CARDIGAN, CLUTCH AND ARMCUFF’S ALL FROM DESIGUAL
BOOTS, DRESS AND CARDIGAN FROM TOPSHOP
Five Factors That Form Fashion Foundation
A distinct element of fashion is creativity and design. Many of the best designers in the world have the ability to think outside the box of reality and imagine a fantasy land of textures, patterns and shapes to create the stunning pieces that grace the haute couture runways of the world’s fashion capitals like New York, Milan, Paris and Tokyo.
Creativity is just the tip of the iceberg, however. Beneath the surface there are so many other factors that can shape the fashion designs from high fashion all the way down to the daily outfits of the city’s residents.
Walking down Las Ramblas in Barcelona it is evident that the whimsicality and curved designs of the famous architect Antoni Gaudi have trickled down through the decades and found their reflection in the flowing shirts, harem pants and strappy sandals. Bohemian vibes are a distinctive trend throughout the bustling metropolis where the fashion reflects the natural colors and elements of the beach while still adding some pops of bright colors and creativity from fashion designers like
But then, just a few hours by plane away, London street fashion boasts hard colors, bright metallics and sharp edges. The fashion is inspired by the pavement, urban elements and alternative shops of Camden Road. Famous UK designer Top Shop has tons of things that perfectly reflect the British style.
But what creates this difference in such a small distance?
One could argue that there are five distinct factors that shape the way fashion culture evolves throughout the cities worldwide: climate, modesty, religion, media and status.
For a city like Barcelona, it is obvious how the natural elements and climate have shaped the way that residents choose their looks. The hot summer sun inspires loose fitting clothing that doesn’t stick to your body but rather allows the movement of air throughout the day. Or, on a walk down the streets in southern Italy, crop tops are a common sight. The intense heat creates a need for fashion to not just look good but also be comfortable and practical. Residents of colder or more unpredictable climates such as Germany have mastered the art of layering. Even in the hot summer months, the weather can change from sun to rain at any moment and one must be prepared!
Of course, climate isn’t the only factor that drives fashion. Even though southern Italy may reach similar temperatures to Egypt, for example, you probably won’t find many women wearing “crop tops”. Modesty of the culture is therefore another very important element. The design must match the demand. American fashion, for example, varies greatly from where you are, but it tends to be more conservative than the fashion of Spain or Italy, for example. Although it is common to wear crop tops and “short shorts” in the summer months, it may not be as accepting to older generations. Modesty of the culture is more of an unsaid or unwritten rule. Although it may not be common, it also would not be unacceptable.
In certain countries or cities, however, religion is the main driving factor behind fashion. Many Islamic-centered countries, for example, have a distinct fashion that is dictated by the rules of the religion. In Jewish-centered countries, for example, woman wear skirts and are expected to dress conservatively. Or even in Jewish schools, the woman that participate in sports are expected to compete wearing skirts in sports like basketball. These are some obvious examples, but traces of religious influence can be noticed in many countries throughout the world where a majority of residents practice the same religion.
On the other end of the spectrum from religion and modesty is media. What we are “told” to wear influences our fashion choices more than we can ever know.
“Nothing comes between me and my Calvin’s”
made denim sexy and feminine.
Rihanna’s fashion-forward attitude inspires others to indulge their inner rockstar and care less about what others think.
Or think back to Katherine Hepburn. Would women have embraced pants as common attire as openly if a highly admired movie star hadn’t done it first?
And lastly, your status or wealth has a huge overall influence on your fashion. The more disposable income available, there is more potential to indulge in the trends to the season. While others, on a more conservative budget, would be more likely to consult the sale rack and last year’s looks before they headed to the new collection.
Climate, modesty, religion, media and status. These five factors can be thought of as a fishtail braid, weaving itself through each other while still maintaining their separate influences on fashion as we know it.