Fashion Styles and Popular Culture
A number of books have been written to help women identify with the popular culture of clothing and fashion. These “culture” books examine various styles of dressing through time and highlight key cultural events that shaped women’s fashion decisions. Many of these books examine women’s reactions to fashion styles in the context of their day-to-day life, and their reactions to fashion styles that they may not necessarily associate with popular culture. Others look at popular culture in a wider context and help women understand fashion from a different perspective.
Barbara Davidson is a classicist who examines fashion through the lens of everyday wear. Her book, The Fashion of Style, offers an interesting look at how women chose and adopted particular fashion styles through the ages. Davidson argues that the creation of certain fashion styles was influenced by social structures, while others were created because specific materials or colors became popular. These were just tools for the womenfolk to use in order to create a particular standard of dress that was required for them to be acceptable in polite society. Through this lens, Davidson attempts to give fashion a more complex and realistic meaning.
In Fashions, Fred Grosch developed a theory that would later become popularly recognized as the major catalyst for the development of modern fashion design. Grosch looked at how fashion relates to the cultures of various groups of people. He found that certain fashion styles followed certain patterns that were common among certain cultures and therefore spread across geographical boundaries, while others became popular only among a chosen few groups of people.
Mary E. Frye was another important figure in the development of modern fashion design. Frye focused on the social aspects of dress and what the changing consumer desires in relation to those desires. For example, she argued that evening dresses were popular at certain times of the year, but that they quickly lost favor after the weather warmed up. This concept would later be adopted by designers such as Dior and Le Smoking, who recognized the need to recognize seasons in fashion design and begin designing clothes that were appropriate for each season.
The need to create a uniform fashion for all people soon led to the rise of clothing manufacturers that mass-produced clothing for a variety of consumers. However, these new products still fell short of the desires of the popular culture. It was at this point that the influential German fashion designer Kurt Klavier came to the forefront. He designed clothing that addressed both the social and cultural needs of the modern consumer.
As one can see, fashion and popular culture have a complicated relationship. Not only are the two different concepts influenced by each other, but the two also have an effect on each other’s development. Styles and trends are affected by popular culture and fashions in ways that are sometimes unnoticed. The influence of fashion design can be seen in everything from children’s clothing to adults. Today, fashions remain relevant throughout the world, which is a testament to how much they have changed over the years.