Gone are the times when clothes were mere coverings of the body or when fashion was restricted to gorgeous and expensive dresses. It has now become a way of expressing oneself, getting creative and playing around with the conventional dressing.
It is like we are the empty canvas and fashion is the art that brings color to our daily life.
Fashion, for the matter of fact, has always been a subjective topic. For some, it is not of much importance and is considered as mere necessity and for others, it has become a way of living. It is considered as a means of personal expression; it gives them the opportunity to be who they are and show it to the world through their fashion sense. It enhances their appearance and overall personality that puts a good impression on the other people.
Fashion in the 21st century
Fashion was not always about people’s own individual freedom and choices. Not too long ago, in fact, people were expected to accept fashion standards decided by a few people. Most girls grew up playing with dolls which were perfect in a very narrow sense of the world. They portrayed only slim, conventionally fashionable girls. The same was with widespread media, representing only a few fashion trends and beauty norms.
Such standards were fixed for boys as well. They were not expected to wear makeup, too bright colors or clothing which can portray them as ‘feminine’. To be considered handsome or desirable, they had to be tall, wear clothes which are ‘masculine’ like pants and shirts, strong and shouldn’t show too many emotions such as crying.
Fashion trends today unify people, there are many fashion lines that represent the underrepresented community of our society such as LGBTQ, yet people are not afraid to wear their individuality.
Nowadays, fashion is bold and daring, and this reflects that generation of the 21st century is not afraid to say what they think, or wear what they want. Current designers are well aware of the fact that fashion now is not just a means of clothing of our body but it is the essence of our personality and beliefs, and designers are well aware of the power they hold.
Time to time changing fashion sense or trends provides varieties to people to choose from and show their unique style of being. Be it children, women, men, or the old people- you name a category and there would be clothing for them.
There are formal clothing for people going to the office or business.
In the present day, clothing for plus size women is available. Initially, many brands did not have the availability of clothes for their plus-size customers. But now there are many brands which cater specifically to the plus size women, making women around the world embrace themselves and letting them feel comfortable in their own skin and size.
Earlier, most pregnant women used to choose their old clothing or loose clothing. They were less concerned about their appearances, mostly because they tend to feel ‘out of shape’ during their pregnancy stage. But, most pregnant women today, are no longer trying to hide or cover up their pregnancy because of the easy availability of maternity wear. Instead, they are choosing different varieties of garments that fit into their new shape.
Contributions of Fashion to the Society
It’s easy to turn your nose up at fashion and dismiss it as something trivial and superficial. In reality, the fashion industry does contribute to society.
For instance, there are many fashion brands that support and donate to LGBTQ organizations. Nike donated to their frontline healthcare workers during the current COVID-19 pandemic. One Icelandic designer made ‘scary masks’ to encourage social distancing during the current pandemic.
There are many examples that prove fashion does more than just reflecting one’s personality. It can change the society and act as an impetus to affect the dynamics of the world as a force that makes things move or occur more swiftly.
After all, whether you choose to use fashion as an art form or not, one would be hard-pressed to deny that fashion is a form of self-expression and as we know, self-expression is an art.
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