Society as the designer

Designers make the clothes you wear. But, could you be partly responsible for what they are making?

The fashion industry is undoubtably one of creativity and neoteric ability, providing the world with a splash of colour throughout the seasons. Whilst it is obvious that the trend setters are the designers, who throw major events with endless catwalks to showcase their designs, the ingenuity of the fashion industry is often overlooked. While it appears accurate to credit designers on the alluring designs they create, in my opinion the inspiration which fuels such mood boards and designs is much deeper and concentrated in society than is often thought.

From looking at the last century, the history of fashion does not lie. It often appears that whilst designers are being credited for their ‘brain waves’ and ability to reshape culture, it is often the people in society who actually fuel this creativity. The 20s shows the liberation of women which was gained by their yearn for freedom, seeing shorter hemlines and ‘skimpy’ bathing suits. Whilst the catalyst for such a ‘masculine’ style was regarded to be due to the work of the great Coco Chanel, it appears she was influenced by the society of the time and simply escalated such views, rather than single handedly creating them. This demonstrates how society is dictating fashion rather than the other way around.

Such evidence points towards the claim that it is culture which dictates the taste of fashion. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for fashion to dictate the taste of culture and religion. Tyler the Creator, has led the way for the pop culture’s open blasphemy, arguably causing and fuelling an anti Christ generation. His designs consisting of up side down crosses and other anti religious symbolism arguably mirrors the image created by the music industry and has even been said to be the birth of a new culture. This trend has been able to breed, through its popularity encapsulated throughout the media, leaving for consumer demand for such symbols seeing high street chains from Topshop to Primark incorporating such views.

The mass immigration which has hit Britain throughout recent decades too, has had an impact on designers. Whilst religious clothing such as the Burqa are unlikely to catch on to non believers, the concept of morality embedded within such faiths may, have a serious reshape of the way designs are constructed. Whilst it is not considered to be a sin by the majority to show a bit of leg or shoulder, the constant enforcement by religious groups to cover up has made some of us think twice before we choose to wear those bum shorts or that top which looks more like a belt. Designers have responded and this is clear through the collections whereby gone is mini skirt and in is the full length trouser.

The African culture too has had an impact on the fashion industry. With natives covering up in animals skins, it has provided the modern society with a wider range of prints. This cultural impact has changed the prints in the industry and sees culture creating fashion rather than designers creating trends. However, let’s keep certain prints within arms reach in fear of becoming a Kat Slater look alike, (no thanks).

To Top