Mecca McCloud Professor Kamara English 111. 06 September 12, 2012 “How fashion enhances human life” In order to understand a fashion trend, we need to be aware of what will surround us in terms of our social-cultural way of living. The development of new trends usually involves three main sources, which influence our cultural live and lifestyle. These three main sources are high culture, pop culture and low culture. High culture refers to elite activities such as visual art like painting and sculpture, other forms of art, such as music and auditory art, but also applied art like photography, architecture and design.
Art is a product of human activity, made with the intention of stimulating the human senses, as well as the human mind by transmitting emotions or ideas. In terms of fashion inspiration, these emotions and ideas can later on undergo a further process and lead to new forms of inspirations and concepts, in the case of a designer; it can bring him to a collection idea. That means, that by observing contemporary art, we may get information about what influences designers and upcoming fashion trends.
As an example of how art influences fashion can be found in the Louis Vuitton collaboration with several contemporary artists, like Stephen Sprouse or Takeshi Murakami, who in the past had embellished their famous Louis Vuitton Monogram bags. Readings proved the Raymond Williams like many others see that high culture is and created from art and is looked high upon in fashion: Thus whether within or between societies, respect for “high culture” in its purest and most abstract sense must find a critical rather than a justifying form of expression and action.
Within societies it is necessary to become conscious of the selective character of the “high culture” or “cultural tradition” that is currently active, and to explore the relations between the selection and contemporary social structures (including such directly relevant social formations as universities) (Williams 8) Popular culture, or “pop culture” is a cultural section, which is followed, understood and appreciated by a larger audience, mostly teenagers. Pop culture is highly influenced by elebrities and includes the daily interactions and cultural ‘moments’ that constitute the everyday lives of the mainstream. This culture is seen as a commercial culture, mass-produced for mass consumption. In terms of fashion, an example of how pop culture can influence our lifestyle and our looks, can be found taking into account the most stylish TV shows, like in the 80’s ‘Dynasty‘ and in the end of the 90’s to 2004 ‘Sex and the City’. Young girls wanted to dress like the actresses in this TV show. “A person’s fashion, in conclusion, shapes who they are and how they live their lives.
This also gives people a mode of expression. Teenagers adhere to fashion to develop their sense of identity and to express themselves. ”(Student from Cameron University 1) The third culture level is the low culture or subculture. Subculture includes local street movements like graffiti, Hip Hop or other groups outside the mainstream. The influence of subculture to fashion can be clearly seen in surf and skateboard culture from the 70ties to present day. The spirit of the skateboard and Graffiti movement had greatly affected the whole world of sports- and street wear until today.
It may be difficult to recognize certain styles as subcultures because their look is quickly (particularly clothing and music) adopted by mass culture for commercial purposes. Like the Japanese Harajuko girls for example, who are teenager girls, originally from the Harajuko district in Tokyo, who dress in a specific way. Some of these girls have been hired as backup dancers by American singer Gwen Stefani, who named her 2005 world tour and her clothing line after them. A subculture has become fashionable and was adopted by the fashion market.
In the last years mass media has increased the exposure and power of celebrities. The celebrity culture has and always will have an influence on society as they are constantly in the media. Celebrities are a kind of role models; their looks are studied and copied by a lot of people, which makes them very interesting to fashion companies who try to place their products on them. This year we notice a strong trend in replacing models by Hollywood stars in fashion advertising, like Katie Holmes for Miu Miu, Victoria Beckham for Giorgio Armani Underwear or Madonna for Louis Vuitton.
Fashion brands want to use the glam of Hollywood actresses to project that glam on their products and at the same time to show that luxury is doing well during this economic crisis. Works Cited 1. Williams, Raymond. On High Culture. 1974. Web. <http://www. tnr. com/book/review/high-and-popular-culture>. 2. Cameron, University. 2011. Web. <http://library. thinkquest. org/07aug/00811/fashion. html>. 3. Daire, Seth. 2011. Web. <http://www. christianimagination. com/2008/02/06/high-culture-low-culture/>.