Inspired by design

Posted on 13/10/2014 by

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There’s more to fashion than meets the eye, says Broughton High School student Layan Degachi:

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Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” – Coco Chanel.

I certainly agree with this exceedingly influential artist’s view on fashion and the way she interprets it as more than just as a trivial interest or a superficial obsession. There’s so much more behind it.

People may have different views regarding fashion; they might say it’s an unhealthy obsession or ridiculously shallow, but in reality it’s the complete opposite of that. Why should people who enjoy fashion be automatically labelled as gullible or empty-headed? In fact working in fashion is one of the most demanding fields there is. It requires cleverness, originality, insight and the ability to inspire. It comes with specific skills, a sense of creativeness and commands for long hours of hard work.

“Fashion is so close in revealing a person’s inner feelings and everybody seems to hate to lay claim to vanity so people tend to push it away. It’s really too close to the quick of the soul.” – Stella Blum.

Fashion allows the freedom of self expression and so plays an increasingly important role in an individual’s life. The garments and accessories that man or woman wear, help them to identify with a group of others whether it’s a lifestyle, profession, a religion or an attitude.

“Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It’s movement, design and architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be.” – Blair Waldorf.

Fashion is something everyone can relate to and for me it is fascinating in this sense. For many years now I’ve found myself so easily and intensely drawn into it. I’m fascinated by the detail that goes into fashion items; I admire and find inspiration in everything around me so much that it has become a distinguished part of my identity and I just can’t imagine how life would be without the enchanting effect that fashion spreads.

I find that what you’re wearing can also reflect on how other people see you. For example a specific choice of colour can show your personality or mood. Different styles of clothes are assigned meaning in the same way words are. For example a suit and tie are always associated with formality and a willingness to treat other people with some degree of respect as well as expecting to be treated the same way in return.

Fashion is culture and history. The evolution of fashion dates back to several hundred years and as our attitude and culture change, fashion comes along with it. From Victorian times when dresses were layered and made with heavy fabric to around the 1900s – changing to elegant and extremely long dresses, a time for men and woman wearing fancy hats, influenced by the cultural trends and events of the time.

Fashion continues to change during each new and unique era to match different seasons, keeping in mind people’s demands and needs from all age groups. Therefore even though it may be stereotyped as otherwise; fashion is not only for young people, it’s for everyone.

As an industry it has a hige impact on the economy. In 2010 the UK fashion industry was worth £ 21 billion – that went up to £ 26 billion in 2014.  The ‘value of the UK fashion industry’ report commissioned by the British Fashion Council emphasizes the importance of the contribution of fashion towards the economy and events such as London fashion week attracting millions of visitors to the UK every year. It states that 816,000 people are employed in the UK fashion industry across a wide range of all the creative industries and it’s the 15th largest industry (out of 81) in the UK.

There is so much more to fashion. If you may think you’re not involved in it at all I ask; do you get dressed every morning? One breathes and lives fashion without awareness. You might consider that it doesn’t relate to your job or the routine of your daily life but this is not the case: fashion is all around us.

Think from the work uniform you put on in the very morning to the buildings and different architecture you see on your way out to school or work, all the small details, the designs you come across every day in your wardrobe, house, office, culture and environment. Fashion is a captivating, mesmerizing and critical part of life.

When thinking of fashion, the astounding, countless thoughts that sparkle up in my mind are best described by my favourite quote from the extraordinary designer, Oleg Cassini: “Fashion; a mirror of the time in which we live, a translation of the future and should never be static.” This supports and adds to my argument that fashion can go much deeper and beyond mere aesthetics. There’s more to it than meets the eye.

Layan Degachi

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