The Cultures Behind Fashion Trends

From gladiator sandals to skinny jeans to animal prints – one has to wonder, what influences fashion trends? Where do all of these ideas, some of them great and some downright bizarre, come from and how do they gain so much popularity, spreading like wildfire until practically everyone on the planet who can afford it is wearing a particular item? Even if you’re not particularly fond of following fashion trends, you have to admit that there’s something to be said for a particular style of clothing that can move millions of people around the world to dress in it.

So what influences fashion trends? In a nutshell, fashion trends are made by people for people and are a reflection of human nature and human activities. You wear something as an expression of who you are, what you believe in and where you come from, meaning you are representing a certain kind of fashion culture that you are either a part of or that you want to be a part of.

High Culture

The idea of high culture is synonymous with luxury and a sense of exclusivity. These involve things like painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, literature and the like. What influences fashion trends can be seen in certain famous fashion houses, not only in their clothing lines but in their advertising campaigns too. For example, Gianni Versace’s logo is that of Medusa from Greek mythology, a stylized drawing on a golden, medallion-like background, which lends an air of bold artistry to his clothing line, along with a sense of high-end sophistication and glamorous seduction.

Pop Culture

Think the sixties and it’s tie-dye and peace medallions, while the seventies was all about the bell bottoms and platform shoes. This is one of the key answers to what influences fashion trends. Pop culture is basically what the media and the press hype up every day you turn on the TV or go online. This is the culture of celebrities and famous personalities whom everyone else wants to look like, and of clothing produced for the masses. For example, if a popular celebrity is photographed wearing a specific coat, sales on that coat are sure to skyrocket as certain popular celebrities are considered global fashion icons and role models. This is why many fashion labels turn to celebrities to endorse their clothing, accessories and footwear. Pop culture sells a certain lifestyle that people want to have and qualities that people want to possess.

Subculture

This is the culture of the “streets,” of those considered out of the mainstream, such as the hip-hop, graffiti, rock and punk scenes or the surf and skateboard cultures. If classified simply, this is the more bohemian aspect of fashion, of individualistic and unique styles, like the low-slung, baggy jeans that were primarily connected with the hip-hop scene or graffiti art on sneakers associated with skateboarding. The thing about subculture however is that it tends to turn into pop culture given enough time and attention. What influences fashion trends are the same things that keep these same trends constantly changing and that is something about fashion that will never go out of style.

Obscure Up and Coming Fashion Trends for Men

Fashion tastes have covered every idea imaginable, or so it would seem, from the dowdy dress of the early 20th century – with such examples as the bowler hat – to the craziness of the early 21st century – the meat dress worn by Lady Gaga being a case in point. There have been so many fashion trends during the course of history, that we have surely run out of ideas? Not so, with a new year, brings a new wave of trendy clothing. Here, we will look at upcoming trends in men’s clothing.

As always, when looking for the up and coming fashion trends, the first place to turn our attention is the catwalk. Within the world of men’s fashion, we normally see no more than a slight variation of the traditional t-shirt and jeans, and this year is no exception. The t-shirt has been subject to a massive overhaul, however, and men should run for cover now, apparently, we will be seeing a fashion movement that holds men’s crop tops as this season’s fashion must have item! Expect to see plenty of male midriffs this year, particularly during the summer and spring. There are still a few months left of winter to ensure that you have a buff body, right in time for the crop top take-over.

For office workers, we are likely to see a return in fashion to the briefcase. Our advice, however, is not to combine the look with a crop top – somehow, we cannot see that taking off, but stranger things have happened! For men who want to stay ahead of the trend, investing in a high quality briefcase will set you in good stead.

Men’s clothing is taking a turn away from the demure colours of black, brown, blue, and white. This year, it is all about colour. Furthermore, expect to combine bright colours in single outfits, with bright tops and bright trousers. Nevertheless, remember, always make sure you select colours that match, if in doubt, remember the ditty ‘red and green should never be seen, except for on a Christmas tree’.

For those men amongst you, who do not like to wear bright colours, do not fear, another trend sees a return to the Gothic looks of the late 1990s. This means wearing lots of dark denim, and investing in a great pair of leather shoes.

Fortunately, other trends are not so drastic, and you should not rush home and empty your wardrobe ready to replace them with a completely new ensemble. Men’s clothing is great, because fashion always allows men to fall back on the classic look: dark jeans, lighter shirts, black or brown shoes. Moreover, the classic look always looks great and men are fortunate in that respect.

Men’s fashion is becoming increasingly important in contemporary society, with more choice today than ever before, indeed, men’s fashion is slowly approaching women’s fashion in regards to the massive range of style and design available.

Evolving Fashion Trends – Then and Now

Well Isn’t it quite an understatement if one thinks that fashion in India has come of age and in the last few decades, there has been a complete shift of thought as to how fashion was perceived to be and how the recent trends has transformed Indian Fashion into a global brand.

India being a country with an age old legacy of clothing & known for producing some of the best intricate creations in the world, yet seems to have a long way to go

How it All Began-

Over the years, popular Bollywood trends have been dominating the fashion scene from Madhubala’s Anarkali-look with kurtas and churidars in Mughal-e-Azam (1960),to the purple embroidered sari worn by Madhuri Dixit in Hum Aapke Hain Koun. Thus, by taking a cue form history and passing on the rich & royal flavour onto the costumes designed for movies or social events has facilitated Indian designers and Indian clothes to make its mark all over the world.

The Birth of Changing Fashion-

Moreover, it was not until the birth of the 80s which was the period when the first generation of Indian fashion designers started to emerge including Satya Paul. Research shows that the designs and ensembles from some of the world’s most talented designers, proves that- some of these “new” trends are simply a part of the Retro-culture which brings back yesteryears fashion into the present times.

The “Feminine Factor” – Biggest influence on evolving Fashion-

Fashion is & always been women centric, no doubt whenever a woman is dressed in a traditional “Saree” it makes her look sensuous and beautiful. Naturally this explains the great extent to which Indian woman have been the centre of attraction to all things that is about fashion & social change.Today the ‘Saree’ is no more the staple dress for women that it was once upon a time and even women in their 30s today find it not so practical in wearing the Saree as they are not used to it. No wonder in offices of an emerging India “saree day” is celebrated as a special day. Thus, some of these “new” trends as regards saree aka modern day “Lehenga” apt for a Cosmo culture simply reminds one of a by gone era.

Fashion! Now & Then-

Thus, from the above, it is evident that the influence of western culture on fashion specially concerning the youth, can be seen in today’s outfits which is trying to find a balance between the original & traditional types, which again proves the mixing of the old & the new. So, what was once worn as part of daily life and was common clothing seems to have now become somewhat of a social get together clothing. Moreover, the earliest signs of the coming together of western fashion & Indian dressing was witnessed when Government of India opened the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Delhi with the help of the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York

This was a paradigm shift for the Indian fashion industry since now there was a formal recognition of the new forms of traditional styles influenced by western culture that has in effect generated a lot many new fashion ideas & concepts & other interesting fashionable accessories for women.

Therefore, New ways of draping the Saree came about to be known & now a day pairing it up with a fusion wear such as dhoti pants have been the new trend which in now being promoted by fashion houses among the uber crowd. What was once plain Salwar suits has now become Anarkali salwar kameez suits worn by many young women which make them look elegant and allows them to opt for vivid colours and bohemian designs.

Well, it’s all coming back, fashion is throwing back the ‘retro charm pendants’ from the ’90s, ‘baggy pants’ from the ’70s and even ‘long flashy sleeves’ that can be traced back to the 18th century. With so much happening we simply seem to be spoilt for choice, because change is good & everyone wants to move over from the old & to the new.

Thus, Crop tops, shoulder pads and even fanny packs are seeing a comeback. Also, a brisk suit with intact shoulders was a huge-trend among women in business in the ’80s & has now become a corporate wear for many working women. And again, Yoga pants, leggings and tight crop tops have now become a common trend, I suppose the credit goes to their sportive appeal.

Thus, the new idea of tradition is not to succumb to yesteryear philosophies which got handed down from one generation to the other. Rather the new idea of ethnic style is to befriend the philosophies of a bygone era & use them in relation to the contemporary sense and mood of today’s fashion.

Finally, once can safely conclude that “Changing Fashion is a law of change itself.”