipart of Nina Ricci had given him some styles to embroider. This experience had given him a start in the fashion industry and in that environment Rabanne had the opportunity to make a big statement with his designs.

In 1960s the mood was all about breaking conventions and traditional methods of construction. During this time period the baby boomers were beginnign to differentiate themselves from the older generation through riots and through fashion. One could say that the Zeitgeist of the 60s was about non-conformity; fashion was not only about social strata anymore, it was about marketing to different generational cohorts. A designer would design for the upper classes but would keep in mind the trends that were influencing fahsion at a mass market.

Popular culture like modern art and television influenced fashion dramatically and fashion designers began to make clothing that was at times a literal interpretation of these omnipotent trends. Designers like Yves Saint Laurent used a painting by Mondrian as the print on their mod dresses and even the Cambell soup label dress became a pop art phenomenon. Even today, fashion designers literally interpret art and film into their designs.

In the 60's the fashion world was swept by futuristic fashions and yves Saint Laurent reinvented the couture fashion world by bringing in pret-a-porter couture (ready to wear). Paco Rabanne had made his first very succesful debut in 1966 by making a dress entirely out of plastic. Rabanne made a very bug statement in fashion as he "overturned the common belief that clothes had to use" conventional materials like fabric and this is why his work was shocking and intriguing. His innovations were a critical catalyst in a changing economy and he affected change in several ways.

He led designers into a new stylistic and other designers followed and created dresses and jackets out of paper and unconventional materials like wood and metal. Chain-mail became a fashion style that was available to women and it was attractive and sexy. Rabanna had a cult following. Even today designers like Alexander Mcqueen and Versace and Ferre use chain mail and metal in their designs. It is evident that Rabanne made a dramatic change in the way that we view clothing, and how art in haute couture can become ready to wear.

It is known by fashion designers that throughout our history we see a pendulum swing in the transition from trend to trend. And in the 60s we see a dramatic change from concealed and corseted garments of the old decade to the sexual revolution of the new. As our economy grew and became richer, art, television and celebrity life became a driving leader in fashion and behavior. Because the baby boomers grew up on television, popular culture had a lot of sway over their values and beliefs. Vogue began to photograph artistic nudes, films were comfortable with bare chests and intimate scenes and thus fashion was no longer censored. This was a time when anything was possible in fashion and designers like Paco Rabanne were leaders in this era driving fashion into unknown territory. Today many designers look back and are inspired by the mod scenes, the retro style, and the art and fashion of the 60s in order to bring something nostalgic back to our contemporary industry.

read more of my blogs!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Things for men to watch out for in fall 2010

Some trends that will become popular for Men's Wear in Fall/Winter 2010 are as follows...and guys pay attention.

Work the browns and neutrals: the best color palette for men this upcoming winter will be blacks, greys, navy blue shades, and brown earth tones. Also, all over prints will be popular and the all
over one color/ one print look will be very popular as well.

Buy the Skinny Trouser Pant: The suit pant for men will become a slim straight fit. It seems like the skinny jean is here to stay, but more importantly this trend is also influencing our career apparel. So far the trend forecast for menswear in almost all collections (with the exception of some of Galiano's amazing craziness) is the straight leg, clean cut skinny trouser.

Watch your pant hems and fit! : A very important trend in mens pants is going to be the
length of the hems on the pants. So men...make sure this fall and winter your pant hems end at the ankle. Also, pants for young adults will all have a dropped crotch, which means your pants are NOT hugging your crotch.

DONT be afraid of Knits: Knits are a big deal in menswear this upcoming fall. So men start investing in nice sweaters. The jersey knit for menswear is popular and in some shows we even saw a cowlneck on men like in the Victor and Rolf collection. In this fall collection for Rick Owens we also saw men in halter-like tops. It seems like the most popular neckline for men will be the turtle neck sweater or shirt. All of Alexander McQueen's mens suits were worn over turtlenecks and in Lanvin's and Rolf's collections we saw scarfes wrapped around necks to create a turtle-like neck effect.

Get a trench: The trench coat is a very popular staple for menswear this upcoming fall. Every designers collection has a trench coat or a kimono like robe. Trenches are worn longer this upcoming fall below the knee.

Leathers are your friends: black leather, shiny blakc leather, grey lazer cut leather jackets are very much in. And while this fall teh motorcycle jacket is popular, this upcoming fall the leather jackets are simple and straight.

Longer Suit Jackets: Your suit jackets will be work with a longer hem and more loosely fitted. It seems like we are going back to the post war days a little bit in men's wear because we saw a lot of military influence in collections. John Galiano brought back the double breasted jacket and Lanvin's collection was very reminiscent of German military apparel.

Boots are hott: Boots that go over the ankle and that are worn with a baggier dropped crotch pant are also going to be popular. An interesting thing to look out for though is the fact that your baggy pants end where the boot begins. This was shown in many collections.

Be inspired by the EAST: This time designers were inspired by the Japanese drape of clothing, this wass especially evident in Rick Owen's collection for menswear. Kimono Robes are so in for fall and some designers like John Galiano have interpreted it more literally than others. This is one reason that the drape in mens knits is more feminine in fashion

Androgeny: This upcoming fall it seemed like men were becoming more and more feminine. And feminine accessories were also found in menswear. Male models are loosing their hunk and getting thinner and more feminine. Hair is worn longer. In Alexander McQueen's collection hair was long on men and braided into a bun. Victor and Rolf had a long V-neckline in their knitwear. Galiano and Lanvin introduced bustiers and male corsetry into their fashion collections and it seemed like the majority of designers saw the trend to bring the men's waistline up. So this time men's waist is not low on their hips but actually up were the woman would wear her belts. The trenches are belted at the high waist and the high waist is emphasized a lot.

Wear Sportswear with Career wear: Hoodies, zip ups and athletic tops with suit pants. Or sweaters under suit jackets and zip up hoodies under suit jackets. It seems like we are blending work and sports again.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quick Summary of Fashion History

Textiles have always been the most important part of garmnet construction, because they determine the drape and propertoes of the clothing. The most common fabrics used in the ancient world were wool, linen and silk. Wool was most commonly used in ancient Sumeria and een worn by Assyrians. Wool was a very common material at that time because in the environment in which the civilization grew there was a large supply of sheep. Wool was also common in ancient Greece in a garment called a doric chiton which was wrapped around the body.

Linen was most commonly used in the ancient Middle East, and was very common. The linen was a woven textile made from a plant called flax. This was most common in many draped cloths and was even sometimes sewn as a garment. This was a time when sewing machines did not exist so most commonly in clothing large sheets would be draped and wrapped around the body in a variety of ways. Silk became very popular during the Byzantine Empire because of an increase in trade with the East. Silk a is filament fiber that was woven into a textile and worn by many. These fibers were used in the creation of yarns and textiles because they were not only the most common, but most easily obtained. At this time in history, many people did not have the technology that we do today to create complex fibers (like jacquard and brocade and lycra).

Wool was most commonly used at that time because it could be worn as a fur and required almost no processing. It was easy to obtain wool because of the large amount of sheep in ancient Sumerian mountains. This is why many Sumerians were noted to have been wearing clothing with "fringe". (They were also depicted with curly hair and bears because they actually used curlers in their hair!). Linen, as flax, grew in large quantities close to the Nile River. This was a long staple fiber and was easily spun and woven into a cloth. Silk was very popular when trade increased and especially in Byzantine because the Mediterranean was a large port for trade. It seems that at first when civilizations were developing quickly the city grew domestically and produced clothing domestically. However, as soon as the influence of an empire spread and became vast, trade was introduced which allowed for us to find raw materials that were not as readily available domestically.

Hopping into the Middle ages: during the Dark Ages women wore a chemise that was of a long length, a lot longer than that of men at this time. The woman's legs were covered and so were her ankles. The sleeves would be loose and would often cover the wrists. An interesting trend in women's fashion at this time was the V-neck that developed. The V-neck opens the shoulders and is known to elongate the neck. One of the parts that was considered very sexual on women at this time was the long, pale "swan" neck. Furthermore, another interesting trend that appeared in women's fashion at this time was the plucking of the hairline back. Many women, in paintings from this time and in poems and writings were always the most beautiful when they had a large forehead. This is another reason why the women of these times would bring their hairlines back and wear elaborately tall hats in order to emphasice the lenght of the neck and the size of the forehead.

For men at this time and throughout the Renissance and the Baroque, the size of the shoulders and the stomach was always the center of attention. The size of the man's shoulders grew throughout the Renaissance in order to make the man more masculine and more intimidating. This is why King Hnery VIII was depicted with tremendously large shoulders and chest, a large potbelly and skinny legs. By wearing tights, men could use proportion to create the illusion that their shoulders are wider and their silhouette gets narrower on the bottom. By placing capes and furs on their backs men could also create the illusion of more mass and weight on the upper body. ( The first fake furs were used in Ancient Egypt by the people of the middle class who wanted to imitate the rich, so they would cut out fabric in the shape of a hide and paint it).

The potbelly on men and woman was attractive at this time because it symbolized monetary wealth and the ability of the man to feed himself and possibly a wife (probably because so many people were starving). Women with a belly also represented wealth but also represented fertility. This is why the 'peascod belly' becomes a popular shape for doublets, and also why the waistline in men's fashion gets higher in the Baroque period. By pushing the waistline up and legthening the coat, the men's silhouette deeply enhances the size of the belly.

During the Renaissance women's hands, wrists and ankles are still considered to be sexually arousing and are still hidden out of modesty. The sleeve funnels are still long and the skirt lengths cover the legs, feet and ankles. The waist in the Medieval era was not emphasized and women wore either a loose silhouette belted at the waist or a gown with an empire waist. However, during the Renaissance the hourglass shape of a woman's body became more and more preffered. The woman with the belly was still desirable underneath clothing, but in clothing the women wore corsetry. Because of this women's waists get smaller and smaller (down to 16-18 inches) and the shoulders get bigger and the hips extend to almost arm's length; especially the French Farthingale.

During the Baroque period hooped skirts suddenly disappear, but the hips are still larger in order to maintain an emphasis on a curvy figure. However, the waistline moves from the natural waist higher and higher. This is meant to mimic men's clothing. Many women at this time began to wear shorter sleeves and expose their wrists and hands. Moreover, the necklines on women's dresses became horizontal in order to expose the shoulders nad teh neck and the top of the bust. This is an obvious sign that the attention was meant to be brought to the face and the upper body.

In the early 1900s a lot of events took plae that affected the economy and consequently the fashion; women got the right to vote, we experience two world wars, suffered an economic depression and had to deal with a big flu epidemic. All of these events were so largely significant that they altered the economy and the Zeitgeist from decade to decade. These changes were reflected in the trends and the clothing that people wore as fashion began to cycle faster and faster. In order for a designer to understand how the economy affects fashion, one has to study the history.

Before and during the Great War, we had several events that were very influential in design; the women were fighting for their right to vote, and the futurist movement was very popular in art. Futurists were artists that were aggressive and promoted industry and war in their propaganda. This cohort wanted war because they belieed that it would cleanse society and bring upon new technologies. Art movements like this work closely with fashion design because they affect one another greatly (like dadaists and surrealists worked with Elsa Schiaparelly in the 30s to create bright fashion post depression), and this art movement created an interest in military apparel. Not only did the military pressure fashion because of millions of citizens were at war, but also artists did as well and because of this we see a rise in silhouettes and styles from the military. The trench coat was one garment that became a popular staple for men and women. Furthermore, because of the war hemlines got shorter on women's skirts in order to salvage fabric.

As the women began to seek independence and equal rights they also began to dress differently as well. Their dress was a way to make a statement about their position in society; they wanted to be seen as equals to men. This is why in the 1920s, when women finally got the right to vote, in fashion we see women cutting their hair to boyish lengths. Young women most promiently adopted protesting dress codes and were looked down upon by older generations because they wore straighteners instead of corsets that flattened their chests and de-emphasized their curves. These women were called flappers and wore their skirts shorter, they waistlines longer and their hair cropped off. This was a reaction to the political events in teh 1920s. Coco Chanel was a designer that was very influential at this time and introduced a lot of new trend in women's wear, like the cropped hair, the loose fit on women and even knitwear. She introduced casual wear.

In the 1930s we see the great depression and the flu epidemic create a very somber atmosphere in the economy and because of this, women began to wear longer hemlines and subdued colors that reflected that mood. Elsa Schiaparelli was a designer that was most influential during this time and worked closely with artists like Dadaists and Surrealists in order to create amusing prints and embellishments. But the longger hemlines did not last in women's wear because during WW2 the government set a fabric rationing because they needed the fabric for the military. Because of this we see men's suits loose details like pocket flaps, length in jackets and in women's wear we see hemlines that rise to the knee. Rebels who wore the zoot suit were targeted during this time period because they were deemed unpatriotic; the zoot suit took up a lot of fabric because it was baggy and long.

The reason that fashion changed so dramatically in the 50s and late forties was because the war had ended. Not only did the rationing end with the war, but there were a lot of factories that rose up during war to produce large quantities of products for the army that were now empty. The large factories were bought by corporations and businesses that began to produce large quantities of merchandise for consumers. This meant that in the market there was a lot of competition for large quantities of cheap goods that were not selling. Because we began to overproduce so much, prices dropped and competition in the market increased; merchandise sat on teh shelf.

In this competition driven economy where supply was higher than demand and we were in a state of over production, another factor that played a large role was the end of rationing. When rationing ended, there were no limits to the amount of fabric and the type of fabric that could be used. Women's nylon stockings came back into fashion. People were once again excited about fahsion and about leisure. Couture was again popular (until Yves Saint Laurent left the House of Dior and revolutionized fashion by popularizing ready-to-wear in the 60s). This was the environment in which Christian Dior came out with his New Look. Dior brought back the full skirts, longer hemlines, small cinched in waists and broad shoulders. Fashion was exuberant.

During the war women had to pick up the jobs that their husband left behind when they went to war. So women worked in farms and factories. After WW2 women went back to house sitting and could afford elaborate apparel that was harder to move in.

Baby boomers were the new generations, the post war generation adn they were the first to grow up with TV in their daily lives. This generation was the one that was rebellious to conformity adn in teh 60s and 70s would adopt lifestyles like those of the hippies and punk rockers. For the first time in history there was a new market for fashion...the young adults. Being able to follow news events like the war in Vietnam on the tv angered the young adults and led them to riot. TV was also a soure for popular culture and fashion innovators...which is one reason that the punk movement spread so avidly from Britain.

Furthermore, another aspect that helped create overproduction and helped produce fast fashion to our industry was the expansion of the highway system. By expanding the highway system we had a faster transportation of goods. New innovations were introduced in trickle-down by tTV stars and teh elite classes and the next week they could be in the stores. This allowed for fashion to cycle faster and fro new innovations to be introduced more often. When an innovator notices that the innovation is widespread, they find the need to differentiate and move on to something new. This is why seasonal trends, and tredns powered by celebrities and fashion icons began to be very influential. Highway systems spead up the process of product development by allowing for novel products to reach consumers faster...

And I think thats as summarized as fashion history can get. There is so much information and it could make fifty books if it could. But unfortunately here it is summarized. And I would post pictures if my sisters were not irritating me so much right now. Unfortunately this is it. Well enjoy learning!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Defining Fashion

Today I decided to write about fashion since this is about fashion stuff I think its important that we know what fashion actually is.

Fashion is defined as, "a style that is popular in the present or a set of trends that have been accepted by a wide audience". Our fashion behavior is powered by our psychographics, demographics and geographics. As social beings our desire to fit into a community or a social cohort is constantly up against our desire to stand out as an individual. This psychological response is a large determining factor in what we choose to purchase. Furthermore, influences from popular culture (like movies, tv, advertising, celebrity life) hold sway over our purchasing decisions. Our economy is built on creating and marketing products that we will covet. Coveting creates business, and popular culture affects coveting a great deal. More over, in today's market, clothing doesn't only serve our utilitarian needs, it also serves our hedonic needs. As a consumer we seek what we need, and want, but also something that is aesthetically appealing to us. Today we do not only want to wear clothing for protection, but we also make buying decisions based on emotional stimulus. A reason that all people across the world regardless of culture or geography dress, is decoration.

Every individual has his/her own personal needs and wants and everyone is in a social cohort or wants to belong to one (or both actually). We all lead different lifestyles and so our fashion behaviour is affected by what we perceive to be necessary. Individuals make purchases of products that have meaning to them or to others. We might make a purchase to seem to others as a fashion leader, unique and an innovator or we wear a garment in order to impress others, to fit into a lifestyle group, to be accepted or to meet others' expectations. These two psychological traits are constantly affecting our decisions when we make purchases.

In contemporary society every product has a meaning. We no longer only shop for utilitarian needs. Even though we have clothing that has not worn out yet, or gotten old and ruined, we still purchase new styles. We do not pay for new clothes because our old ones are unwearable, we buy new clothing because we are buying fashion. This is because fashion is always changing and we seek novel items. We would never covet a product if it had no meaning to us. This is why when products are made, designers, marketers and the press assign the products meaning nad position them in order to get a large group of people to want them. Buying something we want or like gives us a positive emotional stimulus. Giving products meaning is one way to keep making business and avoiding planned obsolescence.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Only the best catering in Washington. Their food is reminiscent of Russian and European food, and they just came out with new treats. Very much worth it. Definately check them out and give them a call.



Saturday, January 16, 2010

How celebrities affect our consumption of fashion

In today’s American society, the leading groups of mass market consumers are the young adults. In malls and large retail boutiques, the younger generations are beginning to spend a lot of time making purchases. The young adult is a category of shoppers that is quite recent to the market and is considered not a ‘teen’ shopper and not an ‘adult’ shopper. The teen and the adult shoppers are very different target markets because they have very different shopping habits. The adults are the baby boomers, and baby boomers are a generational cohort that has different needs then teenagers and young adults (Kim).

Because the baby boomers are in their later life stages, they are wealthier and most of them are in retirement. This generation seeks leisure, fine dining, hedonic products and experiential shopping experiences (Kim). The teen population, on the other hand, is a target market in fashion that is also recent and is not currently employed or is currently seeking employment (Kim). The teen groups of consumers usually do not make their own purchases but influence their parents to make the purchases for them, if the teen consumer does make purchases they are usually in small quantities and at low prices (Kim). Popular culture greatly affects the teen target market because the younger generations are in middle schools and their highest priority is to seek connections to others (Kim). The teenager’s main concern in life is the battle between individual identity and their role in peer relationships (Erikson’s Stage 5).

The young adult is a person from the age of 19 to 40 (Erikson’s Stage 6). This is the stage in life when the adult is at his/her peak. This means that their health and their role as a worker in society is most critical (Erikson’s Stage 6). Furthermore, this is the stage in life that people most seek intimacy and belonging (Erikson’s Stage 6). According to a renowned psychologist and human development expert, Erik Erikson, “an individual who has not developed a sense of identity usually will fear a committed relationship and may retreat into isolation,” (Erikson’s Stage 6). This means that finding their own identity and where they fit in, in today’s society is very important to the young adult. Furthermore, understanding their beliefs, morals, values and their associations is critical to how the young adult views themselves. Erik Erikson believes that in order to relate to other people during this developmental stage, a person must be, “Giving and sharing with an individual without asking what will be received in return,” (Erikson’s Stage 6).

For the young adult, purchasing decisions are very important because they identify themselves with the person. What the young adult wears, chooses to eat and drink, and what the young adult keeps in their house is all a demonstration of who the person is psychologically and culturally (Brannon). It is very important for the young adult in this stage to make purchases that represent who they are as a person and an individual. While teenagers make purchases on a whim that was motivated by their social groups, the young adult makes smart purchases considering their role in society, what they believe in and also popular culture (Kim). In other words, the young adult makes purchases that have meaning to them.

Movies, television, shows, actors, bands, and singers influence the young adult’s purchasing decision as well. Popular culture takes on an important role in marketing because it is constantly marketing specific lifestyles and social behaviors. To some people music might be a very important aspect in their culture, whether it be punk rock or jazz. A celebrity in this case is someone who is important to the consumer. Each genre of music has its own lifestyle and markets its own set of values because the celebrities in music serve as role models to the fans. For example, fans on the sex pistols in the 70s were young adults that began to dress and live their life by example. These consumers would purchase band merchandise, dress in punk rock attire that they saw the band members wear, smoke and live their lives according to that lifestyle (Kim). Because of this a consumer makes the decision to purchase a product for many reasons. Purchasing an outfit inspired by punk rock is a statement to others that the person is not only a fan of the music but also of the lifestyle. This tells others that in order to relate to this person one must understand the punk rock values and morals. The punk rock consumer also identifies themselves with this lifestyle and wants to connect to someone with similar values. The purchase of clothing now becomes more than just a necessity, but also a hedonic purchase that carries a lot of emotional stimulus and emotional value to the wearer.

Punk rock was a very influential trend in the 1970’s because it was a style that was adopted by young adults. For the first time in history, the young adults became a very influential fashion market because they rebelled against conformity and their purchasing decisions later affected other fashion trends. “Punk was as much a youthful reaction against older generations, considered oppressive and outdated, as a product of the newly recognized and influential youth culture.” (Vivienne).

Fashion innovators are “people who wear new fashions and expose them to others,” and also, “buy new product innovations earlier than others in their group,” (Brannon). This means that an innovator is someone who sets new product innovations and inspires others to wear them, or someone who finds new product innovations and adopts them earlier than others. In this case the Sex Pistols would be fashion innovators because they were celebrities that bought new innovations and wore them earlier than anyone else. Other people looked up to them as fans or other associations and were motivated by their style to adopt those innovations as well. According to the diffusion curve, the Sex Pistols would be a celebrity that wore fashion at the very beginning, before the early adopters, and thus influenced the fashion of others by giving them new styles that they could either accept or reject (Brannon).

Fashion leaders are different than fashion innovators because the fashion leader is someone more knowledgeable about fashion trends and styles, and is more likely to start new innovations. Leaders are those that, “endorse a style to those who need help,” or are “asked for advice about clothes,” because they have a better grasp on fashion (Brannon). Vivienne Westwood would be a fashion leader because she began to dress and help fashion innovators like the Sex Pistols by designing their clothing. “Shrewd entrepreneurs, Westwood and McLaren were instrumental in defining and marketing the punk look at the precise moment that it was taking the streets of London by storm,” (Vivienne). The Sex Pistols could be considered a celebrity that influenced and inspired Westwood’s style. Even though she was a fashion leader, the lifestyle and image that the band marketed was an inspiration to Westwood. “In 1974, Westwood again changed the name of the shop to reflect McLaren's new shock tactics, this time to SEX, where they sold S&M (sado-masochistic) inspired clothing, met the Sex Pistols, and added their punk line, Seditionaries,4 in 1976,” (Westwood).

This goes to show that celebrities may lead fashion because they are innovators. By adopting new innovations early, and by wearing styles that could become novel trends, celebrities like the Sex Pistols can inspire and influence fashion. Furthermore, celebrities like the Sex Pistols may be inspirational to fashion leaders in social groups. Social groups in different communities all have their own lifestyles and their own environment. If a small social group has a fashion leader who is more aware of fashion trends and more aware of new innovations they might be able to become early adopters in the diffusion curve and then help others in their group to adopt the style (Brannon).

By being fashion innovators, celebrities like the Sex Pistols can show a wide audience different types of styles and trend that are novel. By doing this they give consumers the chance to reject these novelties or to accept them (Brannon). If a fashion leader in a social group accepts these innovations then the innovation will spread and become a trend, if the novelty is rejected then the innovation stops (Brannon). Conclusively, this is several ways that fashion trends can become omnipotent.


Brannon, Evelyn L. Fashion Forecasting. New York: Fairchild Books & Visuals, 2005. Print.

"Erikson's Stage 5." SUNY Cortland - Faculty and Staff Web Services. Web. 09 Dec. 2009. .

"Erikson's Stage 6." SUNY Cortland - Faculty and Staff Web Services. Web. 09 Dec. 2009.

Kim, Youn-Kyung, Pauline Sullivan, and Judith Cardona Forney. Experiential Retailing Concepts and Strategies That Sell. New York: Fairchild Books & Visuals, 2007. Print.

"Vivienne Westwood (born 1941) and the Postmodern Legacy of Punk Style Thematic Essay Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History The Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Web. 09 Dec. 2009.

Is Fashion Important?

A lot of people fail to realize the importance and the influence of fashion on our everyday lives. And I think that it is really important to clear a few things up here.
For those of you that think fashion is only the clothing that you wear....and want to argue that you do not care what you wear I have several things to say about that. First of all, we dress out of necessity not out of want. We all wear clothing, and that in itself is critically important. Secondly, we are social creatures and artists. As a human species we are the only animals that create art and find aesthetic and heonic pleasure in products that we purchase. This is one reason that as the baby boomer generation got older and richer all our marketing switched from one way advertisements to experiential retailing and advertising. This gets the consumers involved and to interact with the advertisiments, because businesses have realized that with a rise in competition they have to stand out. There is no longer one stand in the market plae were you can get teddy bears, there are hundreds of different retailers. So brands like Build-a-bear are trying to make more business by introducing a hedonic purchase. This means that you make a purchase that is emotionally satisfying to you.
Before we went to the store to make a utilitarian purchase, which means we went to buy something because we needed it, we got in the store, picked it up and left. Today we go to the mall, sit around, watch music videos and even enjoy (insie the malls) theme parks and waterparks...not to mention restaurants like rainforest cafe. This is all because of competition in a growing society. Still it is important to note that today you make a purchase based on hedonic means rather than utilitarian. A person that says they dont care what they wear still make a purchase in a certain store based on certain demands and needs. And marketing plays a very specific part in this. Why did you choose that shirt over another? is it price, quality, color, fit? Without even knowing it you make a purchase that satisfies you based on your lifestyle, age and style. It is impossible for a person to imagine the amount of work and research that goes into the production of the simple shirt that you wear on your back. It is impossible for a person to realize that the large business from which they purchase their tee shirts know how they eat, sleep, work study and who they hang out with and when they were born and how they feel about their environment.
Also, think about this. This is another thing that people do not understand about fashion. It is all encompassing. Lets say that fine, fashion is the clothes you wear, and lets say you are a person that goes to walmart for all your clothing needs and thus you consider yourself a person who does not consume fashion. In fact, that shirt that you bought went through an incredible journey to get to your hands. A journey that touches everyone in the world and affects our economy and our environment. The journey of the shirt started with the production of the fibers.
Walmart makes cotton tee shirts and cotton is the numebr one water pollutant and its growth, production and manufacture contributes to 60% of the world's water pollution. Did you know that why and how people are becoming more environmentally conscious? Well industries like Walmart are aware of this, in fact, they probably knew this would happen two years before it did. And now they work with GreenSource to produce tee shirts made from only organic cotton. But still, lets say the cotton fibers for your shirt started in South America and they took tons of water to grow, hundreds of bottles of pesticides and herbicides. When the cotton is collected it is turned into a yarn/
This yarn is made in a different country and goes through all types of chemical soaking procedures in order to ensure that it doesnt break as it goes through all the machinery. Then it travels on its way to China where the yarn is weaved, fused or knitted into a textile. This textile is soaked in oils, chemicals and starches in order to ensure its endurance. Then it is dyed and finished with heat, chemical transfers or articificial chemical dyes. The textile is washed with water several times during this process. A factory in Korea buys the textile because a retailer in the US ordered a large amount of tee shirts to be made. For 14 hours a day hundreds of women ages 14-30 work relentlessly to produce several thousand tee shirts for the retailer. The tee shirts are shipped to Canada were they are screen printed and/or a graphic print or logo is applied. The tags are attached in Korea but made in a factory in China. Then the shirt goes to the whilesaler who ships it to the retailer who then puts it on racks for the consumers. The tee shirt is the perfect fit, and color for the consumers even though it took about 8 months to produce.
The shirt that you wear that you claim has nothing to do with fashion, not only saw the whole world and touched the hands of hundreds of people, but it also went through a long process of socio-economic travel to get to you. The tee shirt started at a trend meeting in Paris, where designers all over the world gathered to discuss colors, textiles, innovations in technology and styles. This all happened two year and six months before you saw it in the store. The designers took these trends and went through an 8 step design process that takes them several months to produce a high fashion collection for fashion week. These clothes come out a year ahead. Retailers go to these fashion shows and see trends and ideas that are sellable at mainstream. The fabric, texture, color, and fit for a tee shirt is picked up here and takes 8 months to produce. The tee shirt trickles-down the socio economic levels until it falls into the hands of a retailer like Macy's were it sells very quickly. Wallmart picks up the trend from Macy's and produces this tee shirt for their own store, cheaper quality, and fabric but still that same fashion color that was the biggest hit two years before. And that is were it finds its way into your hands.
You are as much a part of fashion as it is a part of you. And finally fashion is not only a reference to clothing, but also a reference to the process and to style. It includes the study of economics, psychographics, demographis, history, science and technology because it needs to stay ahead. Designers are people that can see and study the future. The succesful designers at least. The machines, factories, oru production methods, advertising, art and history is all connected. When you wake up every morning and decide what to wear that day, you are deciding what you will represent, and what people will think of you, and you decide what you support. You can never forget that what you wear is a part of everything. Fashion is inevitable. It's a basic need, but it is also an emotional need. Psychologists have determined that throughout all the world...the main reason that all of us wear for decoration. That is what we all have in common.