Is fashion constructed? Is it authoritative?
Some general thoughts have popped up in my mind about this whole ongoing life.
As i see in this modern age, people tend to be very fashionable and the market flows very quickly, that’s great. But the thing is, why do they tend to be very alike? What form of “power” controls these trends? Who defines “good fashion”?
Well we know that fashion & style is a part of the concrete, tangible, complicated and symbolic process of forming the self, identity, and social relations of a person (this was generalized by the famous quote “you are what you wear”). But can it also be twisted around that fashion itself is also constructed by some “power” that has the ability to do so?
GAP top // Handmade batik skirt // Forever21 headpiece // Pull&Bear mini sling bag // Nine West pumps
I can somehow relate all of these self made questions to a communication theory called the symbolic interaction theory (i just love how all the things i’m learning in my major can be related to so many things in life). It is stated that social reality is constructed, where reality is a collective hunch. How does a person know if they’re funny or not? Sometimes you don’t know, sometimes you go through life suspecting you are but never really knowing for sure, or sometimes you know for sure because so many people telling so. If i replace the question with fashion, how do you know whether a fashion trend, collection, even style is good or not? Well, i generally conclude that the way you define it is a reflection by how others define it, you know for sure because so many people telling so, a collective hunch. So does this mean that there was never an objective line that defines good and bad fashion? And this was all socially constructed?
If fashion was a “governance” will it be authoritative? Who runs it? I believe, the media. Internet is also the media, a form of new media. Powerful media controls the fashion cycle itself, the trends and those who define “good fashion”. From an assumption of media ecology, it is believed that media has the power to form our point of view about the world, it constructs our minds. So no wonder that people tend to “accept”, “agree” and “follow” the fashion contents in fashion magazines and other form of fashion medias. Have you ever wondered why a fashion statement could become so trendy but actually there’s nothing special about it, but so many people somehow wears it, and probably you somehow starts to wear it too? Well that’s the power of media, and the power of a collective hunch. That is what drives the market and creates similarity in every store. In the end, the alternatives are not diverse. So unconsciously, our “freedom of choice” is limited by this phenomenon and our picks are driven by the trends.
Well i see this whole phenomena as something really cool though. That well, we have to admit that we fashion enthusiast are unconsciously being the "puppets" of media. Somehow this is natural, because 90% of human behaviors and actions are actually done unconsciously. So it's just as same as being humans :)