Looking at international Fashion Week designs for Winter 2017/18, it suddenly stuck me something is wrong with fashion. It’s out of fashion.
What is supposed to be cutting edge has stagnated. The biggest movement in the last eight years is preppy hipster wear, which first made an appearance in the 1920’s.
With global awareness of climate change, population growth, fair trade, ethical manufacturing, sustainable and closed loop production, making clothing from new materials suddenly makes no sense.
After this revelation, came another; that clothing for him or her is no longer a thing. Our next generation is moving away from gender specific branding in every way, and now focuses on being authentic with what they like, who they are and how they identify. This freeing up of gender specific clothing design goes beyond the unisex or androgynous looks of the 70’s to 90’s. It’s not a fad based trend but a genuine social upheaval that is influencing how we dress at the grass roots level.
And finally, the old ‘travel the world for inspiration’ resulting in cultural appropriation is over. Themed parades appropriating First Nation head-dresses, artworks and ceremonial clothing by designers who have nothing to do with that culture, and without the permission of the First Nation peoples, are stealing intellectual property.
I think this uprising social awareness pushes artists and designers further into their own culture(s) to find inspiration. Now more than ever, we can quickly access global information and images, but are challenged to process them in a visual language that is unique to our own experience.
Maybe the final awareness of the change in society, is the growing acceptance of street art and graffiti. Art is coming out of the galleries in all forms of expression, and into our faces on the street. After years of generic paid advertising creating visual pollution, it’s refreshing to see the work of random artists. People who are willing to pay for their own materials, donate their own time, and at their own risk, make the city a more interesting place. I’m waiting to see how this influences fashion beyond creating a backdrop for fashion shoots, a hoodie and pair of jeans that accommodates a spray can.
Young people are very good at shaking up the status quo, and pushing us into a new way of thinking.