Runway show is a reflection of fashion trend and a designer's thought. For designer like Vivienne Westwood, runway shows are a platform for her voice on politics and current events. For her AW15 menswear show, according to Water, "where models with severely bruised faces channeled eco-warriors on a mission to save the planet." Another recent example is a staged feminist protest march for Chanel's SS15 show, rioting models chanting words of empowerment with signs like "Feminist but feminine" and "Ladies first." According to Water, "The show tapped into Chanel's long history of championing female independence: founder Coco Chanel was a trailblazer for liberating the female body in the post-WWI era, introducing silhouettes that countered the restrictive corsets then in favour."
The notion of global fashion industry is a product of the modern age. Prior to the mid-19th century, most clothing was custom-made. It was handmade for individuals, either as home production or on order from dressmakers and tailors. By the beginning of the 20th century—with the rise of new technologies such as the sewing machine, the rise of global capitalism and the development of the factory system of production, and the proliferation of retail outlets such as department stores—clothing had increasingly come to be mass-produced in standard sizes and sold at fixed prices.
Fashion relates to social and cultural context of an environment. According to Matika, "Elements of popular culture become fused when a person's trend is associated with a preference for a genre of music…like music, news or literature, fashion has been fused into everyday lives." Fashion is not only seen as pure aesthetic values; fashion is also a medium for performers to create an overall atmosphere and express their opinions altogether through music video. The latest music video ‘Formation’ by Beyoncé, according to Carlos, "The pop star pays homage to her Creole root.... tracing the roots of the Louisiana cultural nerve center from the post-abolition era to present day, Beyoncé catalogs the evolution of the city's vibrant style and its tumultuous history all at once. Atop a New Orleans police car in a red-and-white Gucci high-collar dress and combat boots, she sits among the ruins of Hurricane Katrina, immediately implanting herself in the biggest national debate on police brutality and race relations in modern day."
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Not only did political events make a huge impact on fashion trends but also the political figure played a critical role in forecasting the fashion trend. For example, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was a fashionable icon of the early 1960s who led formal dressing trend. By wearing a Chanel suit, a structural Givenchy shift dress or a soft color Cassini coat with huge buttons, it created her elegant look and led a delicate trend.
Black activists and supporters used fashion to express their solidarity and support of this civil rights movement. Supporters adorned symbolic clothing, accessories and hairstyles, usually native to Africa. Politics and fashion were fused together during this time and the use of these symbolic fashion statements sent a message to America and the rest of the world that African Americans were proud of their heritage. They aimed to send an even stronger message that black is beautiful and they were not afraid to embrace their identities. An example would the Kente cloth, it is a brightly colored strip of cloth that is stitched and woven together to create different accessories. This woven cloth of brightly colored strips of fabric became a strong symbolic representation of pride in African identity for African Americans of the 1960’s and later. It was developed into what is called a dashiki, a flowing, loose fitting, tunic style shirt. This cloth became one of the most notorious symbols of this revolution.
^ Park, Jennifer. "Unisex Clothing". Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion. Ed. Valerie Steele. Vol. 3. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005. 382–384. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. Document URL http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CCX3427500609&v=2.1&u=fitsuny&it=r&p=GVRL.xlit.artemisfit&sw=w&asid=6f171eb2ab8928b007d0495eb681099c
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