By Victoire Galtier
Fashion refers to the styles of clothing that are currently popular. Always evolving and changing. In the 21st century, style trends of the fashion industry dominate the world more than ever before. Trends influence not only the way people dress, but also one’s choices in home decor, the makeup they purchase, and, in general, people’s overall attitudes toward life: “Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes,” says Diana Vreeland. It is amazing to see how the different events in history have influenced and changed the way people have dressed throughout the latter half of the 20th century and into the 21st.
Indeed, trends in fashion unify people around the world, yet they still allow people the ability to portray their own individual style at the same time. Fashion can change from one second to the next, but what never changes is the hold fashion has over society, and the role it plays in the modern world. During the 1960s women would burn their bras and go bra-less to fight for equal rights, an era known as the “free love era”.
At this time, flower power did not only mean flares and tunics, it also summed up the whole attitude of a generation, and this is even more prominent today. During the 1980s, sweaters and leather dresses were worn very tightly to show off body features. Also seen on women around this time were halter tops with a shirt that could be tied in a knot to show off the mid-drift.
At the end of the 20th century, fashion had taken a spin. The colours became loud along with a change in fabrics and new cuts. The pattern schemes were extreme: changing from classy to sassy. Hair styles became more advanced, changing from long curly hair, to layered, shorter hair and the up-dos took effect.
Today, fashion is bold and daring, reflecting a rebellious generation that is not afraid to say what they think, or wear what they want. Fashion is not just a means of clothing your body, it is the essence of your personality and beliefs. Some of the most popular fashion trends are classic: they can stand the test of time and hardly ever “go out of style”, only experiencing minor changes to keep up with the bolder trends: “There is nothing new except what has been forgotten,” says Rose Bertin. Other clothing items could be considered “fads”, styles that are only popular for a short season and then never worn again. Often, certain fashion trends are dependent on the tastes of particular groups of people or cliques and are usually associated with social status or cultural preferences like the type of music a person likes. Clothes can represent tradition and every nation has special costumes that show of their values and beliefs. “I think fashion is evolving through periods. It depends on a lot of things: the weather, the culture, the country, the century. Everything can influence fashion and fashion can influence everything,” says Anastasia Frilley.
Fashion trends are influenced by many factors from global position to the age of those that wear them but the influences can be felt all around the world and no one knows what the fashion industry of tomorrow will look like; we can just hope that it will be something that will surely remain in history, in the good way.
Speaking of influential factors affecting fashion trends, we can look to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic and its impact on fashion, one of which is the mask:
Originally intended to protect us against the Covid-19, the mask quickly became a trend with the arrival of many models. Tutorials are emerging on social networks to create a white or colourful mask with flowers or other patterns.
In Japan, the mask was already part of the culture long before the pandemic, for reasons of hygiene. Either way, fashion, and above all haute couture, is inspired by events and history. It is therefore likely that in the years or months to come, more and more masks will emerge in the collections. As we all know, the mask is primarily for health purposes, and therefore has no aesthetic value. However, if Covid-19 is part of our daily life and becomes normal, it can quickly become a form of social differentiation.