Power of fashion
Are you familiar with the story of Adam and Eve? Yes, we are referring to the Bible. God created Adam and Eve as the first human beings and they went on to live naked in the Garden of Eden. While living in paradise, Adam and Eve had access to anything and everything. The only restriction for them was not to eat fruit from the Forbidden Tree. Sounds easy, right? The tree literally has the word “forbidden” in its name. Apparently, it wasn’t easy for them. One day, Eve ate an apple from the Forbidden Tree and convinced Adam to do the same. The moment they took a bite of the apple, they realised they were naked and started feeling embarrassed. They ran around the garden to find leaves to cover themselves.
To summarise, this story demonstrates the fundamental way most of us see clothing. It exists for a single purpose and that is to cover our bodies. Our society looks at clothes, hair, shoes, makeup, and accessories, collectively as fashion in a very practical and utilitarian way. But it isn’t just limited to being practical and utilitarian, it is much more, so much more. The power of fashion is limitless and cannot be restricted to categories or just used in a fundamental way. It can transform our lives and make us a new person altogether.
Fashion has always been an important part of how people define themselves and others. As such, it can be a powerful tool of influence. We all are intimately aware of the fact that the way we dress influences how other people perceive us. It’s the reason why we iron our shirts properly before an important interview, why we text our friends about 15 different outfit options before our first date with that cute guy from the library. We’re trying to project confidence, skill, wit, intelligence, all these amazing qualities and aspects of our personality.
All one needs to do is, adopt this system into their daily lives. Why should one just project these amazing things at job interviews and first dates? Why not do it every single day! Taking a few minutes every day to craft a good outfit makes us feel prepared to take on the day and the problems we might face. Clothes help us be our best selves. We all have particular tastes and choices when it comes to fashion and when we wear those things, we feel invincible. It could be a colour that makes us feel that we stand out from the crowd. Perhaps, it’s a style of clothing that makes us feel really professional and put together. One could even be inspired by how your idols dress. Whatever it is, we all have our styles, choices, and preferences. We associate the most with them, and they have the potential to make us feel like our best selves.
‘Fashion and Power’ is a subject as well-trodden as is open to new interpretations. Dress, we know, can be a powerful weapon of control and dominance but it can also be both subversive and empowering. The power of fashion is of course, integral to identity and body politics, but today it is as important in terms of global economy, nationhood, and celebrity culture as it is in other practices aiming to subvert the status duo. In a contemporary consumer culture, the link between power, social discipline, conformity, and fashion is often so entrenched that existing norms are beyond our discernment, causing us to often regulate and control ourselves without any deliberate coercion from others.
Fashion reflects. Rather, it renews society. Fashion promotes a set of values only if those values reflect the current trends in our culture. With this in mind, one might argue that while fashion creates a sense of innovation and constant renewal, its inherent structure is harder to challenge or change. For fashion to be truly radical, we need to question its very systems and structures. Only here lies the potential for truly pioneering cultural expression. As long as people wear clothes representing different global cultures, fashion will always be powerful. Fashions may change, but fashion has always and will always be with us. As long as people wear clothes and accessories, they will consciously or unconsciously influence each other. The connection between fashion and soft power will therefore remain intrinsic and enduring. Moreover, fashion will continue to project influence and benefit the economy.
The question arises, does it matter what we wear? Undoubtedly, the answer is yes. The way we dress has a profound impact on how we think about ourselves and how others perceive us. Yet, there remains a disconnect between what we stand for and how our clothes are made. The scale and emotional power of the fashion industry uniquely position it to create a more equitable society. It’s this fast scale and emotional connection that makes fashion an important part of changing the world as we know it. While shopping, one should look for things that fit us and our personality. Things that don’t excite us should not hold space in our wardrobes or lives as they only bring us down.
The next time you step out of your home, remember that you have the power within you to bring about a change. Chin up, look your best and get ready to slay!