„Blogging had everybody following what walked down the runways and made regular people into style icons…“
We all know how unpredictable April weather can be. Yesterday it was snowing and let us feel like middst winter and today it’s warm again. Crazy, huh?! But this doesn’t stop me from showing you another flower inspired outfit (of course)… These days, I crave flowers so much and they make me feel a lot happier 🙂 Did you notice that this is actually the dress I styled totally different back a month ago? For sure now I am truly affected by the spring vibes all around me. Not only am I decorating my home with fresh flowers but also pretending to go outside with bare legs instead of thick black tights. For a long time I haven’t worn any of my own flower crown. And I am wondering how I could have forgotten about my own ones when I am selling them in my shop 😛 What do you think about the outfit? Did you notice the reapearance of the dress? But these very bright and positive photos should not deceive the aim of the following text. So if you are curious and would like to read a very important topic I highly recommend you to read on.
When I was younger I loved to dress up with the clothes of my mum or play princess with the beautiful jewelry of my grandmother. After I stopped figure skating on a competitive level, my interest for fashion grew and I spent many hours in my free time with fashion related reading. I started being more concious about clothing and the way of styling. In the beginning the Fashion ‚rules‘ where brought to the consumer by the fashion magazines, their editors and of course from the Designers at the seasonal Fashion Shows. But in the past few years there was a clear shift of power and influence on what is perceived as fashion trend or not. Cearly bloggers were and are now playing a big role in this perspective (Chiara Ferragni, Kristina Bazan just to name a few). I was truly inspired by the fresh and new impulse that was brought by these young creative minds. Inspired by platforms like Lookbook.nu, I started my own fashion blog to share my, apparently, uncommon interest – until starting the blog I only ever met one person with the same love of fashion as I – and I wanted to share my thoughts and ideas about fashion, thereby becoming part of this democratization of the otherwise exclusive fashion club. Blogging had everybody following what walked down the runways and made regular people into style icons and anyone with the right amount of talent, eager or charm could get their foot in the fashion industry without having an education to do it and their followers came along as audience.
So far it’s been quite succesful for me to join the democratization of the fashion business, since I got what I wanted – a foot in the door. But I started thinking if this democratization might also have been the reason for the decline on fashion. Well, fashion as we’ve known it to be, that is. Because at the same time as fashion has become for everyone, it has become more popular in the sense of more people following what’s happening on the fashion scene and more people taking part in trends and the flow of fashion.
Democratization combined with the rise of social media, bringing the fashion elite and their views from the front row closer to the consumer in seconds, makes it possible for everyone to participate in the exclusive event that is a fashion show. While the speed of the need to have the item that walked down the runway, happens as it is still on the model. The speed of fashion has gone to astronomical levels and this has shown to be a formidable business for the fast producing high street brands, who can copy and produce an item within weeks. And consumers are not able to absorb all the information that is brought to them. I feel often there is just to much of everything and I cannot see the wood for the trees.
“Fashion became pop. I can’t make up my mind if that’s a good or a bad thing…” (Raf Simons, creative director at Dior)
This instant need for runway ready copies, which comes with the fact that anyone can now participate in fashion events at the same levels as top fashion editors puts a pressure on everyone. A pressure on the fashion house, who just sent the item down the runway to send their collections in stores quicker and competing with the prices of the copying high street brands. A pressure on the high street brands, to follow the trendiest pieces on the runway. A pressure on the editors, bloggers and critics to communicate this trend as quick as possible whilst helping their readers not to break the back trying to follow this trend. And finally a pressure on the fashion interested consumer to take part in a trend, they might not yet have understood.
But the most dangerous and sad pressure is put on the people working in production and who are actually manufacturing the clothes. They have to work under inhuman circumstances for a minimum wages and don’t get anything of the ‚glamour‘ of the end consumer wearing the brand new item. For us as consumer (and blogger?) we associate positive feelings and pretty pictures with clothes or shoes. But do we think what misery is hidden behind this? Even all the ‚Green‘ Labels and Sustainability approaches can not make up for the horrible impact we have on our environment and on the lives of affected people . The Movie ‚The True Cost‘ is very impressive and tought-provoking and everyone should have watched it. Of course, I am aware that a single human can’t change the world. However, just being more concious about our actions and not only consuming without care might have a small but still positive influence. This week different events from the Fashion Revolution are taking place in and around Zurich especially around the topic of Sustainability in Fashion and I see it as a great opportunity to raise awareness.
I actually don’t think that the fashion business is dying at the hand of democratization, though. Fashion is in the midst of a molt, where we have to accept that elitism will slowly disappear and everyone has to new means. The future of the fashion business is more than ever in the hands of the consumer and now is the time to figure out how to create a new fashion business with that as a starring point, while still holding on to integrity, tradition and quality. But the killer aspect on the manufacturing business side is still a hot topic and many people are dying because of the horrible circumstances they have to live in. At least it has to become more sustainable and fair for all stakeholders involved in Fashion!
What do you think? Where’s fashion going? How can we contribute positively?