9to5musings

Muses about everything from MECM20003 to hipster glasses and hot chocolate

Fashion cycles: always changing, always changing faster each time.

Honestly, I can’t keep up with fashion.

In 2011, it was clashing prints, maxi dresses, and neutral colours. Fall 2012, however, has seen high necklines, contrasting collars, and bold red tartan and plaid gracing the runways.

What’s going to be next?

More importantly, who’s to know in the ever-changing world of fashion?

 

As globalization steamrolls on, our perceptions of time and space become increasingly streamlined. This is especially true in the age of Web 2.0, when our lives are centered around the computer, for social networking, information gathering, and such.

As time is inherently social, with “people and societies creating time by giving duration, growth, decay and change intrinsic meaning”, fashion cycles can be seen as a mechanism designed to allow us to make sense of the world (Nowotny 1989).

Although we must give primacy to other intrinsic factors, such as social conditions at any given time, the momentum of the ever-evolving fashion scene reflects the rapid and radical developments in society (see Ganava, 7).

What developments are these? The fragmentation of traditional structures of society, such as family, the nation, etc. The volatile economy that may result in hefty consequences on individuals and corporations. Even the rapid changing of the environment as we perceive it, what with new buildings and train lines and shopping malls springing up in every corner.

Most importantly, the rapid transmission of information, facilitated by the internet and mass media, results in our perception of time shrinking. And shrinking fast. With new content being uploaded every second, be it a Youtube video, a news article, or a blog post, everything is faster. Things are speeding up, and as we orientate ourselves around this disconcerting speed, fashion will inevitably follow suit.

The internet also results in a displaced sense of space. You can talk to Tom in Europe while you’re in Australia. Key in any random street into Google Maps and see that world without a plane ticket. Watch the Victoria Secrets 2012 fashion show online, and feel like you’re physically there, experiencing the show.

As ideas, news, opinions, pictures…. Anything, really, elides time and space to travel all the way to the tip of our fingertips, fashion has to speed up too. Today’s clothes are already old news. As “fashion and style now circulate the globe as fast as news does”, as Pooler states in his book Why We Shop: Emotional Rewards and Retail Strategies, this is fashion we are used to. This might even be fashion we, modern Everyday men well-used to rapid changes, demand. After all, in this world, we demand novelty. We place a premium on refreshingly new ideas.

However, as fashion cycles get shorter, one must stop and thinking about the ever-changing, fast-paced society we live in. How are we expected to find a measure of security and stability in these times? What happens when things just keep changing?

 

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This entry was posted on October 12, 2012 by .

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