fashion

THE ROLE AND INFLUENCE OF THE FASHION INDUSTRY

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Schermata 2015-01-11 alle 17.03.01 

THE ROLE AND INFLUENCE OF THE

FASHION INDUSTRY

Fashion is a popular style or practice, especially in clothing, footwear, accessories, make-up, body piercing, or furniture. Fashion is a distinctive and often habitual trend in the style in which a person dresses. It is the prevailing styles in behavior and the newest creations of textile designers. The more technical term costume has become so linked to the term “fashion” that the use of the former has been relegated to special senses like fancy dress or masquerade wear, while “fashion” means clothing more generally, including the study of it. Although aspects of fashion can be feminine or masculine, some trends are androgynous.

Early Western travelers, whether to Persia, Turkey, India or China, frequently remarked on the absence of change in fashion there, and observers from these other cultures commented on the unseemly pace of Western fashion, which many felt suggested instability and a lack of order in Western culture.  There is considerable evidence in Ming, China of rapidly changing fashions in Chinese clothing. Changes in costume often took place at times of economic or social change, as occurred in ancient Rome, and the medieval Caliphate, but then a long period without major changes would follow.   Similar changes in fashion occurred in the 11th century in the Middle East following the arrival of the Turks who introduced clothing styles from Central Asia and the Far East.

The beginning in Europe of continual and increasingly rapid change in clothing styles can be reliably dated. Historians date the start of Western fashion in clothing to the middle of the 14th century. The most dramatic early change in fashion was a sudden drastic shortening and tightening of the male over-garment from calf-length to barely covering the buttocks, sometimes accompanied with stuffing in the chest to make it look bigger. This created the distinctive Western outline of a tailored top worn over leggings or trousers.

The pace of change accelerated considerably in the following century, and women and men’s fashion, especially in the dressing and adorning of the hair, became equally complex. Art historians are able to use fashion with confidence and precision to date images, often to within five years, particularly in the case of images from the 15th century. Initially, changes in fashion led to a fragmentation across the upper classes of Europe of what had previously been a very similar style of dressing and the subsequent development of distinctive national styles. These national styles remained very different until a counter-movement in the 17th to 18th centuries imposed similar styles once again, mostly originating from Ancient Regime France. Though the rich usually led fashion, the increasing affluence of early modern Europe led to the bourgeoisie and even peasants following trends at a distance, but still uncomfortably close for the .

In the 16th century national differences were at their most pronounced. Albrecht Durer illustrated the differences in his contrast of Nuremberg and Venetian fashions at the close of the 15th century. The “Spanish style” of the late 16th century began the move back to synchronicity among upper-class Europeans, and after a struggle in the mid-17th century, French styles decisively took over leadership, a process completed in the 18th century.   Though textile colors and patterns changed from year to year, the cut of a gentleman’s coat and the length of his waistcoat, or the pattern to which a lady’s dress was cut, changed more slowly. Men’s fashions were largely derived from military models, and changes in the European male silhouette were galvanized in theaters of European war where gentleman officers had opportunities to make notes of foreign styles such as the cravat or necktie.

Although tailors and dressmakers were no doubt responsible for many innovations, and the textile industry certainly led many trends, the history of fashion design is normally understood to date from 1858 when the English-born Charles Frederick Worth opened the first true haute couture house in Paris. The Haute house was the name established by government for the fashion houses that met the standards of industry. These fashion houses have to adhere to standards such as keeping at least twenty employees engaged in making the clothes, showing two collections per year at fashion shows, and presenting a certain number of patterns to costumers. Since then, the professional designer has become an increasingly dominant figure, despite the origin of many fashions in street fashion. For women, the flapper styles of the 1920s marked the most significant alteration in Western women’s fashion in several centuries, with a drastic shortening of skirt-lengths and much looser-fitting clothes. With an occasional revival of long skirts, variations of the shorter length have remained dominant ever since. Though there were many variations, the “flapper uniform,” consisting of high-heeled shoes, which were often embellished with buckles or gems, significant amounts of jewelry, especially pieces adorned with gems and pearls, and shorter dresses, the upper portion of which could be either loose or form-fitting. Flappers also often wore cloches, small hats often featuring narrow, downward-oriented brims, to frame their short hairstyles. Flappers were seen as especially seductive figures, and their fashion was at the time controversial for many.

The four major current fashion capitals are acknowledged to be Paris, Milan, New York, and London, which are all headquarters to the greatest fashion companies and are renowned for their major influence on global fashion. Fashion Weeks are held in these cities, where designers exhibit their new clothing collections to audiences. A succession of major designers such as Coco Chanel and Yves Saint-Laurent have kept Paris as the center most watched by the rest of the world, although haute couture is now subsidized by the sale of ready-to-wear collections and perfume using the same branding.

Modern Westerners have a wide number of choices available in the selection of their clothes. What a person chooses to wear can reflect his or her personality or interests. When people who have high cultural status start to wear new or different clothes, a fashion trend may start. People who like or respect these people become influenced by their personal style and begin wearing similarly styled clothes. Fashions may vary considerably within a society according to age, social class, generation, occupation and geography and also varies over time. If an older person dresses according to the fashion young people use, he or she may look ridiculous in the eyes of both young and older people. The terms fashionista and fashion victim refer to someone who slavishly follows current fashions.

In recent years, Asian fashion has become increasingly significant in local and global markets. Countries such as China, Japan, India, and Pakistan have traditionally had large textile industries, which have often been drawn upon by Western designers, but now Asian clothing styles are also gaining influence based on their own ideas.

The fashion industry is a product of the modern age.   Prior to the mid-19th century, most clothing was custom-made. It was handmade for individuals, either as home production or on order from dressmakers and tailors. By the beginning of the 20th century—with the rise of new technologies such as the sewing machine, the rise of global capitalism and the development of the factory system of production, and the proliferation of retail outlets such as department stores—clothing had increasingly come to be mass-produced in standard sizes and sold at fixed prices.

Although the fashion industry developed first in Europe and America, as of 2014 it is an international and highly globalized industry, with clothing often designed in one country, manufactured in another, and sold world-wide. For example, an American fashion company might out-source fabric in China and have the clothes manufactured in Vietnam, finished in Italy, and shipped to a warehouse in the United States for distribution to retail outlets internationally. The fashion industry has long been one of the largest employers in the United States, and it remains so in the 21st century. However, employment declined considerably as production increasingly moved overseas, especially to China. Because data on the fashion industry typically are reported for national economies and expressed in terms of the industry’s many separate sectors, aggregate figures for world production of textiles and clothing are difficult to obtain. However, by any measure, the clothing industry accounts for a significant share of world economic output.

The fashion industry consists of four levels: (a) the production of raw materials, principally fibers and textiles but also leather and fur; (b) the production of fashion goods by designers, manufacturers, contractors, and others; (c) retail sales; and (d) various forms of advertising and promotion.     These levels consist of many separate but interdependent sectors, each devoted to the goal of satisfying consumer demand for apparel under conditions that enable participants in the industry to operate at a profit.

The definition of fashion and anti-fashion is as follows: Anti-fashion is fixed and changes little over time. Anti-fashion is different depending on the cultural or social group one is associated with or where one lives, but within that group or locality the style changes little. Fashion is the exact opposite of anti-fashion. Fashion changes very quickly and is not affiliated with one group or area of the world but is spread out throughout the world wherever people can communicate easily with each other. For example, Queen Elizabeth II’s 1953 coronation gown is an example of anti-fashion because it is traditional and does not change over any period whereas a gown from fashion designer Dior’s collection of 1953 is fashion because the style will change every season as Dior comes up with a new gown to replace the old one. In the Dior gown the length, cut, fabric, and embroidery of the gown change from season to season. Anti-fashion is concerned with maintaining the status quo while fashion is concerned with social mobility. Time is expressed in terms of continuity in anti-fashion and as change in fashion. Fashion has changing modes of adornment while anti-fashion has fixed modes of adornment. Indigenous and peasant modes of adornment are an example of anti-fashion. Change in fashion is part of the larger system and is structured to be a deliberate change in style.

Since fakes are distinguishable by their poorer quality, there is still a demand for luxury goods, and as only a trademark or logo can be copyrighted, many fashion brands make this one of the most visible aspects of the garment or accessory. In handbags, especially, the designer’s brand may be woven into the fabric from which the bag is made, making the brand an intrinsic element of the bag.

Fashion may be used to promote a cause, such as to promote healthy behavior, to raise money for a cancer cure, or to raise money for local charities such as the Juvenile Protective Association or a children’s hospice.

Kathy Kiefer

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Schermata 2015-01-03 alle 00.24.37

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FASHION VS. STYLE

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Fashion-vs-Style

FASHION VS. STYLE

 

Aren’t fashion and style the same thing?

If not how and why can they be different (or dissimilar)?

 

card2868Fashion and style are two very common words in our daily life. They are frequently used during conversations on what is happening and in vogue, especially as far as dresses and apparels are concerned. With an exponential rise in the number of fashion events, these terms have become so commonplace that people talk of them in the same breath, almost interchangeably. But are style and fashion synonyms?

Fashion and style are very closely related to each other, but fashion refers to a general norm in a particular time while style refers to the personal characteristics, personal mannerisms, and personal fashions of a person.

Fashion is cyclical in nature and remains in vogue for a certain time period until it is displaced by another trend. Fashion is what is ‘in’ at a particular time or season. So if you are following the trend, you are being fashionable. It is convincing yourself that what others are doing is cool and so you should also follow it. It really feels nice to be labeled trendy and fashionable. However, fashion is for a limited time only and you must change accordingly if you wish to remain fashionable.

Fashion is related to the present custom of dressing in society. It is most commonly used for garments, accessories, footwear, makeup, and hair.    Such as since it is summer, shorts are in fashion.     Fashion could also be related to the mannerisms of a person as well.

The main thing about fashion is that it is ever evolving, it keeps changing with time, it impacts society and gets impacted by society. As the world develops, the fashions develop, and it is one of the biggest characteristics of a particular society.    People can look at the fashion of someone or fashion in which the things are done at a particular time and easily tell what year it was or what particular social changes were happening at the time of that fashion. Fashion adapts, evolves, changes, and results in social development.

On the other hand, style is something that is permanent and timeless. Style is your own and not guided by fashion.  While fashion pertains only to clothing and accessories, style is not dependent upon clothing and can be associated with anything that makes you look stylish. So style is something that is one’s own while fashion is adapting to what is in at the moment. Style is an extension of fashion as you can use what is in fashion and incorporate it in your own style giving it an altogether different touch.

Style is used in many fields ranging from fashion to medicine to instruments used by ancient civilizations.   The focus is on style related to fashion and mannerisms of people and different sorts of things which are referred to as having different styles.  Style is something very personal, and it is like the signature of a person. It is unique, and no one can imitate it unless you actually want to be called an imposter.

What is referred to as style in the fashion world, means a very particular and personal way in which a person dresses? Fashions might change, but the personal style of the person remains the same no matter what the fashion. People incorporate their personal style in the current fashions.   It   is fair to say that someone like  Lady Gaga doesn’t care what the fashion is; she has a unique style all her own.

Style refers to the mannerisms of a person. Again, the main differences between style of a person or the fashion in which a person does things are differentiated by their being personal when the style is considered. For example:  the style of speech of a person. The personal diction, the personal tone, the words one chooses, sarcasm, or poetry or use of idioms, all of these are very personal and becomes a person’s style.      It can also refer to different varieties or kinds of fashion, but the main difference is the personal signature over all.

Over the past several decades, personal style has become more popular than ever.  Instagram accounts, street style blogs and Etsy pages are now significant peaks in the fashion industry landscape, making the rise of individual fashion consciousness just as the fixation on name brands seems to be declining.

Twenty or more years ago, luxury meant having a name-brand item, and luxury for high-schoolers meant Sketchers.   But now the height of luxury is personalization.  Owning name brands is not as powerful as having an individual, curated style.  Even better though: wearing rare pieces that no one else will have.  In 2014, vintage and handmade clothes are much more intriguing than having a cluster of the more recognizable brands of similar outfits.

The rise of street style, publicized by blogs and social media, has changed the fashion industry so much more than the most powerful publications have shifted their focus to the clothes of commoners.   The industry cannot ignore the influence of street photographers like the widely popular Satorialist, and the  fact that photos of attendees taken outside of the fashion shows are often more popular than the photos taken inside.  Street Style is now a fixture in most fashion magazines, which regularly feature street stars who are gaining notoriety for showing up at shows in killer outfits.

The fashion industry, which has long been considered a realm only for the very rich and elite, is now accessible thanks to social media and street photography.   I have heard that today if one buys a ticket to Coachella you have the chance to make the pages of Vogue as you have of being a movie star.   Personal style has become as significant as fashion.

Fashion is a guide to a style that people can create on their own. How you incorporate the latest fashion in your wardrobe so that it suits your personality is really an art and refers to a style a person has. There are many with no style and just follow the fashion blindly. These are people who can be called fashionable but not stylish. However, it is very much possible to be stylish without being fashionable. If you feel that what is in trend does not suit your personality, you can always follow your own style making changes in the current fashion.

Think about fashion vs. style in comparison to food consumption.  You get to eat every day; you wear clothes every day.   There are some days and occasions when you more thought to your outfit and meals than you do other things. There are some people called “foodies” and “fashionistas” for whom eating and wearing clothes are a hobby.    You can compare high fashion to a 5-star restaurant dishes that show innovation, creativity and expertise.  A plate of soft-boiled quail eggs with a side of liquid nitrogen ice cream will look exquisite and show a great deal of culinary competence, just as so many gowns and suits on the runway look like moving works of arts.   But, there is something to be said for hotdog vendors, deli owners, and grandma’s kitchen.   They may not make particular progressive dishes, but their food is still delicious and meaningful.  The food may not be fashionable, but it has style, and it unique to them, and is recognized as something special.

Another difference between fashion and style is that style goes beyond just clothes.   Style is less technical than fashion because it’s overall impression.

The style of a writer is called a “voice” and it can extend far beyond adherence to grammar rules and literary formats into something much more personal and visceral, just as clothing styles defies fashion trends and accepted color combos to give off an overall effect.  Whereas fashion obsesses over perfect proportions and the post-Labor-Day-white controversy, style is an individual choice unique to how a person wants to present themselves and to how they desired to be perceived.

When developing a personal style, it’s helpful to remember that you already have one.  Personal style is equal parts taste and function that have been developed over time.   If you take several favorites movies, bands and works of art, you have taste.   Function is the less half sexy of style – the part that is dictated by where you work, how you spend your time, your climate, and your comfort threshold.   Style is where these two things merge.

The rise of street photography blogs and Instagram accounts is great news for those would like to develop their own style, but aren’t really sure where to start.  If you find fashion magazines intimidating, perhaps you’ll find style blogs more inspiring.  Sometimes by stealing an idea from someone else and making it work for you is a way to cultivate your own look.

If you take the time to peruse through street style galleries take the time to ask yourself,” What do I like about this and why?”   Is it the outfit’s mood, color, proportions, creative styling of sneaker wedges?   Would the outfit work on your body, where you live, or with your own clothes?  It is possible that by mimicking outfits of real people out on the sidewalks it may be easier than trying to glean style tips from fashion shows.   It will assist you that by taking risks and experiment with your own look you will be able to verify your own likes and dislikes.

Kathy Kiefer

IN NEW YORK – THE IMPORTANCE OF FASHION WEEK

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Schermata 2014-05-30 alle 17.20.44

IN NEW YORK 

THE IMPORTANCE OF FASHION WEEK

garment districtSo just how important is Fashion Week to the business of Fashion?    According to the numbers that the NYC Tourism Bureau released – very important.   New York Fashion Week contributes more revenue to the city than any other annual event in the NY Metro area. New York is much more than the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, baseball and football games, the theatre and concerts. Restaurants, taxi cabs, hotels and even street vendors experience a major lift in their businesses when Fashion Week is in full swing. The short-term objective for Fashion Week – to drive sales for the local businesses and it is always a resounding success.

What about the national retail community? Do the “looks” that march down the runway actually make it in-store and influence the consumer buy the new product? The answer is yes all around. As it is observed, the annual evolution in how the brands and designers utilize Fashion Week as a platform, we find the runway is becoming more accessible to the consumer. They have more access to the shows via the media and internet allowing them to view the shows first-hand. This component, part of the larger strategy for the more cutting-edge designers and brands to connect with their consumer rather than the couture fashion crowd, is working.

The use of unwearable fashion is not unknown or obsolete, but the smartest brands and designers today find a way to get the right balance to be able to sell10419934_10202328813157373_1943406745_n the brand to the retailer as well as to the consumer. Fashion is relevant again. Men have already shown signs that image matters by their desire to invest in their wardrobes to look good. Women were missing in action the past few years but in the past four months they have started to update their tired wardrobes to show a renewed fashion sense. This year, Fashion Week has elevated retailers and brands in the eye of the consumers and as a result, got them back in the game,

You might think that none of the goings on in New York’s Fashion Week would have any importance or impact on anyone or anything. The premise is most definitely wrong given the current economy.   This semi-annual event, properly called the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, is held twice a year in February and September. There also are several other fashion weeks to consider at this time of year, those are located in Paris, London and Milan. (I was fortunate to be in Milan not that long ago and had the opportunity to take in some fashion week events.)

What I find surprising is something that is seen on the catwalks at Fashion Week will ultimately be seen in drugstores within a week or over the following months. An example of this would definitely be the rise of the purchase of nail polish and manicures and/or pedicures.

06zCELEBS1_SPAN-articleLargeWhat I find surprising is something that is seen on the catwalks at Fashion Week will ultimately be seen in in the drug store aisles within weeks or months.   The styles of such manicures and pedicures will be seen in salons within a matter of days, if not hours, after Fashion Week. The designers supply nail polish manufacturers with new colors, plenty of publicity in addition to catchy product names that are sure to get a response from not only single ladies, but   Suzie Home Maker in Anytown, USA.

The manufacturers of items such as make-up, nail polish, and the many other accruements of the fashion industry are major supporters of the runway shows simply because of the marketing value of the show.   Bloggers\, photographers and beauty editors are routinely backstage documenting the use of the company’s products.   It’s a genuine endorsement and not placement of the product along with unimaginable press coverage in any other venues to the benefit(s) in all of the industry.

Per the New York Times, the companies that cater to Hometown, USA are watching Fashion Week with keen interest.   Those buyers that are responsible for beauty products in many of the drugstore chains (i.e., CVS Caremark Corporation and Walgreen’s) firmly believe in the importance of their companies to do this.     The trends brought to light at such events more than likely will influence the stores aisles in the near future. CVS alone has said that they have seen a double digit percent gain in nail polish alone because of the trends that arise from Fashion Week. CVS now places its nail polish displays in strategic places around the store in an effort to catch the eye of impulse shoppers.

In many areas that are associated with the market, Fashion Week sets trends that will benefit the small, mid-size and large businesses not only in the United States but around the world as well.

During the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, New York City and the upscale areas surrounding Lincoln Center are taken over by designers, fashionistas and210 celebrities. The parties, the runway shows and the atmosphere of the events embody the glamorous style of America’s fashion industry.  While award-winning DJs spin an eclectic mix of techno tunes and old-time favorites, the crowd waits for new seasonal looks to be unveiled. The colors, the prints, the textures and the graceful lines dictate the seasonal style. Fashion Week is where styles are born and the fate of trends is decided.

 Since its inception in the 1940s, New York Fashion Week was a way for domestic fashion houses and ateliers to compete against established brands in Milan, Paris and London. Today, the theaters, studios and stages of Lincoln Center and venues across the city are filled with the noises of camera flashes, electronic music and excited chatter as the public waits for the grand unveiling.

 This eight-day event covers the entire fashion spectrum and takes place in a wide variety of venues across the city. Stalwarts of the industry show their collections alongside up-and-comers who are prepared to make their mark.

Increasingly, the fashion industry is coming under steady pressure to widen the spectrum of beauty ideals.   Many Ad campaigns have called a great deal of the beauty standards unrealistic, and many of the major department stores have begun adding plus size models. New York’s recent child model laws are designed to protect all models under 18 from exploitation.

05fashion-13But there’s still plenty of room for more inclusion.   People with disabilities are an untapped consumer market in terms of fashion, they read the magazines, shop in stores, but nothing is ever pitched to them. And I find this very wrong.

On the first day of the recent New York Fashion Week, one designer in particular seemed to understand by deciding decided to shake things up and feature the first person to “walk” the runway in a wheelchair. The designer, made the decision to cast ‘role models not runway models. It is so important that women have positive body image and are empowered in work and their life. People with disabilities need to see it. It’s a confidence booster. It’s like, ‘if she’s doing it, I can do it. Who cares about my wheelchair?'”   The model was thrilled to be on the runway and felt natural and confident.

Other designers are also starting to reach out to people who love shopping and fashion, but feel excluded.   In February 2014 DKNY also used “real people” on the runway alongside professional models.   Also in January 2014, Diesel, the Italian ready-to-wear design company, rocked the industry with its “We are Connected” campaign, featuring 26-year-old Jillian Mercado in one ad. “Just because we have a disability doesn’t mean we have to stay home and hide away from the world,” said Mercado, executive editorial director of We The Urban Magazine, a fashion magazine based in New York.

Mercado, who was diagnosed with spastic muscular dystrophy at age 12, has also loved fashion since a young age. “I wanted to be in the fashion industry before even knowing what the fashion industry was.”   Mercado, who uses a wheelchair, attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, earning a degree in fashion merchandising management. “It kind of blows my mind that when I first started [in the industry] I didn’t have anyone to look up to and model after.”

Mercado said her time in the spotlight of the Diesel ad was a “blessing in disguise.”   At first she was scared and “prepared for the worst” from people who “sit behind computers” and troll the Internet spraying abusive comments. However, after the ad ran she found an inspiring outpouring of support. “Now that I have this opportunity, that the spotlight is on me, I have the obligation to tell the world there are people like me.”

The push to diversify role models is showing up in a variety of media.

For the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the advocacy group Pro Infirmis teamed up with Bahnhofstrasse (the upscale shopping street in Zurich, Switzerland) to display mannequins who were modeled on real-life people with disabilities. An emotional video of each person seeing him/herself as a mannequin in an actual store window quickly went viral..

This is progress; it is past time to include people of all ethnicities, sizes, and shapes.   It’s past time to include people with disabilities.   And this is just the beginning.

Kathy Kiefer

Sure-com America launched the hashtag #BEFOUNDED

 

TUTTI PAZZI PER IL TARTAN

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Alessandro Sicuro Comunication

QUEST’ANNO IL TARTAN INVADERA’ I NEGOZI

 

tartans2In coincidenza dei primi giorni invernali con la prima volta in cui  indosseremo quello che per quest’inverno è sicuramente il “tessuto” di stagione: il tartan.
E la modalità “jingle bells ON” è subito attivata,  sarà Natale prima del solito.

Inutile dirvi, che adoro il Natale in tutte le sue manifestazioni, per non dilungarmi sulla parte illuminazioni e addobbi, anche perché per quello forse è ancora un po’ presto, parlero’ ancora di questo mood e tutto questo trionfo di scozzesi che  non mi dispiace affatto. In tutte le sue varianti di righe e colori.

Perche’ i Clan, perche’ le Highlands, perchè il Tartan? Ho descritto in più articoli che il sentiment recente, almeno il mio, è quello di lasciarsi influenzare dalle culture d’oltremanica, come  infatti ho descritto dell’epoca Mods’ e Rockers degli anni 1960-1968, negli articoli precedenti (=>http://wp.me/s2kXuA-5217)(=> http://wp.me/p2kXuA-Xz ), per il grande contenuto storico…

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