Fashion is one of the few languages that is universal. Yet, its method of communication is voiceless. In this way we are able to translate fashion into our own unique style because of its versatility for freedoms of expression. This makes fashion an extension of our self, a way to reflect ourselves in modern culture.
However, trends, or the universal love for similar styles, perhaps inhibit individuality. Fashion has become a fundamental part of modern Western mass culture. With society largely sticking to specific on-trend items, eventually the streets seem populated with clones, all parading their new ‘in-fashion’ garments. Eventually you’re almost guaranteed to find the item you bought and thought was special, worn on somebody else.
Popular global brands dominate the world of fashion. Therefore, the universal investment in similar items becomes largely inevitable. For example, Topshop has around 500 shops worldwide, yet this seems comparably minute in contrast to H&M’s momentous 4,000 stores (and counting). Escaping these easily accessible brands is almost impossible, especially due to their high street supremacy.
These popular high street stores are the modern individual’s fashion sanctuaries. Providing cheap and easy clothing, that will no doubt be fashionable when styled correctly; high street trends make creating effortless style, uncomplicated. Especially when we consider the turbulent state of modern fashion, stores like Primark become high in demand for their suitability for single occasion looks that in the new season will fall out of mass favour.
Ever-changing trends produce a demanding atmosphere to conform to the norm. In this process, individuals become part of society. By following mass culture, simultaneously we get lost in the masses and yet, we belong. Through mimicking, inclusivity occurs. However, varying interpretations of style accommodates for individual self-expression. A universal love of current trends allows inclusivity and paradoxically, individualisation.
Nevertheless, many trends have left a strain on online society who have mocked the repetition of trends that reach an almost ludicrous level. For example, the trainer style that now defines street wear is the iconic classic Adidas Originals Superstar Sneakers. If you don’t own a pair, someone you know definitely does. Rapidly developing an almost cult following, these sneakers reign over any shoe collection. In fact, multiple celebrities commonly wear these simple shoes, including Gigi Hadid, Emma Stone and Kendall Jenner, making the trend even more desirable.
Therefore, some trends dominate the fashion world. Bypassing the position of simply ‘trendy’, some styles are universally and inescapably worn. We have embraced these styles and perhaps, sometimes over-embraced certain trends. Where fashion seems to be composed in a finite nature, clothing becomes subjective through choice. However, fashion is about self-expression, self-empowerment and self-love. If through certain trends these are established, then Fashion’s mission has been achieved.
Individuality is invaluable. Finding yourself within popularity, ultimately that’s the aim.
Text by Florrie Reeves
Picture research by Jon Espiritu; featured image taken from aritzia.com.