Do you have style?
With the rise and dominance of digital platforms and social media, fashion’s steered quite far from its origins and has become easily accessible to most, in the Global North that is.
There is a stark contrast to fashion’s elitist beginnings. Where only the rich aristocracies could enjoy, flaunting their wealth through clothing. The rest of the population, who were mostly poor labourers wore rags.
A wardrobe of clothes was unheard of by most. Many if not all were limited to a single set of workwear and occasion wear, if lucky. As again only the rich in societies were privy to such luxuries.
Fast forward to now and the opposite couldn’t be truer.
In our Western world fashion dominates the mainstream and consumes everyone along with it, whether or not they’d identify as a ‘fashion’ person is almost irrelevant.
Cue the Devil Wears Prada scene. Where Miranda Priestly scolds Andy Sach’s scoff at the seemingly ‘identical’ blue belts. An attempt to dismiss fashion as nothing more than stuff.
Fast fashion has tremendously damaged the world and its ecosystems, with irreversible effects. Its effect on people has been somewhat more positive. Fashion at your fingertips; online shopping, a massive step up from physical retail stores. Bringing the clothes to you with minimum effort on the shopper’s part. With limitless consumerism through access to a plethora of low to high brands. All with fast delivery options if not next-day delivery.
Shopping has become an immersive experience. A journey. A way to tell or create a story through fashions; clothing, shoes, and accessories. To become, discover and express many versions of yourself.
Style – A Personal Affair
Identity is fluid and people aren’t a monolith. But people are also multilayered, multifaceted individuals within themselves; a vast array of interests, some of which ‘contradict’. Yet that’s the beauty of it all, how fashion, personal styling marry with an individual.
There’s no onus on style, though many have tried to define. Sadly they’ve amounted to nothing more than a false sense of sophistication and elitism. A poor attempt to exclude the masses and in turn less ‘worthy’.
How someone dresses is a direct expression of themselves. A means of communicating a particular message. A chance to be.
“Style is not a display of wealth but an expression of imagination.” Anonymous