Fashion and Identity
Long ago people started wanting to stand out from the crowd and tried be different from other people by means of changing their clothing. This was the moment when fashion first appeared. Currently, fashion is sometimes defined as a constantly changing trend. However, it is necessary to say that at present moment fashion has a deeper influence on the life of people and possess more than just trifling reasons for its existence. Fashion through clothing has become an integral part of self-realization of every person.
People have been using clothing and accessories for many years to decorate the human body. From various parts of the world people present themselves in different ways and they may follow certain trends and make their own trends and trademarks. Fashion changes regularly with respect to time and location. For many centuries clothes gave out some message by those who wore it. Some trends were maintained in clothing in order to follow the cultural traditions. Fashion and style changed from each era. The major change occurred after the World War I; it shocked everyone by their own styles and morals. In the early days people used to wear clothes in such a way that the appearances of them give out the gender, age, economic class and sometimes their intentions. Fashion is a medium through which people communicate about their occupation, class and wealth.
Apart from the dresses we wear there are other features for fashion like hairstyles, makeup and accessories like jewelry. People were more conserve and obligated in the past but it completely changed their life styles by cutting their hair, having tattoos and piercing their body. An important aspect of fashion is the relationship it maintains with the society, which has become more complex in the recent years. Whatever clothes we wear give out a statement to the world about us, which reveals some information about our status in the society. People were much influenced psychologically and physically by fashion and its trends.
Fashion is an overlapping and interconnection of bodies which involves in promotion and production of dress and the actions performed by the individuals acting when they are dressed. Fashion clothing examines the connection between colonization and clothing material. People are spiritual and social beings, where their identity is affected by clothes in both realms. Modern tyrannies attacked the spiritual authorities of various cultures directly or indirectly by abandoning the traditional dress they need to wear and wear the clothes of modernity like party clothes of various communist moments and clothes worn by those riding the waves of fashion.
Any discussion of clothing must also consider the implications of the style of clothing that is these days overwhelming all other forms of clothing: the modern Western attire. It almost abolished all distinctions among people, race or language, religion or culture or tradition. Western dresses were developed with a certain conception of what it means to be human. Western dresses first emerged in Medieval Europe among the high classes, in a world still attached to a semblance of tradition, but, like other habits of the Western elite, it eventually became the habit of the masses, once it had become relatively affordable and readily available. There is one area where most of the part has not succumbed to the temptations of the Western mode of dress that is the clothing of women in traditional and Eastern societies. While men have almost completely abandoned their traditional dress and adopted the uniforms of the West, either of the conformist or consumerist type, women not only hold fast to their traditional clothing in their own societies, but that they choose to wear them in the “progressive” West, while their men are wearing suits, sneakers and jeans.
Clothing does depict that a person’s character can be changed or modified. It brings even honor and respect to the people. In Macbeth, the image of clothing is used to suggest that throughout the play, Macbeth tries to hide himself from his eyes and from others. Shakespeare wants to keep alive the ironical contrast between the wretched creature that Macbeth really is and the disguises he assumes to conceal that fact. Secondly, honors are thought of as garments to be worn; likewise, Macbeth is constantly represented symbolically as the wearer of robes for honor.
Fashion is symbolism and all its attributes forms an outstanding base for cultural and personal identification. Identity is a necessary process of someone’s personality as it is a part of self-realization of a person that is required for finding a place in life. Now a day’s fashion is a tool for achieving harmony with the inner world and a way of revealing or concealing peculiarities. Fashion symbols are accepted as long as it does not hurt people around and when we think about fashion and identity it is necessary to remember the ethical side of the issue. Fashion and identity still remains a twofold issue which has lot of positive aspects one can enjoy and share with other people.
Of course, there are many factors in the flight to and from tradition and fashion, and perhaps clothing seems a trivial matter with which to be concerned, for clothing does not fully make the identity of a person; as Dickens say in his ‘The Great Expectations’. Food and shelter, is an important factor in life, the individual and the environment in which the individual lives helps to interacts with others. However, ‘Fashion is not about utility. An accessory that is merely a piece of iconography used to express individual identity’ as stated by the famous Lauren Weisberger in her notable work ‘The Devil Wears Prada’.
Finally to say, Fashion does impact the world largely by significantly depicting one’s identity and character through clothing and other trends.