Fashion Yesterday and Today

We are living in a world surrounded by numerous things that are either related to the technology, the latest gadgets or the latest fashion. And Fashion today has made its significance felt in almost all sectors of life. Fashion can be termed into two groups: One group which follows fashion trends and adopts them and the other group who create fashion and style statements for the others to follow them. It can also be extended to another set of people who rarely have anything to do with fashion trends but yet follow their own style to create their own unique personality; adding one more style to the fashion world.

Fashion is not just about cosmetics and make up or the hair-do. It is a sense of creating the charisma of looking good in anything you wear and this magic is created with the right kind of accessories going along with the foot wear and the clothes, making up a pleasant picture to view. Many a times, people who do not afford to buy expensive clothes look their best in their casual wear, just by presenting themselves in that manner of sophistication and creating an aura around them with the confidence of looking good.

There are myriad forms of fashion, and trends keep on changing with the seasons. From the early 60s and 70s to the present millennium, there has been an immense change in the forms, looks and thoughts about fashion trends.

In India, much of fashion has been influenced by the Hindi Film Industry, popularly called Bollywood. The trends that have changed through time can be fairly seen in the movies made during the 60s and 70s and how they have evolved in various forms bringing about a style that can be followed by the general public. People have aped the west from very early times and this was no exception. The clothes made in the 60s and 70s were very much influenced by the western countries and given a traditional touch. The Bell Bottoms, scarves and the hair style was very much prevalent in those days as an icon of style. Later in the 80s and 90s, Fashion world sizzled like never before. There was a craving by the people to look different, stylish and modern and this could be seen in their outlook towards their outfit, new styles of hair, makeup, accessories like purses, earrings, necklaces, matching footwear etc.

People were conscious about each and every new thing that was marketed and they copied the styles from their Bollywood idols. Bollywood started as a platform for theatre artistes and went on to become a commercial entry to the youths and aspirants for a career in the film and fashion industry. This gave the youth of today to emphasize on the fashion world. Art and music have become an inseparable thing of the past and so it is deeply rooted in the present as well with more features and facilities.

Today fashion, art, music, designers, dance etc all have a place in the industry and people can choose to take up anything related to this industry as their profession too. Art and music have long been implemented in the school co-curricular activities and the Higher colleges are now offering various courses for better professionalism in these areas. There are also various acting schools and the small screen i.e., the television has opened up avenues in bringing out the talent in the young minds through numerous platforms of music and dance. This is the innovation of the millennium in creating jobs and work in the fashion industry. The trends that we see are brought about by the fashion houses that have regular seasons to showcase their invention, many of which are popularized in FTV, Zee Trendz and TLC channels. We can also get a glimpse of the stylish outfits through these shows that the models present. Today, Modelling is also one of the platforms for an entry into the world of fashion.

In the yester years, fashion was constrained only to the actors in the film or those that were bold enough to carry themselves in the public that they were considered fashionable. Others just wooed them behind close doors. Slowly when times began changing, we could see the women showing off their styles in the traditional saree with an embroidered blouse and a different neck style. Then we saw the saree being draped in various styles like the Bengali style or the Gujarati style etc. The women were liberating their choice of freedom and it could be seen in their appearances with a high heeled slipper or the handbag she carried or the way she held her saree or the hair and the makeup she wore. All these changes brought about the invention of churidhars and then the salwar kameez and finally the fashion of dresses was out in the open. Women accepted to the fact that there was nothing wrong in looking good and the men of course, loved to see the attractive side of women and fantasized the idea over their spouses.

This change in attitude of the public was very well taken by the fashionistas and a huge market was created to meet the demands of the public. Today fashion creates a new look with distinct style for a particular person and keeps oneself updated with the latest trends seen in the market. This industry is popular for its glamour as well as the mixture of Indian tradition and culture put into the designer wear that the models showcase.

People love to experiment different textures of materials used in the outfits and so the designers give them a wide collection of dresses using all kinds of clothes. There is the traditional Khadi and silk combination that is presently creating waves seen in both men’s and women’s wear. Then we have the embroidery work in zardosi, swarovski studded tops and lehangas and multi stoned work in bridal collection sarees etc. Then the most sought materials like cotton, polyster, chiffon, crush materials used in varied iconoclastic designs and styles.

Always there is a hope for the designers that the youth want a change in the fashion and are glad to keep up the trend with a fusion of Indian and western mix of fashionable wear. Also the youth of today are very practical in their sense of styling for a particular occasion. Be it a party or for a marriage or the casual look, they want the best and they believe in looking the best. And to achieve this, people go one step ahead in ensuring that they have everything in their wardrobe for any kind of occasion.

Apart from the stylish clothes and fashion that is currently popular people want to try something that goes along with their outlook. So the market started towards the very own friend of a woman- The Hand Bag or the Purse. The Fresh look of a purse with magnificent colours and its stylish features like the chain handle or the jazzy zips with numerous pockets in different shapes attracted the public like never before. And with the increasing demand of the prices of branded purses, it became a must for every woman to complete her shopping. So did the other accessories line up by creating a place for themselves in the market. Just a few to quote, the earring and necklaces, the various Belts, hand bracelets and brooch, the stiletto and its wonderful embroidered, party wear slippers along with its brotherly high rugged shoes giving a perfect cowboy look etc.

Fashion Marketing Internships: What It’s Like

A fashion marketing internship is one of the quickest ways to break into the ultra-competitive fashion industry It’s a giant industry that is completely dependent on the professional fashion-designers, marketers and retail merchandisers. What is created as a masterpiece by its expert wardrobe designers remains a far-fetched dream for the customers unless it is made available on the floor of showrooms. But it needs team work especially of the dexterous marketers, who are responsible for the extreme success. It is extensive training imparted to the selected individuals, which creates an army of skilled marketing executives, and this training begins with a fashion marketing internship.

These executives attend the lectures and learn all the strategies to promote business. To join the apparel industry, the new entrants need a degree or they have to undergo short-term fashion marketing internship program. Also known as merchandising professionals, these fashion-apparel-promoting marketers, conduct marketing research to identify new trends of fashion so that stylish wardrobes can be introduced in the market. They dwell on the mood of fashion-loving people, especially the young generation, for stylish fashion-dresses. Such kind of extensive survey helps the expert-designers read the psychology of customers and thus help the fashion-designing specialists create superbly developed fashion wardrobes.

The Retail Merchandisers Serve As Both Retailers & Wholesalers

Before embarking on a career in fashion marketing, one must understand what it they would be doing and why fashion marketers are so important. Creation of a stylish wardrobe is only half done if the items are not supplied in the market for sales. The marketing is shouldered by the retail merchandisers, who look for a market. Flooding the market with attractive fashion products can not yield any result unless immense curiosity is aroused among the people. This is the job which indispensably is accomplished by the retail merchandisers in order to promote sales of attire. These marketers popularize the exquisitely-designed fashions through internet. In order to attract the customers, these merchandisers highlight the outstanding features of latest wardrobes that in turn blooms the business unbelievably. And as part of a fashion marketing internship, the intern will be mirroring the professional performing these tasks, and possibly taking part in them.

The retail merchandisers inspect the market and make sure that the demand for a trendy wardrobe is met at every cost. Another important issue which the marketers focus their attention on is the price. The retailers often charge arbitrarily and this affects the business in an unfavorable way. Being aware of such acts going on in the market, the retail merchandisers can conduct raid at the blacklisted showrooms, and expect the fashion marketing intern to monitor their actions. If they find any defiance of ‘legal & fair trade practices’ norms, then they impose heavy fines and take legal action against the culprit.

Plenty of Information is Posted Online

In order to let the fashion fans keep in touch with the newly introduced fashion line, the fashion marketing internship team is expected to keep updating the website regularly, highlighting the code of dress, price and discount as well. To redress grievances of the dissatisfied-customers the fashion- companies mention on their sites their E-mail address and phone numbers also so that customers can communicate their problems.

Fashion Industry Provides Employment

If you are a fresh off your first fashion marketing internship or right out of fashion school and curiously looking for a lucrative job, do submit your resume to fashion houses, fashion pr firms, and the lke. As retail merchandisers are the backbone of fashion industry, you can be considered for respective posts with great honor. If you hold a degree in fashion design and are courteous, have an eye for style and a keen knack for business, the fashion marketing has got to be your destination. If you have no certificate or degree in the fashion-designing then you should go for 2 to 4 years course in respective field to herald a career in fashion industry, or at least take on a fashion marketing internship while you are studying another line of work.

Aspects Of Fashion Industry – Choose Your Fashion Merchandising Colleges

Fashion industry attracts many young people nowadays not only because it is a rather new profession, but also it is supposed to realize person’s likes in the field of fashion. Besides, it is quite a high-paid profession today. When a young person decides to connect his or her activity with the fashion industry nothing comes to mind except one its aspect – fashion design. Probably, few people actually know that it’s a separate field of fashion industry. In fact, there is a great number of other professions and specialties in fashion including designing clothing, fashion design, fashion marketing, fashion merchandising, etc. The latter doesn’t get worthy attention, but it is very important. Due to merchandising we have fashionable clothes in the shops and stores.

How can one know whether fashion merchandising is the field for him to start work at? Look through the following traits of a potential fashion merchandiser and if at least one point coincides with your way of life, you have all chances to make the career in the field. Do you like to spend your weekend walking through flea markets for the latest retro fashions? Or maybe your friends want to borrow your fashionable shoes and your defiant accessories? If so, maybe you should take a walk down the fashion runway. Being a student in merchandising, you will get an opportunity to learn more about fabrics and textiles. You are also going to study the cultures and subcultures that shape the way people dress.

No doubt, in order to become a professional merchandiser, a great desire and talent for this specialty is not enough. If a person wants to get into this career and have success in it one needs to get the right education and training at first. A fashion merchandising college will be of great help for you. Once you study at a fashion merchandising college you will get an opportunity to learn all the ins and outs of the fashion industry because there one can get a practical experience and build a strong foundation necessary for further working in this field.

A student has the right to choose whether to obtain a two-year Associate in Art degree or a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in the field of fashion. It depends on the kind of a fashion merchandising college you are going to visit. Besides, you are also welcome to unite this education with classes or even a major or minor in a related specialty, for instance, fashion design or fashion marketing. Students in a fashion merchandising college learn how to manufacture, buy, promote, and sell fashion items, beginning from clothing and jewelry to cosmetics and furniture. They also learn about textiles (fabrics and the fibers used to make them).

One should choose his or her future merchandising college very thoroughly. Depending upon the fashion merchandising college you are going to attend a sort of the necessary courses in your degree course will greatly vary. The most preferable courses include subjects like accounting principles, business law, salesmanship, fashion sketching, merchandising math, merchandising, publicity and promotions, fashion development, trend-spotting, and the history of fashion. You are certain to like those subjects, besides, they will give you the fundamental knowledge of the fashion industry.

Studying at a fashion merchandising college is not like studying at any other educational establishment. Many core courses in fashion merchandising are hands-on and involve a great amount of project work. Professors tend to rely more on their life experiences than on textbooks. If you are going to become a student expect to take a lot of field trips and listen to many guest speakers. You may visit a fashion magazine or large clothing company. You might even swing by a fashion show or two.

Having the profession of a fashion merchandiser is very interesting. It involves much communication with other people. When a person gets the job of a fashion merchandiser he or she is going to spend all days long visiting various fashion shows, buying clothing and designs, speaking with designers, overseeing advertising and marketing campaigns necessary for successful selling of your products, and managing the stores within your business network. You are also expected to find yourself negotiating business agreements with manufacturers and suppliers. Besides, you are going to arrange your own store displays. The scope of your activity depends on the size of the business you have as well as on the level of practical work expected of you.

Beginning the fashion merchandising career you should always improve your skills and knowledge of fashion tendencies in the world, and the most important thing you will have to do is to perfect your ability of picking out the next big thing in fashion before anyone else does. This will guarantee your success. This ability carries the foundation of your new knowledge of past fashions and trends. It includes everything you will obtain by attending a fashion merchandising college, but further you should develop this trend adding your own good taste in clothing.

Summing up, it would be necessary to say that the career of a fashion merchandiser cooperates with many different fields of the fashion industry. That’s why if you are searching for a more interesting kind of activity, something that’s more than just designing clothes or visiting fashion shows, fashion merchandising may be your piece of cake. But be very attentive while choosing an appropriate fashion merchandising college, try to use your wisdom in this uneasy task, because it may define your future profession and even you life. You should do your research before entering the fashion merchandising college, and beforehand check whether the school or program you are going to attend is properly accredited.

Bubble-Up Effects of Subculture Fashion

The notion that trends in fashion take part in a phenomenon known as the trickle down effect has long been recognised by fashion pundits. A process of social emulation of society’s upper echelons by the subordinates provides myriad incentives for perpetual and incessant changes in fashion through a sequence of novelty and imitation. Dior’s ‘New Look’ of 1947 consisted of creations that were only affordable to a minority of affluent women of the time. Fashion was governed by haute-couture designers and presented to the masses to aspire toward. However, this traditional prospective has been vigorously challenged by many throughout the fashion world. Revisionist observations have introduced a paradoxical argument that fashion trends have, on numerous occasions, inadvertently emerged from the more obscure spheres of society onto the glamorous catwalks of high-fashion designers.

These styles can originate from a range of unorthodox sources, from leather-jacketed punks and dramatic Goths, the teddy boys of the 1950s, to ethnic minority cultures from all edges of the globe. Styles that emerge from the bottom of the social hierarchy are increasingly bubbling up to become the status of high fashion. There has been significant concern over the implications of this so-called bubble-up effect, such as the ambiguity between the notions of flattering imitation and outright exploitation of subcultures and minority groups. Democratization and globalisation of fashion has contributed to the abrasion of the authenticity and original identity of street-style culture. The inadvertent massification of maverick ideas undermines the ‘street value’ of the fashions for the very people who originally created them.

The underlying definition of subculture, with regards to anthropology and sociology, is a group of people who differentiates from the larger prevailing culture surrounding them. Members of a subculture have their own shared values and conventions, tending to oppose mainstream culture, for example in fashion and music tastes. Gelder proposed several principal characteristics that subcultures portrayed in general: negative relations to work and class, association with their own territory, living in non-domestic habitats, profligate sense of stylistic exaggeration, and stubborn refusal of massification. Hebdige emphasised that the opposition by subcultures to conform to standard societal values has been slated as a negative trait, where in fact the misunderstood groups are only attempting to find their own identity and meaning. The divergence away from social normalcy has unsurprisingly proliferated new ideas and styles, and this can be distinctly observed through the existence of fashion diversity. Ethnicity, race, class and gender can be physical distinctions of subcultures. Furthermore, qualities which determine a subculture may be aesthetic, linguistic, sexual, political, religious, or a mixture of these factors.

Sigmund Freud and his nephew Edward Bernays investigated the drivers of social control and the engineering of consent. Their psychological theories provide insight into the causes of deviation, by members of a subculture, from social norms. They highlighted the irrationality of human beings and discovered that by tapping into their deepest desires, it is possible to manipulate unconscious minds in order to manage society. Freud believed that stimulating the unconscious was crucial to creating desire, and therefore is conducive to economic progress and mass democracy. Bernays argued that individual freedom was unattainable because it would be “too dangerous to allow human beings to truly express themselves”. Through various methods of advertising, a distinctive ‘majority’ can be created in society, where a person belonging to this group is perceived to be normal, conventional and conformist. By using techniques to satisfy people’s inner desires, the rise of widespread consumerism plays a part in the organized manipulation of the masses. However, through the unleashing of certain uncontrolled aggressive instincts, occasional irrationality emerged in groups, and this repudiation of the banalities of ordinary life is believed to be a key factor in the generation of subcultures.

The expansion of youth styles from subcultures into the fashion market is a real network or infrastructure of new kinds of commercial and economic institutions. The creation of new and startling styles will be inextricably linked to a process of production and publicity inevitably leading to the diffusion and spread of the subversive subculture trends. For example, both mod and punk innovations have become incorporated into high and mainstream fashion after the initial low-key emergence of such styles. The complexities of society perpetuate continuous change in style and taste, with different classes or groups prevailing during certain periods of time. To deal with the question of which is the most influential source of fashion, it is necessary to consider distribution of power. It is not the same for all classes to have access to the means by which ideas are disseminated in our society, principally the mass media. In history, the elites have had greater power to prescribe meaning and dictate what is to be defined as normality.

Trickling down to shape the views of the substantial passive parts of the population, designers from high places were able to set trends that diffused from the upper to lower spectrum of society. Subcultures, it was suggested, go against nature and are subject to abhorrence and disapproval by followers of mainstream trends. Regrettably, criminal gangs, homeless subcultures and reckless skateboarders, among other ‘negative’ portrayals of subcultures have been accused of dragging down the image of other ‘positive’ subcultures which demonstrate creativity and inspiration. There is an unstable relationship between socialising and de-socialising forces. Nevertheless, German philosopher Kant observed that actual social life should and always will consist of in some way its own opposite asocial life, which he described as “unsociable sociality”.

Without doubt, fashion exhibits a dichotomy of conformity and differentiation, with contradictory groups aspiring to fit in and stand out from a crowd. Previously, the pace of change that fashion went through has spawned social emulation, a phenomenon whereby subordinate groups follow a process of imitation of the fashion tastes adopted by the upper echelons of society. Veblen, a Norwegian-American sociologist and economist, criticized in detail the rise of consumerism, especially the notion of conspicuous consumption, initiated by people of high status. Another influential sociologist Georg Simmel, classified two basic human instincts – the impetus to imitate one’s neighbours, and conversely, the individualistic behaviour of distinguishing oneself.

Simmel indicated the tendency towards social equalization with the desire for individual differentiation and change. Indeed, to elucidate Simmel’s theory of distinction versus imitation, the distinctiveness of subcultures in the early stages of a set fashion assures for its destruction as the fashion spreads. An idea or a custom has its optimal innovative intensity when it is constrained to a small clandestine group. After the original symbolic value of the idea has been exploited by commercialisation and accepted as a part of mass culture, the balance will have a tendency to tip towards imitation over distinction. An example of the imitation of a distinctive subculture is the evolution of blue jeans, which originating from humble American cowboys and gold-miners, demonstrate a bubble-up effect of a subculture. On a larger scale, it can be said that Western style dressing ‘bubbled-up’ from 19th Century Quaker’s attire, rather than ‘trickling down’ from the styles of Court aristocracy.

Simmel describes fashion as a process by which the society consolidates itself by reintegrating what disrupts it. The existence of fashion requires that some members of society must be perceived as superior or inferior. From economist Harvey Leibenstein’s perspective, fashion is a market constituted of ‘snobs’. The phenomenon of ‘snob-demand’ depicts consumers as snobs who will stop buying a product when the price drops too much. The trickle down effect has been related to a ‘band-wagon effect’ where the turnovers of a product are particularly high as a result of imitation. Every economic choice is bound not only to the pure computational rationality of individuals, but is influenced by irrational factors, such social imitation, contrary to what Simmel calls the ‘need for distinction’. However, a ‘reverse bandwagon effect’ acts as an opposing force when a snobbish consumer stops buying a product because too many others are buying it as well. The resultant force depends on the relative intensity of the two forces.

Subcultures have often endured a less than agreeable relationship with the mainstream as a result of exploitation and cultural appropriation. This often leads to the demise or evolution of a particular subculture once the originally novel ideas have been commercially popularised to an extent where the ideologies of the subculture have lost their fundamental connotations. The insatiable commercial hunger for new trends instigated the counterfeiting of subculture fashion, unjustifiably used on the sophisticated catwalks in fashion dictatorships of Paris, Milan and New York. It is not purely sartorial fashion but also music subcultures that are particularly vulnerable to the massification process. Certain types of music like jazz, punk, hip hop and rave were only listened to by minority groups at the initial stages of its history.

Events in history have had substantial impacts on the rise, development and evolution of subcultures. The First World War had an impact on men’s hairstyles as lice and fleas were ubiquitous in wartime trenches. Those with shaved heads were presumed to have served at the Front while those with long hair were branded cowards, deserters, and pacifists. During the 1920s, standard social etiquettes were discarded by certain youth subcultures, as drink, drugs and jazz infiltrated America, intensified by the alcohol prohibition of the time. A crime subculture emerged as smugglers discovered profit opportunities with Mexican and Cuban drug plantations. The Great Depression of the late 20s in North America caused pervasive poverty and unemployment. Consequently, a significant number of adolescents discovered identity and expression through urban youth gangs, such as the ‘dead end kids’.

Existentialists like Camus and Sartre also played a significant part in influencing the subcultures of the 1950s and 60s. Emphasis on freedom of the individual created a version of existential bohemianism resembling the beat generation. This subculture represented a version of bohemian hedonism; McClure declares that “non-conformity and spontaneous creativity were crucial”. In literature, Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” depicted the economic hardship of these times. Initially burned and banned to American citizens, condemned as communist propaganda, this book was given the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962. It only took a few decades for the previously socially unacceptable book to diffuse into mainstream culture.

The popularisation of folk and cowboy songs led to their unique underlying patterns being mixed with elements of jazz, blues and soul, creating a new subculture of western swing. Technological progress facilitated “instantaneous mass media creating large subcultures from the ideas of a range of smaller subcultures”. Accordingly, a bubble-up effect can be seen where, through a process of innovation and diffusion, original ideas can spread into mass culture.

The process of integration has a potential to lead to the polarisation of warring subcultures, contributing to social disorganization. Shaw and Mckay assessed that although their data is not sufficient to determine “the extent to which membership in delinquent gangs produces delinquency”, membership is probably a contributing factor. They use the term ‘differential social organisation’ to depict how subculture formation is a result of broader economic and demographic forces that undermine conventional local institutions of control.

The institution of the family is weakened by these forces, and as a result, alternatives to the traditional family have arisen as various subcultures. Ethan Watters elucidated this social trend in his book defining urban tribes as “groups of never-married’s between the ages of 25 and 45 who gather in common-interest groups and enjoy an urban lifestyle”. Analysis of the long term perspective of street trends reveal that youth trends bubble-up every five to ten years, and that individualism, anarchy and self-realization, are universal in these trends.

In the process of bubbling up, there are two important concepts to consider, that of ‘diffusion’ and ‘defusion’. Fashion diffusion focuses on the individual and the crowd, particularly in this case the spreading of fashion in a systematic way from small scale to large scale institutions. It highlights the idea that fashion innovation and creativity drawn from subcultures are integrated into mass culture. In the process, non-conformist fashion may be subject to defusion, a diluting of the fundamental intrinsic meaning of the original subculture. The commercialisation of fashion is especially central to the danger of decontextualisation of trend origins. For example, the wearing of ripped jeans, an accepted form of attire nowadays, does not necessarily relate to the image of ‘hippies’ in modern times. The concept of identity and its modifications and transformations after a period of time should be carefully considered.

Analysis of street style is another fundamental aspect in determining the extent of a bubble-up effect in fashion. It is an idea that opposes the view that high fashion has given way to popular culture. Polhemus proposed that “styles which start life on the street corner have a way of ending up on the backs of top models on the world’s most prestigious fashion catwalks”. Prior to this new train of thought, the predominant view was that new looks began with couture and ‘trickle down’ to the mass market mainline fashion industry. Polhemus suggested that the evidence he found gave insight to a chain of events; initially genuine street innovation appears, followed by the featuring in mass media, such as magazines or television programmes, of street kids. In time, the ritzy version of the original idea makes an appearance, as a part of a top designer’s collection.

Polhemus identified two basic street-styles involving dressing up or dressing down. Those from a relatively affluent sector of society, such as the Beatniks and Hippies developed a penchant for the latter, preferring to descend down the socio-economic ladder in the interest of authenticity. Nowadays, the variety of attire seen on streets and nightclubs show that culture is no longer only a prerogative of the upper class. Although, the creatively democratic society that we progress towards optimizes fashion innovation, cynics of the bubble-up effect, such as Johnny Stuart, condemned in his book on rockers, “the fancy fashionable versions of the Perfecto which you see all over the place, dilute the significance, taking away its original magic, castrating it”.

Social crises of the 1950s and 1970s brought about new ideological constructions in response to the worsening economy, scarcity of jobs, loss of community, and the failure of consumerism to satisfy real needs. Racism became a solution to the problems of working-class life. Such periods of social turmoil resulted in fashion defusion, with many subcultures becoming increasingly detached from their foundation symbolisms. The connotations of the attire of the teddy boys during the 1970s bore little resemblance to the style of 1956. The original narcissistic upper-class style was somewhat irrevocably lost in a wave of ‘second generation teds’ that preferred fidelity to the classic ‘bad-boy’ stereotypes. The concept of specificity, subcultures responding to circumstances at distinctive moments in history, is depicted as vital to the study of subcultures.

Therefore the resultant mass-consumed item may draw distance from the emblem of the original subculture, attainable to all who can afford it. The loss of identity may prove to be a serious problem as subcultures may feel exploited, estranged and meaningless without a sense of belonging. Subcultures established a sense of community to certain individuals during a new post-war age that witnessed the deterioration of traditional social groupings. Polhemus claims that subcultures like Teddy Boys, Mods, Rockers, Skinheads, Rockabillies, Hipsters, Surfers, Hippies, Rastafarians, Headbangers, Goths, etc, as “social phenomenon style tribes cannot be dismissed as something transitory”. Known as the Kogal phenomenon, a subculture emerged where groups of young girls between the ages of 15 and 18 appeared on the streets of Tokyo with long dyed-brown or bleached-blond hair, tanned skin, heavy makeup, brightly coloured miniskirts or short pants that flare out at the bottom, and high platform boots.

‘Field’ has become more appropriate in the analysis of fashion changes. People engaged in similar lifestyles with intrinsically similar cultural capital, i.e. nationality, profession, family and friends form group identities interacting with others in the same ‘field’. This has been an important contributing factor to the birth of subcultures.The anachronistic belief that class was a determinant of fashion has reduced significantly, as confirmed by Bauman, who proposed the idea of ‘liquid society’, where fashion exists in a more flexible and malleable state.

A particular phenomenon of recent times, subject to both a trickle-down and a bubble-up effect of varying degrees, is the democratization and globalization of fashion. There has been an emergence of ‘prêt-a-porter’ invented by John Claude Weill in 1949. This development has increased the speed and diffusion of fashion trends across the world, which amplified the culture of fast fashion, massification and global standardisation. Standardised factory-made prêt-a-porter clothes, of which ‘wearability’ is crucial, sometimes descend from places of high fashion, for example inspired from couture. Designers such as Poiret, Dior and Lacroix produce a ready-to-wear line alongside their haute couture collection to take advantage of a wider market. Nevertheless, its mass-produced industrial nature detracts away from the exclusivity of traditional couture.

By 1930, couturiers like Schiaparelli, Delauney, and Patou began to design their own ready-to-wear boutiques, understanding the new emerging system of fashion whereby the moment that people stop copying you, it means that you are no longer any good. The democratization of couture disallowed it to sustain its elitist nature and therefore haute couture was beginning to accept that fashion was about emulation. Nevertheless, attire was not entirely uniform and equalised. Subtle nuances continued to mark social distinctions but mitigated the upper class penchant for conspicuous consumption.

Democratising fashion came hand in hand with a ‘disunification’ of feminine attire, which varied more in form and became less homogeneous. The fundamental attraction of making profit inspired innovation in styles and a perpetual search for lower costs through efficient industrial manufacturing. Institutions were evolving to an extent that the pretentious elitist sectors diminished in favour of universal mass production. The end of the Second World War brought about increased demand for fashion, encouraged by films and magazines of the time and the take off of global advertising campaigns, i.e. Levi’s, Rodier, Benetton, Naf-Naf, etc, highlighting the need for high standards of living, well-being and hedonistic mass culture. It is the globalisation and rapidity of fashion movements, as Kawamura amply discussed, that underline the fact that “fast-changing tastes of consumers are matched only by the cleverness of the department store that identifies trendsetters among young consumers and feeds their knowledge into the production cycle”.

It is impossible to conduct discourse in fashion without associating it with change, unpredictability and a high degree of uncertainty. It is very difficult to distinguish which goods will be adorned by the mass population and which trends will be instantaneously rejected. In general, industries need economic capital and political solidarity to function but these institutions are particularly difficult to uphold in the aesthetic industry. A paradox exists in that while on a superficial level everyone associates fashion with change, the underlying forces value stability. They argue that it is not possible to speak of one single fashion, but rather of different fashions existing at the same time. This is especially the case for an intrinsically fast-paced, competitive and fragmented industry. A bubble-up effect is inherent to a globalised fashion world, and the upward flow of fashion stemming from various subcultures contributes abundantly to this process.

Fashion Careers – Job List in the Fashion Industry

A career in the fashion industry sounds glamorous and lucrative. Have you consider getting into the fashion industry, but might think that you cannot manage it? There are so many different roles and positions that you can play in the fashion world. One does not necessarily be a fashion designer but still be able to have a very success career in the fashion industry.

Being able to make a living with things you like is always enjoyable. If you are a fashion fan and love to see beautiful clothing, accessories or sketches around you, you should consider starting a career in the fashion world. Below are some key roles in the fashion world where you can take part in – from design, production, marketing, to many more.

Designing
This is one of the most high profile jobs in the fashion industry. Designers are responsible for conceptualizing their ideas on trends and realizing them on their final products. Designers can be employed by companies which own a group of designers, or work for their own brand and production line, or, even as a freelancer providing designs for difference companies.

There are several types of fashion designers:

1. Apparel designers: Obviously these are clothing designers, ranging from lingerie, sports wear, casual wear to high fashion couture, for men, women and kids.
2. Footwear designers: They design footwear for men, women and kids from a style point of view, as well as from a foot-health’s perspective.
3. Accessory designers: Accessories has a broad definitely – from handbags, hat, eyewear to gloves, scarves and jewelry pieces.

Production
Production involves the sampling of garments and accessories until producing the final pieces that would deliver to shops and customers. This massive work involves a team of various professions:

1. Merchandiser: Merchandisers play a key role in the production process of a fashion product.They are responsible for buying raw materials for production, selecting fabric, textiles and trims. They have to make decisions based on pricing, quality and latest trend and innovation of raw materials.

2. Technical Designers: Technical designers are the one responsible for doing fittings during the whole sampling to production procedure. They might not be the one who designed the garment but are the experts in providing alternative to the garment to improve the fitting of garment.

3. Pattern Makers: Pattern is the basis for a garment to be sewed. Pattern makers produce and maintain patterns for garments that designers have sketched out. Pattern makers are key persons in realization of a garment.

4. Pattern Graders: The sizing of garment starts with the pattern grading. Pattern graders are experts in creating size specifications for different sizes. They are vital persons in for any fashion brands, as a consistent sizing across products can maintain customer loyalty and confidence.

5. Fitting Models: Ultimately garments and footwear are made for putting comfort and style together. Fitting is a crucial part in fashion industry and the most precise fitting is to use model as the body for fitting.

Many companies have their own dedicated models for fitting their lines, who has the exact sizing measurement the brand requires. Sometimes you would see ads looking for sampling models, from kids, men, women to plus size models.

6. Quality Control Specialists: Quality control is of top importance for any sort of products, and is no exception in fashion industry. Quality control specialists look at the quality of raw materials, like peeling, shrinking and color fading of textile and overall quality of a fashion item, for instance, the overall assembling of an accessory item.

7. Planners: Fashion planners coordinate closely with designers, merchandisers and buyers to decide the production plan for the coming seasons. They look at both production and marketing side while paying close attention to the latest fashion trend.

Marketing
Marketing is as important as making a perfect piece of fashion item. Whether it’s marketing in a wholesale or retail side, people in fashion marketing bears the mission of promoting the fashion item into this fast changing world.

1. Fashion Buyer/ Retail Merchandisers: Product merchandisers are the ones who buy ready-made products to be sold in a shop like department stores. These merchandisers conduct researches and analyze market trend, the relative customer wants and stocks. They bear huge responsibility in terms of profit making, since having the eye to buy the right product for sales can make a difference in revenue.

2. Showroom Sales Specialists: Some brands own their showrooms, displaying their collection for fashion buyers (wholesalers) to make their orders. Compared with retail sales, showroom sales specialists should know their seasonal returning customer better and be able provide detailed information on the selling collections.

3. Retail Store Manager/ Boutique Owners: Retail shop manager, sales and boutique owners are the first line personnel facing retail customers like you and me.

Other Fashion-related Professions
Besides in the field of designing, producing or marketing a fashion item, one might be attracted by other positions like as a writer of fashion magazine, online blogs and fashion event management etc. Below is a list highlighting the other possible jobs related to fashion industry:

1. Fashion Writers: Writers or freelance writers can write for magazines, online blogs or sites on reviews, trends and recommendations. Fashion writers can also develop into fashion magazine editors.

2. Personal Stylists:Some department stores provide personal styling services while some private customer would employ personal stylist giving them recommendations in personal styling.

3. Fashion event Management/ Public Relations: There are nameless fashion events which requires professional public relations and event management personnel to take care of. There are PR companies specialized in holding fashion related events.

Grasp the Opportunities!
Besides the above mentioned careers in the fashion industry, there are still many other opportunities like photographer, costume designer and catalog/ fashion show models, etc. One of the most reachable way to keep yourself updated with job opportunities and fashion trend is to be active in fashion forum and subscribe to fashion magazines.