| By Rachel Monique Maskell
The hidden influences
How’s the weather where you are? Fall is in the air here with cold mornings and warm afternoons. My wardrobe is changing - along with longer hemlines the colors are shifting into a more muted palette.
But weather isn’t the only thing that impacts what I wear, or what we wear collectively. One of my favorite things to learn about is the influence of politics, war, economics, and globalization on fashion. I think it’s one of the best ways to learn about our history and to put into context what the world was like and how we functioned in it.
Take as a primary example: WWII. During this time there was rationing of metal and fabric. Women were brought into the workforce so their clothing had to become more practical. “Make do and mend” was a call to action for all women to repurpose clothing. Men’s suits became women’s suits. Wide shoulders from the 80s were influenced by the 40s and the shift into a more masculine silhouette.
I don’t want to bore you if this kinda info isn’t your thing. My point is that fashion isn’t an isolated industry. It’s a visual representation of the era we’re in. It’s a reaction to the people and their environment. And it’s constantly evolving.
As long as people wear clothes fashion is not going away. But it does need to change, and it will. As we become more environmentally and socially conscious and as more and more options become available we have the opportunity to redirect the industry. This will likely be a bottom up movement, coming from the smaller voices that band together and take action through their buying power and social reach.
It’s up to us to stop trivializing fashion and to recognize its influence on us and our influence on it. What we wear now and how we choose to wear it will impact future generations. What’s your future look like?
Big big love,