Oxford Dictionary says Fashion is[uncountable, countable] a popular style of clothes, hair, etc. at a particular time or place.
Can Fashion be defined in one sentence?
According to Wiki it’s a type of self – expression and some sort of autonomy.
What is Fashion to you?
Is it something currently trending (a fad) or something always in vogue? It can be both.
The virus called Corona (playing havoc all around) has made masks not just fashionable but also a necessity. Like all of you, I am also hoping that this remains a temporary trend rather than a permanent change.
Fashion means different things to different people. Its understanding is dependent on age, gender, geography, culture, income levels, education, knowledge and such.
It can be as simple as, my 6-year-old daughter calling herself a ‘Fashionista’ when she matches her complete look in a single color from clips/hairband to dress to socks and shoes – if possible, a sling bag and watch too. Oh! And how can I forget jewelry (whatever little she has). My elder one who is 12 years old, is more bothered about the frame cut and color of her eyeglasses, because that is what is mostly visible onscreen in virtual school these days😉.
The popular notion of fashion is more to do with clothes, clothing style and accessories you wear – sunglasses, add on in hair, headgear like hats, bandanas, caps, tiaras etc., earrings/studs, neckwear – chains/chokers (gold/silver/oxidized/pearls), scarfs/stoles, belts (narrow/broad, metal/leather, buckles etc.), bracelets/wristwatches or for that matter a pocket watch. Don’t get me started on shoes (my favorite accessory) – flats, heels, loafers, sneakers, leather/tweed, black/white or any other of 1000s of possible colors, peep toes, formal and so many more. We can dedicate one whole blog or rather a book or two, to this aspect. And then there is this thing about old fashion trending again in a few years, bell bottoms and puff sleeves being a few examples here, baggy pants, hair top knots being others.
Ross (in Friends Season 3) did mention: “I wear clothes and I choose them; I sure can go to a Lecture on Fashion” and he does and then dozes off😊– his area of interest was Dinosaurs and not Fashion.
But its just not about clothes or what you wear. It can also be about behavioral patterns.
To me fashion is more to do with behavior and less to do with trends. As far as appearance is concerned, I wear what makes me comfortable and what I feel confident in. I think quite a few people will agree with me on this. Also, handmade and slowfashion will always remain my priority.
And there definitely is a difference between style and fashion.I think Style is more individual and personal and Fashion is more to do with trends set by some impresarios – popular culture. Someone can follow his/her style whole life while Fashion can come and go. A very stylish accessory to flaunt is a ‘smile’, that can do wonders to your charisma.
Coming back to the demeanor aspect of Fashion -
These days it is ‘fashionable’ to be eco-friendly. It is a good trend that should be made a lifestyle – for the long-term betterment of our existence. For example, a simple brown jute bag can make you both look and feel fancy.
Something that never goes out of fashion is being sincere and passionate. Giving our best in whatever we do, being considerate to others and gratitude of what we have, should very much be a part of our personal style. With an attention span of a humming bird, we need to hold still and take a deep breath, and enjoy smaller joys of life. Trying multiple things – failing in some and succeeding in others can be a way of life too. Being honest and true to our feelings, should always be in vogue, and so should freedom of expression. Identifying our strengths and optimizing them, why not?
Sarath Kamal, taking all kinds of risks in his Table Tennis Olympics match against WorldNo.1 Ma Long was very fashionable… he went down fighting and did manage to throw the champion on back foot for the first few games. So, the ‘never say die’ attitude is also fashionable. Mary Kom and her gracious exit from Olympics 2020 proved the same too.
Understanding and awareness of ‘mental health’ – talking about it is ‘in fashion’ too. It is again something that should be a lifestyle change and become a point for common conversations. One should feel at ease in accepting and talking about it.
I think it should always be in fashion to be conscious of our surroundings and be compassionate. Being happy and responsible for our own happiness should also always be ‘in fashion’. Each one of us can be influencers and trend setters for bringing in and endorsing this kind of a fashionable conduct.
It should not take a pandemic to make us realise that. What we have learned and imbibed in last 17 months, should not end as a fad.
This blog can start a discussion on many issues at length. I throw the doors open to such discussions in the comments section.