What does it mean to be fashionable? Does fashion consist of ugly Supreme hoodies? A new Louis Vuitton collection? A used jacket or jeans with questionable stains?
As a society, we are getting closer to understanding what makes someone truly fashionable.The fashion industry is rooted in elitism and exclusion. As we move forward into a new era of high fashion, the industry needs to be repositioned as something for everyone and every body. We should strive to incorporate ideas and perspectives, but also embrace diversity as a moving standard to avoid tokenization and performance representation.
The fashion industry has maintained mass awareness for centuries, but it’s especially prevalent these days. Everyone has an opinion about Marc Jacobs Heaven and how that gown doesn’t really conform to Schiaparelli’s house code. I’m an avid consumer of high fashion (visually. is a college student. Please dissuade me from thinking that I own any of the clothes I’m talking about), and I think these conversations represent high fashion and haute couture positivity. for.
To understand cultural movements, we need to know where they started. Early 1860s, Charles Frederick Worth Launched the first “haute couture” Maisonmeans, in this case, all fashion companies that exhaustively fulfill a set of requirements set by the legal governing body, the Federation of Haute Couture et de la Mode. Worth began his career as a court costumer for the Empress of France and was known for his unique, one-of-a-kind, one-of-a-kind designs. Her aggressive self-promotion in fashion magazines earned her her first haute couture Maison title, which also reveals the very problematic underpinnings of haute couture.
The value of haute couture stems from its exclusive side. Clothing is yours. The fact that others can’t and will never get it creates value. At its core, high fashion is a white industry. It is regulated by France, all four shows are held in Europe or America, and the creative directors are predominantly white.
This concept of high fashion has evolved into an industry built for a very specific clientele: wealthy, skinny white women in Paris, London, New York and Milan.just look The Dior collection of the late 1940sYou could say that this is the artistic side of fashion, a balancing act, but more than that, the extreme aesthetics of these clothes are both an inspiration and a reflection of the tastes of their customers. The shapes and silhouettes prevalent in the collection finally set the small waist.Rounded hips are the standard and best fashion shape. The aesthetics of these garments also reflect the fact that the target market reflects the designers and their way of thinking about beauty.
Fashion is a cultural archive, and you’ll find that the foundations of high fashion are stitched together from exclusive, Eurocentric standards.
One of the most famous BIPOC designers in recent memory was Ann Lowe, who designed Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding dress in 1953. Exclusion. She never designed a home (despite Christian Dior loving her work), and at the height of her career, wealthy clients took advantage of her blackness to She was broke because she underpaid for the design of To the exclusion of other creatives is how the industry controls the narrative of high fashion, what is fashionable and who wears it.
very first fashion week 1943, in the middle of World War II. American designers flocked to New York for a showcase, starting the Fashion Month tradition, as French designers were unable to showcase their designs. Today, Fashion Month is juggling a knife edge between art exhibits and hyperbole marketing tactics.
Fashion Month is a marketing strategy because it is based on the exclusive aspect of introducing clothing to potential clients and dividing people into viewers and clients. The client is the person who buys the clothes, the viewer is watching. Value for clients comes from people who want it but can’t get it, or who are shut out of the industry for a variety of reasons. This leads to the core message of the industry. To be fashionable, you have to be wealthy. Usually someone who has the money and motivation to buy this he is not a BIPOC. This leads to a lack of diversity in both creation and consumption.
Diversity in high fashion is a conversation going on right now, but that’s about it.of report There’s talk from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Glamor on how fashion needs to diversify and how to include women, BIPOC and LGBTQ people on boards. It feels performance when you see it promises versatility. Currently, he is the only creative director of a ‘Top 10’ high-fashion maison who is of color. Olivier of Balmain He is Rousteing.
Fashion may seem to be heading in the right direction when models like Adut Akech, Ashley Graham, Aaron Rose Philip and Alton Mason hit the show, but what haute couture shows don’t let people see. Given that it’s based on showing off, models of color and different body types seem like a far-fetched fantasy to appease the masses. White and wealthy. Your average Chanel haute couture bridal gown is $100,000-$250,000Creative directors and boards are also predominantly white, and they are the ones who ultimately lead and represent the brand, so no real change seems to be happening anywhere.
Diversity in fashion is desperately needed for many reasons and needs to be realized now. means that it must be
One of the most controversial issues in fashion is ‘slow fashion’ and ‘fast fashion’. The concept of ethical consumption of clothing is circling the industry, especially with the rise of social media, SHEIN shipping and a renaissance of thrift. How we move forward in society and how we consume slow fashion ethically is dominated by high fashion. Democratization is a step towards a more sustainable form of consumption in fashion. Haute couture is built on the concept of individual quality and tailoring, a consumption ethic of quality over quantity. A client buys one or he two pieces a year and they are very well made and can be passed down from generation to generation. These he finds a middle ground between two modes, allowing consumers to buy pieces that are made to last in small quantities, and balance the amount of SHEIN and his $250,000 wedding with his dress. You can find your sweet spot.
Diversity is a key factor in bringing high fashion to people and solving the problem of how an industry built on exclusion will move to inclusion. By bringing designers of orientation, gender identity and other identities into the world of fashion, the industry can reposition itself as an industry for everyone. The current state of the industry is performing well in that diverse models and creatives feel like billboards. There is a gap between real creative control and expression for performance. To avoid feeling underperformed, new maisons and independent designers should be given the title of haute couture his maison and reach a more diverse clientele.people like to peek Loewe anthurium dress or Schiaparelli’s Lung Necklacebut being able to purchase those items is a whole other thing.
How does diversity democratize high fashion?
From an economic standpoint, we’re seeing an influx of brands led by people of color entering the market and competing for money from high fashion houses. Designers such as Thebe Magugu, Prabal Gurung and Guo Pei use their unique cultures and experiences to bring fresh perspectives to the fashion industry. When compared side-by-side with the latest Dior and Chanel collections, they feel new and innovative, yet the established Maisons are more concerned with existing conventions and house codes (colors, materials, logos, etc. that define a brand’s characteristics). We sell clothes based on True accessibility, however, comes from a diverse set of brands that exist in a price range between fast fashion and haute couture.
In the ethos of brands such as Reformation, where sustainability and quality are reflected in their prices, a proliferation of diverse and innovative haute couture brands have taken over the market for ready-to-wear collections while maintaining their haute couture presence and catering. You can see that it is expanding. to very wealthy customers. In the vein of Miranda Priestley’s famous “cerulean speech” in “The Devil Wears Prada,” haute couture inspires other brands creatively and commercially. It is sustainable and also changes business practices.
Chanel will never do away with tweed skirt suits, and Yves Saint Laurent cat bow blousefacing competition from new designers forces them to innovate in the conventions of the house. New designers will draw more customers into the industry because they don’t want to.
Increased competition and cultural identification will move fashion into an inclusive mode, putting value in the number of people who are clothed rather than unclothed. For this dream of people to feel included and the consumption ethic to shift to quality over quantity, we need to include a framework for color designers to succeed.
Honestly, I think it’s already happened. Social media has allowed designers to skyrocket in popularity and upend conventional methods that exist in the haute couture space. Collaborations between existing and new Maisons have also enabled new designers to enter industries historically excluded. (Magu x Valentino is especially gorgeous)Consumers are finally realizing that just because a clothing item is “Supreme” doesn’t mean it’s cute, and they’re moving away from strong brand loyalty to truly great design. I’m here.
By advocating for diversity, we can use fashion as a cultural engine for more sustainable and ethical forms of consumption. Because diversity forces competition and the evolution of fashion houses into new avenues beyond traditional modes of consumption.
Because fashion is so fundamental to culture and self-expression, it has the ability to shape well beyond best-dressed lists. By advocating for diversity, we can use fashion as a cultural engine for more sustainable and ethical forms of consumption. Because diversity forces competition and the evolution of fashion houses into new avenues beyond traditional modes of consumption.
We believe that being disruptive and continuing to push the cutting edge of fashion will lead us to a world where fashion is ultimately for everyone.
Suryaansh Dongre believes fashion still has a long way to go, but hopes to get there if he has enough money to buy a vintage Issey Miyake before he passes away.