It’s not often we delve into the world of fashion here on ‘The Vocal Hub’, however, with the creation of our new sections I thought I’d get the ball rolling. This article was inspired by a shopping trip in Birmingham. Every shop I walked past seemed to be sporting the same dusty pink backdrop with some athleisurewear thrown in. I didn’t think much about this, apart from envy that no matter how hard I try I would never be able to pull off a pale pink bomber jacket paired with some tracksuit bottoms and white trainers.
It wasn’t until I read Elle’s September issue, I started to consider what the current trend was actually saying about the world around us. Fashion is undeniably reflective of social change and, according to Elle, this current trend is no different. This new ‘unapologetic prettiness’ as they described it, demonstrates a new strength associated with being feminine.
The rise of gender fluidity has hit the fashion world, for example Gucci deciding not to separate shows by gender. Yet this change is running parallel to a brand of strong femininity in fashion. We are seeing a coexistence of tough and elegant, often being worn in the same outfit or even the same garment, with harsh leopard print being partnered with delicate, chalky shades. This is blurring the lines of fashion. No longer is an outfit male or female, strong or pretty, but it is just as varied and diverse as the person that is wearing it. It is not just on the cat walks that we are seeing this change. As I mentioned before, even on the high street we are beginning to see that ‘pretty’ is looking much stronger. Pinks, often soft and delicate, are the colours of mature styles and often boy-ish shapes.
What fashion is reflecting is that there is no longer a clear black and white within our society and so the clothes we wear should be reflective of that.
When one considers the history behind fashion, it is not surprising that the boundaries and restrictions are starting to break down. Within their September issue, Elle also considered the idea of the word ‘over’ in fashion. This got me considering whether this freedom and fluidity within fashion is something that is merely a fad. For me, as for many others, this seems different to the usual fashion fad due to the backdrop of the breaking down of gender stereotypes. Masculinity is being challenged and with it, the stereotypical male dress code. What once wasn’t seen as acceptable for the genders now is, and both seem to be embracing it. I’m not suggesting such fashion trends will reach all sectors of society, however, for those who do not wish to fit such stereotype, there is now opportunity. I would like to believe freedom and paradox within fashion is not just another fad but is the start of a change.
Fashion and rebellion have always gone hand in hand and its safe to say, whatever you want to be, fashion is beginning to allow for it.
Jamie Lee Jenkins (@JenkinsLeeJamie), Editor-in- Chief