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|Theories for Tracking Fashion Change Change is an undeniable fact of the fashion industry. After all, it was legendary designer Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel who famously said, is made to become unfashionable. The question, then, is not if fashion will change, but how will it change. (Image Consultant Top Tips: Fashion Quotes) In centuries past, only the upper classes could afford expensive clothing, and as a result clothing was primarily utilitarian for lower classes. Today, thanks to increased prosperity and the availability of affordable clothing, fashion change affects all classes. As a result, a variety of theories have emerged to explain the mechanisms by which fashion instigates change. Trickle down theory (or upper class theory) fashion is dictated by the upper classes and then spreads slowly downward through the class structure, traveling from the elite classes to the next adjacent class. The value of any fashion item is tied to its value as a status marker, and thus the desire to imitate fashion is really a desire to imitate status markers of the higher classes. This theory assumes a pyramid shaped society, where fashion travels downward in levels according to wealth. At the top of the pyramid are the designers, who propose new innovations. The elite Moncler Official Online Store can then choose to adopt these innovations as markers of their status, after which the lower classes seek to imitate the designs which the upper classes have taken up and approved. A good example of this is the ornate fashions of the Victorian times, where fashions were first picked up by the elite in Paris, then communicated to the other elites throughout the world, and finally disseminated down to the lower classes, by which time the upper classes had usually moved on to new trends. Trickle Ski Wear Moncler up theory relies on the innovations of subcultures rather than the innovations of designers and the elite. According to trickle up theory, status markers become fashionable when they trickle up from stylists or subcultural groups. Depending on the tastes of the fashionable elite and the visibility of the subculture, the aesthetic codes of the subculture can be picked up and made fashionable when the upper classes decide to adopt the same aesthetic. Often the age, gender, ethnicity or values of the subcultural group make it seem interesting or appealing to the fashionable or elite class. The subcultural group is usually not trying to influence the mainstream; rather, their style is picked up by an opinion leader who adopts the style first. The style then seems appealing to the elite designers, who recreate it and riff off of the idea. Finally, the process of mass commodification begins when the industry makes styles available to the mass consumer. A good example of this process is the hippie movement, which started as a subcultural expression in reaction to the Vietnam War. The aesthetic was found appealing to the fashionable elite, who adopted the Moncler Lucie New Pop Star Women Down Coat Long Pink aesthetic before it filtered down to the masses. (Fashion Technology: Today and Tomorrow, Pg 51 54) The trickle across theory, or the mass marketing theory, posits that style ideas can start with any social class. According to the trickle across theory, horizontal diffusion happens as the popularity of an item with any person may diffuse through the culture. When this happens, the same styles will appear in all classes, although items of the same style will vary in terms of quality, price and attention to detail across the price points for various consumer classes. According to cohort or population boom theory, fashion is a result of industry initiatives, where fashion industry insiders target major marketable groups. For example, under this view the fashion industry could market an item to the Baby Boomer generation, and the high marketability of that group would influence all other groups. This theory depends on the group being so visible in society that it shapes the entire time period. When this happens, less visible groups follow the trends of this more visible part of the population. The collective selection theory is based on the idea that fashion is a social norm and a social phenomenon in its own right, existing apart from class activities or any one group. Under this view, the elite do not determine the fashion process. Instead, they are the first to be able to afford the items that express the new direction in which fashion is moving. Under this view, fashion represents a pattern of constant change that emerges through a social selection process that has to do with overall societal tendencies and taste. The society takes up certain fashion in such a way that fashion expresses the of the times, or zeitgeist, as a whole. A good example of this is the popularity of casual wear across all classes during the late 90 s, which was symbolic of the age of technological innovation during which society reacted against the office dress codes of earlier generations. (Fashion Technology: Today and Tomorrow, pg. 65 66) Regardless of how an item becomes popular, when a trend emerges retailers usually seek to profit from the trend by reproducing it in mass quantities. When this happens, the item will eventually cease to become exclusive and instead becomes part of a mega trend. The item may become common when it can be made cheaply, and then may be over used. Once the item is worn in abundance by the masses, it will go out of style and become undesirable until a later time, when it may be rare enough to be valued again.
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