Fashion’ the word highly debated in a society like ours. “Fashion has exploited our culture”,” Fashion is to do with immodesty”, “Fashion is luxury, brands and showing off” are some common, yet a collective comment I have received from many outsiders and sometimes even the Insiders. This blog has given me an opportunity to demystify the above statements in fashion.
‘Fashion’ the glamour word is often associated with the Europeans and Elites and yes, Europe is where it was originated.
In this blog, let us try to widen up our perspective on the same. Fashion, as quoted by many fashion researchers and cultural anthropologists is said to be a ‘collective expression of a group of people, belonging to the particular ethnographic region at a particular span’. It is the collective exhibition of traits of a group of people at a particular period of time.
Fashion does not exist in Isolation. Fashion is not a mere adornment or an exhibition of yourself to attract others. It is about to exhibit you, yourself confidently to the society, and clearly putting up your message you wish to deliver about yourself to the world.
As said, fashion never happens in isolation, it is a result of or sometimes the reason for social, political, economic, psychological, and technical changes that happen in a society. The trends start as a slight disturbance in a prevailing state of being, it then becomes a ripple-like how atoms share energy. The ripple of some trends might grow to form a trend wave.
The trends are long and short-lived; the earlier one which lives for a long period of time is a Megatrend and the later might be short-lived and is termed as a fad.
Trends of the neo normal
Below are the trends which have been spotted from my viewpoint and which I can map it back to a couple of years earlier and examples from our Indian society. Though there are trends spoken about by WGSN (The key player in trend forecasting business) and other professionals, here are my observations. As said earlier the trend may emerge from a change in the psychographic profile of the people and maybe on any factors namely Social, political, cultural, economic, and technical domain.
Going back to the roots
This trend or the state of mind, surfaced in Tamil Nadu when individual music director like Hip-hop Tamilzan, came out with an album of ‘Takkaru Takkaru’. The album was an explicit art that rekindled the lost pride and emotions of the Tamils. People on the metropolitan city of Chennai started coming out of the streets to protest against the Ban on ‘Jallikattu’, a traditional game played with native breed bulls. A recent discovery of a Sangam aged civilization in Keeladi, also known as ‘Vaigai civilization’ have added up to the pride.
Celebration of International Yoga day belled this trend behavior. The trend then started gathering momentum and one could see the rise of love towards terracotta potteries, Resurfacing of brass, and copperware utensils.
In fashion, as a whole in India, this trend was seen in many scenarios and in fashion, Government driven initiatives of Khadi and Handloom have triggered this trend. Chumbak is a Bangalore based startup, who commercialized this trend way ahead. Bewakoof and other start-up brands came up with ‘Slogan T-shirts’ that have catchy slogans from movies in their own languages.
Deglobalization or localization is another trend that is seen across the fields of economics and politics and in fashion. You might connect it to the result of this COVID 19 pandemic, but no, it was the trade frictions that started in 2018 belled by president Trump. In 2020, the deglobalization trend in India is on a new sky-high with Prime minister Modi addressing the people with ‘Navbharat and #vocalforlocal’ and these hashtags flooding the internet.
Local knowledge re-establishment
Another trend that overlaps between the above two trends were observed to be Local knowledge re-establishment. This trend might be a new direction for the earlier trend of Wellness and holistic living. India is a country with a rich culture and an age-old history.
This trend pattern was first observed in lifestyle change as people were too drained due to the fast life. The fear of unsustainability, climate change, usage of artificial and hazardous chemicals in our day to day life has made people look for an escape from the above. This led to the re-establishment of local knowledge that is been practiced by the ancestors over generations. Right from Skin and hair tips to traditional sweet shops, this trend has influenced quite a lot of the population. The recent campaign of Luxury brands like Christian Dior’s Skincare cream from a rare longoza flower harvest that happens once in November to Dolce and Gabbana’s Palm leaf woven clutches are some reflection of this trend pattern in the global scenario.
The rise in blogs and youtube channels on traditional foods, habits, Ayurveda products, etc are seen as a result of the trend.
Local knowledge has also played a major role in Covid-19 were the use of turmeric and old ways of washing yourself before entering a home is also notable. In fashion, brands and fashion labels like Ancestry stores, Kama Ayurveda, and many other brands selling indigenous products made from artisans are a reflection of these trends.
In addition to the above trends, there has been a trend which was seen subtle till 2019 but is gathering momentum now is ‘Empathy’. Empathy is a trend that humanizes us in this fast-moving digital world. Incidents of empathy towards nature and climate change were expressed in a hard tone by teens across the world. Greta Thunberg, the girl leading it upfront was on cover and talk of the world last season. We also see a growing empathy towards pets. Covid-19 has aggravated empathy to the whole new level, broadening up its spectrum with a lot of positivity. Empathy for mental illness, empathy for health workers, and migrant labors. The recent rally of #blacklivesmatter, #alllivesmatter are a red hot expression of this behavior. This empathy on gaining more momentum would result in deletion in a hierarchy in both professional and social strata would be seen as a next trend direction.
- pic 1: ( Raw Mango/Instagram )
- pic 2: https://m.economictimes.com/industry/services/advertising/consumer-cos-go-vocal-about-local-roots/articleshow/75795659.cms
- pic 3: Stock.com/pinkomelet
- pic 4: https://www.dezeen.com/2020/03/05/satoshi-kondo-issey-miyake-autumn-winter-2020-fashion/
- main pic: mdm.com