If you are like me you live and breathe fashion. You are constantly inspired with so many new designs racing through your mind, so many you can't seem to get them all down quick enough at the pace they arrive. You constantly dream of the day your fashions will be on the fashion runway with the lights beaming brightly overhead, the cameras flashing everywhere and the audience being completely mesmerized by your incredible designs. You can't stop thinking of the day you will open a magazine or watch the Oscars and see a famous celebrity in one of your breathtaking designs. Your book shelf is stocked with fashion books and magazines, and you absolutely can't resist visiting textile stores to view all the latest fabrics, decorative beads, rhinestones and trims.
It's this ever present dream of being a successful fashion designer that has you work day and night on your designs in most cases for many years without pay and working a job to pay the pills which is brutal torture, when all you can think about is living and working in fashion.
Famous fashion designers come from all walks of life there is no one system to follow that will have you become the next famous fashion designer. Some have graduated from elite fashion schools and some have never attended fashion school. Some have undertaken a fashion internship with a fashion house and others have made their own designs in their basement. The only elements all these fashion designers have in common is they had an intense passion for fashion, were able to design fashions highly sought after and connected with someone who gave them the opportunity to break into the fashion industry. It is essential in becoming a successful fashion designer you get you and your designs out there as much as possible, as how will anyone know about your fashions if they can't see them?
In getting your fashions out there here are a few things you can do:
1. We are not usually good at everything some of us are great at designing clothes but lack the sewing and pattern making skills. It is here you can partner with someone who shares your passion for fashion and has the skills you lack. It is in the bringing together of different skills you can create a real product that can be showcased.
2. In having a fashion line of 14 outfits you can apply to your local fashion week. In the USA: New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco all have fashion weeks. These fashion weeks attract many editors, journalists and local socialites who will see your fashions and potentially give you the exposure you need to get known.
3. Many city night clubs hold fashion shows, find out what night clubs hold fashion shows and contact them as to how you can be apart of an up and coming show.
4. Locate fashion boutiques that cater to the fashions you design, first make a trip to the stores to look around, if you can see your clothes fitting in well with the store, find out who the owner is and ask if they would be willing to have some of your fashions offered for sale in their store. You will be amazed at how many store owners are willing to work with you. I walked around San Francisco in the Nob Hill district and had my fashions placed after visiting and discussing my product with four boutiques. In having your fashions displayed you will receive valuable insights as to whether or not your designs are in demand and if you need to change your designs to increase sales. It will also give you free exposure to the public. When your fashions do sell you can present this to investors who are more than willing to invest in your line, when you prove the existence of a strong demand for your fashions.
If you are struggling to create your fashions due to the lack of capital, connections or all the skills required, you can visit: http://www.cluehut.com where it's free to create a profile stating what you need and who you are hoping to connect with in achieving your fashion dream. You can also browse and connect with others who like you have created a profile offering opportunities where together you can become a great success in the fashion business.
As fashion and plus size evolve into a recognized and (soon-to-be) respected segment in fashion, so do the idiosyncrasies and nuances of fashion itself, as it pertains to plus size.
You see, ten years ago, plus size only belonged in one lump segment, leaving us fashionistas with very little or if any options for shopping and discerning which pieces were of a "fashionable" standard. However, now, with the amalgamation (yes, I had to use this word) and plethora of fashions within plus size clothing, one could easily find herself lost, frustrated, confused, irritated, or flustered when shopping for an ideal outfit or piece of clothing.
We no longer have "one type" of fashion option for the plus size woman- we have many. However, to better understand and sort through the madness of them all, a budding fashionista must first understand what these newer segments are and learn the identifiers of these to shop smarter, not harder.
No really... WHY?
See, as in the straight- sized market, you will find certain segments within fashion that are grouped together, and for the most part, you know what to expect when shopping from that retailer or specific set of retailers. With the evolution of Plus Size Ready-to-Wear Fashion, the same now holds true. For sake of argument, we will group these segments for plus size fashion as straight sized fashion does to help explain the price discrepancies, size differences, in relation to the integrity and quality of a retailers' or designers' garment. The fashion industry is divided into five segments: haute couture, luxury, contemporary, fast fashion, and discount.
* Haute Couture: Synonymous with "high fashion," haute couture is a derivative of the French term "high sewing." In France, the label "haute couture" is a protected designation. Designers, who attain this elusive and oft coveted title, produce custom-made clothing for the world's most influential and wealthiest.
* Luxury: Pret-a-Porter or "Ready to Wear" is one-step down from Haute Couture relative to price and exclusivity, but still serves a discerning and well to do client.
* Contemporary: This fashion forward segment presents mid-priced fashions both fashion forward and quality driven. Oftentimes, these designers interpret fashions from the couture houses, making these fashions readily accessible.
* Fast Fashion: Quickly produced product in a cost efficient manner, delivering "high fashion looking" garments, at the lowest price possible. Relates to the manner of which items from the runway manufactured predominantly overseas with an extremely efficient turnaround.
* Discount: Usually looked at loss leaders, have quickly adapted to the fast fashion concepts leveraging their consumer's buying power and reputation to fashion exclusive designer collections.
However, the division and classification of what to expect from these segments do not stop there. Please read further into each segment, sans Haute couture, as to understand which designers and brands fall into each classification and what differentiates each one.
Luxury Plus Size Designers
Yes! They do exist! Goods that are of a higher quality and a respective higher price point are the fashion leaders within plus size. Designers such as:
* Anna Scholz
* Cinzia Rocca
* Elena Miro
* Lafayette 148
* Marina Rinaldi
* Peggy Lutz
Are oftentimes carried in either specialty boutiques, specialty department stores such as Saks and Neiman Marcus command, at minimum, a $250 starting point. Expect the finest fabrics, usually imported from overseas, naturally a more conservative cut, with the exception of Anna Scholz and Elena Miro (the only plus size designer to continually show during Milan Fashion Week), impeccably tailored, fully lined, natural fabrics, with exclusivity in feel and wear.
Contemporary Plus Size Designers
Mirroring the contemporary collections represented in Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Saks, contemporary plus size fashion offers the fashion forward plus size woman options tailored to her curves at a moderate price point. These designers such as:
* Amanda Uprichard
* David Meister
* Melissa Masse
* Monif C.
Are often the thoughts leaders, innovators, and risk takers within the plus size fashion segments, as they continually challenge the status quo or the norm in what fashion should be for the discerning plus size woman. This segment's prices usually range from the low $100's and can command up to $500 for more specialty pieces. Quality in these fabrics are only a sidestep lower than their luxury counterparts, introducing innovative blends in fabrics, specific silhouettes inspired by the designer's artistic inspiration, and, like its luxury designers, have more intricate detailing.
Plus Size Fast Fashion Designers
In the light of Forever 21's counterfeit lawsuits, fast fashion has received a tarnished image although fast fashion provides an amiable compliment to its contemporary counterparts. Popular designers in this segment include:
* Faith 21
* Ashley Stewart
* Lane Bryant
With the ability to mass produce up-to-the-minute trends and incredulously low price points, fast fashion provides edgy, often directly inspired from design houses, looks that range from as low as a $10 price point up to a $150 price tag. In order to deliver the trends to the market quickly, the quality, can, at times, be inferior to the luxury and contemporary designers. Expect polyester blends, wool blends, single stitched garments, either a looser silhouette or a variety of shapes that vary from garment to garment. To be worn for the moment, the lifespan of these fast fashion fashions are intended to last for the current season.
Discount Plus Size Designers
Challenging and changing the fashion climate over the last year, discount leaders have created strategic partnerships with Contemporary Designers to bring affordable fashions to the masses. Retailers such as:
* Old Navy
Have collaborated with the likes of Norma Kamali, Just My Size, Pure Energy, and others to bring quality fashion at an affordable retail price. Discount leaders have allowed women an introduction into fashion options rarely seen and experienced. Discount designers serve as an introduction as well as dispel the notion of plus size fashion not being available. Each segment both provides and serves its purpose for the 60% of us plus size women in the ever diversifying industry of plus size fashion. It is important about knowing the differences in these segments so that you know what to expect when shopping a particular designer or retailer. Learning the difference affords you the ease of a headache or frustration when shopping to put your best curve forward.
When the first human being, in Eden or on earth, covered his body with leaves, or later with an animal skin, the fashion industry was founded at that time. Though we are not familiar with the style and attire of that time until the ancient civilizations preserved few images in the solidity of rocks, through cave paintings and through rock-cut sculptures.
Terra Cotta figurines of the oldest Harappan Age show interesting headdresses that can be compared with any modern hairstyle with a heavy look. The Dancing Girl of Mohenjo Daro with bangles in her arms is not behind any fashion sculpt of any age. While no one can deny the allure and glamour of Cleopatra; a woman with great political skills and a long nose, who crafted many fashion styles from jewelry to outfits of the great Egyptian Empire of Scissors.
But fashion is not only associated to women always! In ancient times of Cleopatra, Scissors always wore clothes that were royal, expensive, stylistic, attractive and special. At the same Egyptian soil, the Pharaohs were never behind. The great Biblical Character of Moses, if taken as an Egyptian Prince, was always a portrayed, in tales and later in movies, in a charismatic outfit.
While in the Western part of the globe, the Greeks and Romans not only marked high standards in Art, Architecture, and Warfare, but their unique and intricate concepts of a perfect and godlike human body, especially of males, supported the appealing army uniforms and court-wears.
The supernatural characters of illustrious Greek, Egyptian and Indian Mythologies did provide extraordinary range of apparel; well preserved in the form of painting and sculpture.
These ancient models are still the greatest sources of inspiration for modern day fashion designers and the origins of the evolved form of cultural trends prevailed through continents from Australia to America and from Asia to Africa.
Cultural influences are stronger when we consider the economic aspect of the fashion industry. Business needs market where it can present fresh ideas and products in every new day. Although in this global age, acculturation is very much on. But even then there are many cultural aspects that can instigate or impede certain trends. A colorful bikini is a great fashion market item in Western or secular and modern cultures, but it is almost a taboo in some rigid and fundamental areas. Contrary to that, a veil is popular in fundamental countries, but has no market in secular or modern world. However, so many fashion articles could get the status of cross-cultural ambition. Especially in ornaments, there is not much difference across the globe with exception of little diversity in shape, material and style. Earrings, bracelets, pendants, bangles and rings are always, and everywhere, in fashion since ages having big market scope in all societies and cultures.
On the individual level, fashion is not just a simple word or an uncomplicated attitude, or even an overwhelming desire. Fashion is a multifarious dogma that can influence an individual in many ways.
"As process it is [fashion] sustained through some complex amalgamation of inspiration, imitation and institutionalization, all of which seem necessary, even though the nature and degree of their fusion is, as we can infer from fashion history, quite variable." (Fred Davis. Fashion, Culture and Identity. P. 123)
Therefore, the multifaceted incorporation of fashion, where force an individual at the same time, it also institutionalize itself on many grounds. This institutionalization is not only at the academic level, but due to its capacity of holding an individual, society, or even the whole world has created a huge market for investors.
This feature has made fashion, throughout past decades, an industry with small to bulk product possibility that can be marketed all around the world. It attracted many business tycoons and groups of companies to invest in fashion industry, or to label some of their products as fashion products. This idea initially covered the clothes brand but soon after, it encompassed every utility of everyday life. From earrings to pendants, from watches to glasses, from shoes to wallets, from perfumes to hairstyles, everything was produced and marketed, exported and imported on such a huge scale that it actually influenced the economy of various countries. Apart from the individual fashion, bathroom accessories, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom décor, landscaping of gardens and lawns, furniture, automobiles, electronics or even language accents, everything got under the broad term of fashion. Products singularly and brands collectively helped and polished lifestyle across the continents. So, inevitably fashion market got vitality.
Despite quality, comfort and durability the exclusivity of a product and its luxurious look are the reasons that produce scope for a product to be marketed. That is the market policy of almost every fashion company revolves around these features.
Simultaneously, the marketing and availability of various products have developed the customers' sense of selection and exposure with a comparative buying power. Fashion is not always brand conscious; it is item based as well. Sometime, the need for a particular item may force us to go beyond the brand-range and select something less popular. This is a challenge all the famous brands have to cope with. Ian Griffiths and Nicola White, in their edited work: The Fashion Business- Theory, Practice, Image, commented on item shopping as:
"Item shopping is still very much part of our lives, but market saturation has taken its toll and replacement purchases of core product continue to decline. Added to this is the changing profile of the customer, who, through constant exposure, is becoming wiser, more astute, more confident in mixing products and consequently, likely to be less brand loyal."
The customer satisfaction is very important in the fashion industry; either it is attained by making customer needful for an upcoming product through advertising, or by providing him what he is striving for. The former caused the creative and design department to experiment with new ideas and shapes while the latter forced the quality controlled production with maintained standards.
Modern day fashion is rapid, short lived, more corporate in its structure, and psychological than ever before. Due to better and quick sources of communication and information, the international or external markets are open for every fashion company to do business, multinational companies can be found with variety of products in all the continents with complex network and appropriate marketing policies according to the socio-cultural requirements of a certain country. Especially, when we talk about the couture and cosmetics, contemporary trends are getting more and more cross-cultural due to viewership of various fashion channels on TV. This is far quicker source than the print media. So, the skills and concepts are also crossing the geographical and ideological boundaries of different parts of the world regardless of ethnic rigidity and conventionalism. That is one reason that fashion is also taken as the reflection of the progress in some developing countries. Fred Divis described clothing as a visual metaphor in his compilation; Fashion, Culture and Identity:
"As visual metaphor the clothing that is dress (one should perhaps distinguish between the two) is capable of communicating many things including something as subtle, for example, as the wearer's reflexive awareness..."
This is what has made fashion companies responsible for customer care at the same time, when they were thinking to be profitable. You can find friendly policies of such companies towards its employees, suppliers and customers. Together with the advertising campaigns, Fashion Weeks with new designs and colors, serve additionally to promote new concepts. These Fashion Weeks not only display an array of new products, but also serve to communicate with the audience visually. Dresses and accessories worn by models doing catwalk, are more lively and enthralling than the mere display on mannequins. Normally with a range of Fall, Spring, Summer and Winter collection, Fashion Weeks boost market demands and promote its associated businesses as well. Fashion Shows now have become cultural events which are happily sponsored by the corporate sector.
At modern day fashion companies, there is an underlying and long standing commitment to ethical trading, based upon the belief, that business can be both profitable and responsible. So, fashion companies believe that building meaningful long term relationships with employees, suppliers and communities is good business practice for them and is what the customers expect popular brands. This is, and always has been, the founding principle of different brands as Corporate-Social responsibility.
Fashion is not only a phenomenon for luxurious life, but this concept deals with humanity as well. True meaning of fashion is to put life at ease and to facilitate humanity with its respective life style. That is why, modern fashion companies are conscious for the fact of supporting special people of society with special needs. This phenomenon is causing fashion to be responsive towards special people.
Therefore, the market and its demands may vary from community to community. For example, the range may get different in a London store in comparison with the variety at a Singapore or China store. No doubt, in the modern world, 'East meets West' but climate, culture, sociology and psychological needs can force fashion designers and companies to provide a vast canvas for the diversity of customers worldwide. But there are few items that are evergreen. Jeans and Bags are such commodities that are always in demand and ask for the latest styles and comfort at the same time.
Modern day fashion is global, human, culture and society friendly. At one end it emphasizes collective psychology and trends of a society, and at the other end, it deals with the individual needs of customer care. Healthy trends, balanced life, and busy lifestyle are, what the modern fashion companies have to consider deeply. It is no more a matter of looking good and attractive, true fashion and accessories join comfort and trend together. Fashion companies are somehow, have become institutes that are shaping behaviors, psychology and healthy and innovative thinking. The concept of being relaxed and making others too, by wearing good looking, comfortable, trendy and eye-catching outfits in soothing or energetic colors, is the order of the modern day.
Creative sensational from different parts of the world taking style, beauty and definition of fashion to its edge, promotional linchpin of a multibillion-dollar industry, I am talking about nothing else but Fashion Weeks. Fashion weeks are hallmarks of fashion industry to rollout the new season feel in fashion. They generally last up to a week allowing fashion designers, artists and fashion houses to display their latest collection. It hallmarks next seasons in things, that's why it is very important for buyers, media, celebrities and entertainment industry who take that fashion among the general public.
The most famous fashion weeks are held at Fashion Mecca Paris, Milan, London and New York. Since the new millennium fashion weeks are held in different parts of the world to put the local fashion on the world map and making a packed fashion calendar throughout the year. A refreshing sense of national identity and pride has emerged from the achievements of fashion sector - something that was otherwise traditionally been restricted to feats of sporting prowess, adding that its benefits go well beyond the fashion world (Emling 2006).
Fashion weeks are held several months in advance giving chance to designers, media and buyers to preview the trend for the next season. Fashion weeks are bi-annual events; the fashion weeks conducted between January and March are called "fall fashion weeks" whereas the one conducted in September through November are called "Spring Fashion Weeks". Some fashion weeks can be genre-specific, such as a Miami Fashion Week (Swimwear), Prêt-a-Porter (ready-to-wear) Fashion Week, Couture (one-of-a-kind designer original) Fashion Week, Palm Springs Fashion Week (Resort Collections) and Bridal Fashion Week.
Omission of fashion week history would be curious at this point of time. Let me throw some light on that. Edna Woodman Chase--former editor of Vogue organized "Fashion Fete," in 1914 to benefit the war-relief effort which is often apocryphally called the first fashion show ever. By the 1920s, the fashion show had gone mainstream. Early shows were often more theatrical than those of today.
It's a fashionista's worst experience, even worse than looking oversize buddy, more degrading than wearing the same dress in another party -- it's the fear of symbolizing looking yesteryear fashion trend model.
Sometimes, fashion trends is considered as fads, are disreputably erratic. The fashion industry players are always on the quest to bring up something "NEW" & "HOT".
What is Fashion Trend?
Trend is the lead in which something new evolving, mostly leaning, penchant and line of growth. Hence, fashion trend is the latest evolvement of the fashion industry.
What is Fashion Trend Really About?
Your closet can give the answer. If you don't want to look at it, well.well. this resembles that you are matching your steps with the latest fashion trends. What it's relation to fashion? People stick rigidly to the rules - okay, maybe not 'YOU'. You may be one of those who walk their own way and dress as they like. When it comes to the fashion industry, it's a continuously changing world. Even though some trends are considered as ludicrous and outdated, many other comebacks with innovative ideas.
Pace and Re-emergence of Latest Fashion Trends
Now its new millennium, but most of fashion things like the pegged pant legs, jelly bracelets, and finally the denim jeans, seem to be returning in trends again. It comes out that the latest fashion trends are simply have nothing new at all. Almost everything re-emerged in fashion trend. You can virtually find torn jeans in every clothing retail store.
Who decides What's 'Hot' and 'Not' in Fashion Trends
There is no existence of specific group who declares what is hot fashion trend or not. In fact, the fashion designers and consumers who buys-out the fashion merchandise make their judgment and throw several opinions out there and observe what is grabbed.
Basically, 'WE', the consumer decide which merchandise is hot by making our minds what to purchase and wear.
The Fashion Trend Cycle
First part of the cycle, where the trend is highly hunted immediately after seeing that great fashionable hat, dress or shoe on the runway, red carpet or music video. Next, comes the emulation phase, where everyone wants a piece of the trend. Only big shots, celebrities and fashion industry players have approach to latest fashion right off the runway, which yet not showed up in retail stores.
During second phase, this newbie will appear in news papers, fashion magazines, TV and internet. At last, the trend will be soaked in the market, commonly at bit lower cost.
In the second phase new merchandise is available in bit expensive designer collections. It is only the third phase, where the merchandise is available to the mass market at affordable cost for most buyers.
The major part of over all mass will purchase it somewhere between second and third phase.
Before two or three decades it might have taken a some rears to make it from runway to mass market, however, nowadays producers have put the fashion cycle into rapid speed. Now, a hot trend often makes it appearance in low cost or discount retail store in as little as a few days or months.
In & Out of Fashion Trend
Reasonably priced fashionable clothing is a double-edged sword that make possible to buy fashionable looks at real-life budgets, at the same time leads to abolish the trend rapidly. However, when the market is completely saturated with a same monotonous trend it loses its appeal.
So how we can assume that how long a fashion trend will last? Let us find out:
Generally, most fashion trends last nearly one year, but some trends, usually the acceptable, last much longer. It is considered that normally fashion trends re-emerge nearly every twenty years. Hence, the minis skirts of the 80s are back in trends again.
The key to assume that how long a trend will last depends on from when you bought the collection. If you bought when the knock-off or discounts are going at retail store, then the count for the trend last not more one or two seasons. Fashion industry normally dumps together two seasons together, Spring and Summer, Fall and Winter, which provides you about six months to wear before it seems looks outdated.
In fact it is not specified that how long a fashion trend will last, you can put money on the just fads such as jeans, Uggs, hats etc... It doesn't signify that you might not get fun in purchasing them. They are the evergreen items you would like to purchase any time.
Purchasing power can keep a trend on oxygen. In some cases people love particular trends so much they wouldn't let it die.
The safeguard against rapidly changing fashion trends is to have a clothing line stocked with more traditional looks: T-shirts, jeans, and black dresses.
The notion that trends in fashion take part in a phenomenon known as the trickle down effect has long been recognised by fashion pundits. A process of social emulation of society's upper echelons by the subordinates provides myriad incentives for perpetual and incessant changes in fashion through a sequence of novelty and imitation. Dior's 'New Look' of 1947 consisted of creations that were only affordable to a minority of affluent women of the time. Fashion was governed by haute-couture designers and presented to the masses to aspire toward. However, this traditional prospective has been vigorously challenged by many throughout the fashion world. Revisionist observations have introduced a paradoxical argument that fashion trends have, on numerous occasions, inadvertently emerged from the more obscure spheres of society onto the glamorous catwalks of high-fashion designers.
These styles can originate from a range of unorthodox sources, from leather-jacketed punks and dramatic Goths, the teddy boys of the 1950s, to ethnic minority cultures from all edges of the globe. Styles that emerge from the bottom of the social hierarchy are increasingly bubbling up to become the status of high fashion. There has been significant concern over the implications of this so-called bubble-up effect, such as the ambiguity between the notions of flattering imitation and outright exploitation of subcultures and minority groups. Democratization and globalisation of fashion has contributed to the abrasion of the authenticity and original identity of street-style culture. The inadvertent massification of maverick ideas undermines the 'street value' of the fashions for the very people who originally created them.
The underlying definition of subculture, with regards to anthropology and sociology, is a group of people who differentiates from the larger prevailing culture surrounding them. Members of a subculture have their own shared values and conventions, tending to oppose mainstream culture, for example in fashion and music tastes. Gelder proposed several principal characteristics that subcultures portrayed in general: negative relations to work and class, association with their own territory, living in non-domestic habitats, profligate sense of stylistic exaggeration, and stubborn refusal of massification. Hebdige emphasised that the opposition by subcultures to conform to standard societal values has been slated as a negative trait, where in fact the misunderstood groups are only attempting to find their own identity and meaning. The divergence away from social normalcy has unsurprisingly proliferated new ideas and styles, and this can be distinctly observed through the existence of fashion diversity. Ethnicity, race, class and gender can be physical distinctions of subcultures. Furthermore, qualities which determine a subculture may be aesthetic, linguistic, sexual, political, religious, or a mixture of these factors.
Sigmund Freud and his nephew Edward Bernays investigated the drivers of social control and the engineering of consent. Their psychological theories provide insight into the causes of deviation, by members of a subculture, from social norms. They highlighted the irrationality of human beings and discovered that by tapping into their deepest desires, it is possible to manipulate unconscious minds in order to manage society. Freud believed that stimulating the unconscious was crucial to creating desire, and therefore is conducive to economic progress and mass democracy. Bernays argued that individual freedom was unattainable because it would be "too dangerous to allow human beings to truly express themselves". Through various methods of advertising, a distinctive 'majority' can be created in society, where a person belonging to this group is perceived to be normal, conventional and conformist. By using techniques to satisfy people's inner desires, the rise of widespread consumerism plays a part in the organized manipulation of the masses. However, through the unleashing of certain uncontrolled aggressive instincts, occasional irrationality emerged in groups, and this repudiation of the banalities of ordinary life is believed to be a key factor in the generation of subcultures.
The expansion of youth styles from subcultures into the fashion market is a real network or infrastructure of new kinds of commercial and economic institutions. The creation of new and startling styles will be inextricably linked to a process of production and publicity inevitably leading to the diffusion and spread of the subversive subculture trends. For example, both mod and punk innovations have become incorporated into high and mainstream fashion after the initial low-key emergence of such styles. The complexities of society perpetuate continuous change in style and taste, with different classes or groups prevailing during certain periods of time. To deal with the question of which is the most influential source of fashion, it is necessary to consider distribution of power. It is not the same for all classes to have access to the means by which ideas are disseminated in our society, principally the mass media. In history, the elites have had greater power to prescribe meaning and dictate what is to be defined as normality.
Trickling down to shape the views of the substantial passive parts of the population, designers from high places were able to set trends that diffused from the upper to lower spectrum of society. Subcultures, it was suggested, go against nature and are subject to abhorrence and disapproval by followers of mainstream trends. Regrettably, criminal gangs, homeless subcultures and reckless skateboarders, among other 'negative' portrayals of subcultures have been accused of dragging down the image of other 'positive' subcultures which demonstrate creativity and inspiration. There is an unstable relationship between socialising and de-socialising forces. Nevertheless, German philosopher Kant observed that actual social life should and always will consist of in some way its own opposite asocial life, which he described as "unsociable sociality".
Without doubt, fashion exhibits a dichotomy of conformity and differentiation, with contradictory groups aspiring to fit in and stand out from a crowd. Previously, the pace of change that fashion went through has spawned social emulation, a phenomenon whereby subordinate groups follow a process of imitation of the fashion tastes adopted by the upper echelons of society. Veblen, a Norwegian-American sociologist and economist, criticized in detail the rise of consumerism, especially the notion of conspicuous consumption, initiated by people of high status. Another influential sociologist Georg Simmel, classified two basic human instincts - the impetus to imitate one's neighbours, and conversely, the individualistic behaviour of distinguishing oneself.
Simmel indicated the tendency towards social equalization with the desire for individual differentiation and change. Indeed, to elucidate Simmel's theory of distinction versus imitation, the distinctiveness of subcultures in the early stages of a set fashion assures for its destruction as the fashion spreads. An idea or a custom has its optimal innovative intensity when it is constrained to a small clandestine group. After the original symbolic value of the idea has been exploited by commercialisation and accepted as a part of mass culture, the balance will have a tendency to tip towards imitation over distinction. An example of the imitation of a distinctive subculture is the evolution of blue jeans, which originating from humble American cowboys and gold-miners, demonstrate a bubble-up effect of a subculture. On a larger scale, it can be said that Western style dressing 'bubbled-up' from 19th Century Quaker's attire, rather than 'trickling down' from the styles of Court aristocracy.
Simmel describes fashion as a process by which the society consolidates itself by reintegrating what disrupts it. The existence of fashion requires that some members of society must be perceived as superior or inferior. From economist Harvey Leibenstein's perspective, fashion is a market constituted of 'snobs'. The phenomenon of 'snob-demand' depicts consumers as snobs who will stop buying a product when the price drops too much. The trickle down effect has been related to a 'band-wagon effect' where the turnovers of a product are particularly high as a result of imitation. Every economic choice is bound not only to the pure computational rationality of individuals, but is influenced by irrational factors, such social imitation, contrary to what Simmel calls the 'need for distinction'. However, a 'reverse bandwagon effect' acts as an opposing force when a snobbish consumer stops buying a product because too many others are buying it as well. The resultant force depends on the relative intensity of the two forces.
Subcultures have often endured a less than agreeable relationship with the mainstream as a result of exploitation and cultural appropriation. This often leads to the demise or evolution of a particular subculture once the originally novel ideas have been commercially popularised to an extent where the ideologies of the subculture have lost their fundamental connotations. The insatiable commercial hunger for new trends instigated the counterfeiting of subculture fashion, unjustifiably used on the sophisticated catwalks in fashion dictatorships of Paris, Milan and New York. It is not purely sartorial fashion but also music subcultures that are particularly vulnerable to the massification process. Certain types of music like jazz, punk, hip hop and rave were only listened to by minority groups at the initial stages of its history.
Events in history have had substantial impacts on the rise, development and evolution of subcultures. The First World War had an impact on men's hairstyles as lice and fleas were ubiquitous in wartime trenches. Those with shaved heads were presumed to have served at the Front while those with long hair were branded cowards, deserters, and pacifists. During the 1920s, standard social etiquettes were discarded by certain youth subcultures, as drink, drugs and jazz infiltrated America, intensified by the alcohol prohibition of the time. A crime subculture emerged as smugglers discovered profit opportunities with Mexican and Cuban drug plantations. The Great Depression of the late 20s in North America caused pervasive poverty and unemployment. Consequently, a significant number of adolescents discovered identity and expression through urban youth gangs, such as the 'dead end kids'.
Existentialists like Camus and Sartre also played a significant part in influencing the subcultures of the 1950s and 60s. Emphasis on freedom of the individual created a version of existential bohemianism resembling the beat generation. This subculture represented a version of bohemian hedonism; McClure declares that "non-conformity and spontaneous creativity were crucial". In literature, Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" depicted the economic hardship of these times. Initially burned and banned to American citizens, condemned as communist propaganda, this book was given the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962. It only took a few decades for the previously socially unacceptable book to diffuse into mainstream culture.
The popularisation of folk and cowboy songs led to their unique underlying patterns being mixed with elements of jazz, blues and soul, creating a new subculture of western swing. Technological progress facilitated "instantaneous mass media creating large subcultures from the ideas of a range of smaller subcultures". Accordingly, a bubble-up effect can be seen where, through a process of innovation and diffusion, original ideas can spread into mass culture.
The process of integration has a potential to lead to the polarisation of warring subcultures, contributing to social disorganization. Shaw and Mckay assessed that although their data is not sufficient to determine "the extent to which membership in delinquent gangs produces delinquency", membership is probably a contributing factor. They use the term 'differential social organisation' to depict how subculture formation is a result of broader economic and demographic forces that undermine conventional local institutions of control.
The institution of the family is weakened by these forces, and as a result, alternatives to the traditional family have arisen as various subcultures. Ethan Watters elucidated this social trend in his book defining urban tribes as "groups of never-married's between the ages of 25 and 45 who gather in common-interest groups and enjoy an urban lifestyle". Analysis of the long term perspective of street trends reveal that youth trends bubble-up every five to ten years, and that individualism, anarchy and self-realization, are universal in these trends.
In the process of bubbling up, there are two important concepts to consider, that of 'diffusion' and 'defusion'. Fashion diffusion focuses on the individual and the crowd, particularly in this case the spreading of fashion in a systematic way from small scale to large scale institutions. It highlights the idea that fashion innovation and creativity drawn from subcultures are integrated into mass culture. In the process, non-conformist fashion may be subject to defusion, a diluting of the fundamental intrinsic meaning of the original subculture. The commercialisation of fashion is especially central to the danger of decontextualisation of trend origins. For example, the wearing of ripped jeans, an accepted form of attire nowadays, does not necessarily relate to the image of 'hippies' in modern times. The concept of identity and its modifications and transformations after a period of time should be carefully considered.
Analysis of street style is another fundamental aspect in determining the extent of a bubble-up effect in fashion. It is an idea that opposes the view that high fashion has given way to popular culture. Polhemus proposed that "styles which start life on the street corner have a way of ending up on the backs of top models on the world's most prestigious fashion catwalks". Prior to this new train of thought, the predominant view was that new looks began with couture and 'trickle down' to the mass market mainline fashion industry. Polhemus suggested that the evidence he found gave insight to a chain of events; initially genuine street innovation appears, followed by the featuring in mass media, such as magazines or television programmes, of street kids. In time, the ritzy version of the original idea makes an appearance, as a part of a top designer's collection.
Polhemus identified two basic street-styles involving dressing up or dressing down. Those from a relatively affluent sector of society, such as the Beatniks and Hippies developed a penchant for the latter, preferring to descend down the socio-economic ladder in the interest of authenticity. Nowadays, the variety of attire seen on streets and nightclubs show that culture is no longer only a prerogative of the upper class. Although, the creatively democratic society that we progress towards optimizes fashion innovation, cynics of the bubble-up effect, such as Johnny Stuart, condemned in his book on rockers, "the fancy fashionable versions of the Perfecto which you see all over the place, dilute the significance, taking away its original magic, castrating it".
Social crises of the 1950s and 1970s brought about new ideological constructions in response to the worsening economy, scarcity of jobs, loss of community, and the failure of consumerism to satisfy real needs. Racism became a solution to the problems of working-class life. Such periods of social turmoil resulted in fashion defusion, with many subcultures becoming increasingly detached from their foundation symbolisms. The connotations of the attire of the teddy boys during the 1970s bore little resemblance to the style of 1956. The original narcissistic upper-class style was somewhat irrevocably lost in a wave of 'second generation teds' that preferred fidelity to the classic 'bad-boy' stereotypes. The concept of specificity, subcultures responding to circumstances at distinctive moments in history, is depicted as vital to the study of subcultures.
Therefore the resultant mass-consumed item may draw distance from the emblem of the original subculture, attainable to all who can afford it. The loss of identity may prove to be a serious problem as subcultures may feel exploited, estranged and meaningless without a sense of belonging. Subcultures established a sense of community to certain individuals during a new post-war age that witnessed the deterioration of traditional social groupings. Polhemus claims that subcultures like Teddy Boys, Mods, Rockers, Skinheads, Rockabillies, Hipsters, Surfers, Hippies, Rastafarians, Headbangers, Goths, etc, as "social phenomenon style tribes cannot be dismissed as something transitory". Known as the Kogal phenomenon, a subculture emerged where groups of young girls between the ages of 15 and 18 appeared on the streets of Tokyo with long dyed-brown or bleached-blond hair, tanned skin, heavy makeup, brightly coloured miniskirts or short pants that flare out at the bottom, and high platform boots.
'Field' has become more appropriate in the analysis of fashion changes. People engaged in similar lifestyles with intrinsically similar cultural capital, i.e. nationality, profession, family and friends form group identities interacting with others in the same 'field'. This has been an important contributing factor to the birth of subcultures.The anachronistic belief that class was a determinant of fashion has reduced significantly, as confirmed by Bauman, who proposed the idea of 'liquid society', where fashion exists in a more flexible and malleable state.
A particular phenomenon of recent times, subject to both a trickle-down and a bubble-up effect of varying degrees, is the democratization and globalization of fashion. There has been an emergence of 'prêt-a-porter' invented by John Claude Weill in 1949. This development has increased the speed and diffusion of fashion trends across the world, which amplified the culture of fast fashion, massification and global standardisation. Standardised factory-made prêt-a-porter clothes, of which 'wearability' is crucial, sometimes descend from places of high fashion, for example inspired from couture. Designers such as Poiret, Dior and Lacroix produce a ready-to-wear line alongside their haute couture collection to take advantage of a wider market. Nevertheless, its mass-produced industrial nature detracts away from the exclusivity of traditional couture.
By 1930, couturiers like Schiaparelli, Delauney, and Patou began to design their own ready-to-wear boutiques, understanding the new emerging system of fashion whereby the moment that people stop copying you, it means that you are no longer any good. The democratization of couture disallowed it to sustain its elitist nature and therefore haute couture was beginning to accept that fashion was about emulation. Nevertheless, attire was not entirely uniform and equalised. Subtle nuances continued to mark social distinctions but mitigated the upper class penchant for conspicuous consumption.
Democratising fashion came hand in hand with a 'disunification' of feminine attire, which varied more in form and became less homogeneous. The fundamental attraction of making profit inspired innovation in styles and a perpetual search for lower costs through efficient industrial manufacturing. Institutions were evolving to an extent that the pretentious elitist sectors diminished in favour of universal mass production. The end of the Second World War brought about increased demand for fashion, encouraged by films and magazines of the time and the take off of global advertising campaigns, i.e. Levi's, Rodier, Benetton, Naf-Naf, etc, highlighting the need for high standards of living, well-being and hedonistic mass culture. It is the globalisation and rapidity of fashion movements, as Kawamura amply discussed, that underline the fact that "fast-changing tastes of consumers are matched only by the cleverness of the department store that identifies trendsetters among young consumers and feeds their knowledge into the production cycle".
It is impossible to conduct discourse in fashion without associating it with change, unpredictability and a high degree of uncertainty. It is very difficult to distinguish which goods will be adorned by the mass population and which trends will be instantaneously rejected. In general, industries need economic capital and political solidarity to function but these institutions are particularly difficult to uphold in the aesthetic industry. A paradox exists in that while on a superficial level everyone associates fashion with change, the underlying forces value stability. They argue that it is not possible to speak of one single fashion, but rather of different fashions existing at the same time. This is especially the case for an intrinsically fast-paced, competitive and fragmented industry. A bubble-up effect is inherent to a globalised fashion world, and the upward flow of fashion stemming from various subcultures contributes abundantly to this process.
Picking one out of many fashion jobs generally is an overwhelming challenge. There are several different opportunities in the fashion industry that you might not be sure which one is best for you. With the high demand for fashion jobs, you need to be sure of what it is that you want to do so you can get started on pursuing your dream in this competitive industry. Below you will find descriptions for several fashion jobs and, subsequently, be one step closer to establishing your career in the fashion industry.
1. Fashion Designer
Thanks to shows like Project Runway, there are many people whose curiosity has been rose towards the fashion industry, exclusively, fashion design. A career as a fashion designer seems extravagant and rewarding but it takes a whole lot of work. A fashion designer must be well-informed of the latest trends (and sometimes even be ahead of them) and have the creativity to conceptualize new designs. A fashion designer creates sketches, whether by hand or with computer-aided design (CAD) software, of their designs and must be familiar with fabrics and materials in order to create samples that show what the final product would look like. As a fashion designer you can specialize in clothing design, footwear or accessories. Fashion jobs like that of a fashion designer are prolonged with grueling hours of intensive work and lots of traveling if you want to promote your designs. Fashion designers work under pressure to meet deadlines and make an impression on fashion buyers and other potential clients. As a fashion designer you would need not only talent and creativity but also thick skin and dedication.
2. Fashion Merchandising
Fashion jobs in merchandising can be very challenging. A fashion merchandiser must know what consumers really want, how to present it to them, what they want to pay for it and how to lure them to purchase. A fashion merchandiser is not just an expert in fashion but must also have strong business, financial and advertising skills. As a fashion designer you might find yourself creating budgets, tracking profits and losses, tracking inventory, developing marketing strategies and even putting together creative visual displays to draw in consumers. It's a career that entails many different roles but also has many opportunities to grow and advance in.
3. Fashion Buyer
Fashion buyers are among the most crucial people for brands and companies. They must have good communication skills, be aggressive, organized and driven. As a fashion buyer you work hand in hand with designers, merchandisers and other key people to select what pieces to present to consumers and ensure that best-sellers are continually available. Buyers must be mindful of both current and future trends so they can make the right choices of clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. to ensure high profits. Working with suppliers to negotiate prices suggests that a fashion buyer must have good interpersonal skills, be educated in market costs and also in consumer demands. Fashion buyers must be ready to work under pressure, travel and research and analyze in order to make practical decisions on what products to offer their target customer base.
4. Fashion Director
Fashion directors, also known as creative directors or fashion coordinators, are in charge of the image and look of a store, magazine or a fashion house. They are accountable for that first impression given when people look at ad campaigns, shoots and even fashion films. A fashion director must make sure that the models, photographers, location and concepts characterize the store, brand, or magazine in the best and most genuine way. One of the most well known creative directors in the industry is Grace Coddington who, alongside Anna Wintour and other industry professionals, are a part of American Vogue. In the documentary "The September Issue" we are able to see Coddington showing us her best work and the steps she takes to produce the magnificent spreads in Vogue. Now, don't think it will be a snap landing one of these fashion jobs. Be prepared for long hours of work, creative stumps, frequent traveling, crazy deadlines, and being willing to go back to the drawing board time and time again. Remember, as a fashion director you are responsible for the image of a brand; you produce something that the whole world will see. People will base their opinions on what you present to them. As one of the top fashion jobs in the industry, the pressure is on!
Fashion Jobs - The List Goes On
5. Fashion Forecaster
Probably one of the highest ranking careers in the fashion industry, fashion forecasters do just that, forecast the future trends and styles. This is much more sophisticated than forecasting the weather. Not only does a fashion forecaster need to have in depth knowledge of fashion but he or she must also be creative and surely have the skills necessary to research and analyze potential trends, colors, fabrics and patterns. Fashion forecasters seek inspiration in everything from movies, music, even science and technology. Getting a position as a fashion forecaster is one of the most prestigious of all fashion jobs you could aspire to.
6. Fashion Stylist
A fashion stylist has the easy (or is it?) task of making someone look good. A stylist must be familiar with what colors, fabrics and styles work best to flatter someone's shape while also knowing ways to accessorize and finish the perfect outfit. Fashion stylists are responsible for picking the best pieces for photoshoots, events, etc. and putting them together for the final product. A stylist's reputation lies on how good the client looks and, in the case of ad campaigns, whether or not the stylist can communicate the image and vision of a product. Don't be surprised if, as a fashion stylist, you find yourself traveling for motivation or shopping for clothing, or even spending a day (or a few) revamping a client's closet. Finding fashion jobs for stylists can be as uncomplicated as working as a personal shopper or styling photo shoots for websites or local magazines or newspapers.
7. Fashion Photographer
It's not just about knowing just how to take a good picture. Fashion photographers basically have two fields to be good at: fashion and photography. The photography part consists of knowing what angles, lighting, etc. As far as the fashion, photographers really need to be experts in that as well. A fashion photographer should always know what the best trends are, top designers, top fashion events and any other heavy hitter aspects of the industry. Fashion jobs in this field can consist of taking pictures for model portfolios, ad campaigns, and fashion shows. Fashion photographers are responsible for producing a shot that requires excellent technical skills and extensive fashion knowledge. For example, when a fashion photographer goes to shoot at a fashion show he or she must know exactly when to snap the shot of that model wearing the flowing dress. The picture must showcase how the fabric moves and flows instead of displaying a dress that falls limp and drags on the floor. A fashion photographer works hand in hand with stylists, makeup artists and models to ensure that the final product is efficient in sending a visual message.
8. Fashion Editor
Fashion editors supervise the direction of a fashion publication, website and other media. They are in charge for editing a fashion writer's work, making suggestions, and researching the possibilities of future stories. Fashion writers must be aware of trends and classics to assure that coverage is provided for the target audience. A fashion editor works under the pressure of meeting deadlines, supervising writers, discovering features and fresh ideas all while staying current on the industry and scanning the levels of competition. Some of the qualities necessary for one of these fashion jobs are being organized, punctual, able to communicate verbally and have impeccable writing and journalistic skills. Being one of the most competitive fashion jobs in the industry, a fashion editor should be ready to put some hard work in and spend long nights brewing up excellent, creative content.
9. Fashion Writer
Being a fashion writer is not as easy as picking up a pen and paper (or laptop, tablet, etc.) but includes extensive amounts of research. Fashion writers must be current on their knowledge of fashion and creative when drumming up writing ideas. Of course, outstanding writing skills are a must and meeting deadlines are also fundamental in this career. Fashion writers can execute interviews, cover fashion events and supply reviews of products. You have a choice of working as a freelance writer, with television shows, websites, blogs, smaller publications like local magazines and newspapers or with major publications such as Vogue or Elle, among others. This is one of those fashion jobs where you can find many opportunities and can be fairly simple to get started.
10. Fashion PR (Fashion Public Relations)
Creating a good consumer opinion is of the utmost importance for this fashion job. Where advertising and marketing can create a consumer desire to purchase a certain fashion item, public relations handles the image in its relation to the public eye. Public opinion can gauge the success and longevity of a company. Out of all the fashion jobs mentioned, fashion pr is the piece that ties it all together.
Fashion Jobs that Require WORK!
Whatever one of these fashion jobs you determine to make your career, remember that in such a reasonably competitive industry it's important to put in a lot of hard work and to be determined. All employers look for something that make their next hire special and capable of making their publication, line, show, or website shine amongst the rest. What is it that you have to offer that others don't have? How motivated are you? Tell us, which one of these fashion jobs appeal to you the most?