We cannot deny that fashion reflects society, and has been influenced by all the happenings of wars, laws, religion, the arts, and even technology. As fashion changes with time, it has always been evolving to fit the taste, lifestyle and demands of society. Little more than a century has passed since the beginnings of modern fashion at the beginning of the 20th century. And so much has happened within that span of time. You have seen the world go from big dresses to slim baby-doll dresses, then it was boxy shoulder pads, and then there were no shoulder pads.
As Andy Warhol so simply encapsulates the modern mindset of the fashion world in his 1975 “Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)”:
“A new idea.
A new look.
A new sex.
A new pair of underwear.”
Fashion, it seems is governed by the ‘urge to innovate’, and designers have always been subjected to the expectations to create something new. But one can also question, to what extent does anything new still exists? Whereas previous fashions could be seen as having a more linear temporality, it cannot be said so for the current conditions of the fashion environment.
‘What’s with the glasses?’ she asked.
‘Reef says it’s fashionable to look like an intellectual this season’
– 1998 Novel “Glamorama”, Bret Easton Ellis
As we have entered a new decade in which both the political order of the twentieth century has dissolved and new forms of communication, creativity, and subjectivity were emerging in the form of the digital revolution and the Internet. The result is a new form of ‘visual chaos’, in which an individual could describe their own particular style as something particular to themselves, and not being part of an overall trend. It is in our current times that the paradigm shifts that used to define looks of the decade has become obliterated, and it has become less clear what the look or style of the moment is. Has it finally come down to the saying – “There are no rules!” ? Can we now finally be playful and self- expressive with no constraints at all?
Nowadays, it seems that the fashion industry gets shaken up not by particular trends, but by finding a unique voice. With the Internet at our disposal and all the
fashion blogs and websites currently available, you certainly see a lot go by. But you are looking for something that resonates. It is not a trend that you are looking to uncover. With the whole world at our fingertips, we can inspire and be inspired by the entire world around us.
“I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it.”
— Alexander McQueen, Fashion Designer
The idea of fashion that should be divided by gender, seasons, rules, age, and so many other factors is becoming increasingly outdated. Fashion nowadays has become a forum for ideas and outlets of particular concepts. There have been an increasing amount of designers who now see fashion as more than wearibility – they engage with it on a much more conceptual level. And fashion becomes more than merely just clothes, it comes to project an image that has become so vivid and strong that it can now stand it’s own ground as an emerging art form. And that everyone can use fashion to express themselves.
Not everyone can paint, or sing, or dance. But certainly everyone dresses. Fashion now, is more closely linked to our own personal intimate creativity and subjective approach towards clothing, and is more likely to act as a reflection of our new ideals and values. Fashion has acquired a more philosophical position, which brings to our attention a new level of consciousness in wearing clothing, as well as in design. The character of the new influence in fashion culture is something more refined, subtle, and intangible, and it embraces the memory of fashion’s past and is conscious about the present direction.
“The same dress is indecent ten years before its time; daring one year before its time; chic in its time; dowdy five years after its time; hideous twenty years after its time; amusing thirty years after its time; romantic one hundred years after its time; beautiful one hundred and fifty years after its time.”
– James Laver, Fashion Historian
Barbara Vinken has said in her book, Fashion after Fashion that fashion should be “the art of the perfect moment.” And in this moment we wonder, what will look perfect for tomorrow? The contemporary idea of fashion is not derived from excluding things and creating a singular trend or style, but through the very act of incorporating all things around you and finding a way to make it your own. In the continuing quest of trying to find something new and different in fashion, it is the essence of us as human being that we find, ultimately.
Styling Ryan Yoon
Hair Katsumi Matsuo Using Oribe,
Makeup Manami Ishikawa @ Atelier Management,
MODEL Alice Cornish @ Supreme Management.
Creative direction & Production
Artistic Cube inc.