About the Fashion Cycle, Leather Jackets. Range of different approaches to theorizing and understanding this behavior. As we have seen, this entails understanding how it works or constitutes a system by examining the phenomenon internally and externally. Internal examination of fashion involves looking at clothing behavior as a system of selection, composition, and presentation where items of apparel and adornment constitute signs and symbols that are organized like a language. Leather jackets for autumn, spring.
Fashion Cycle, Leather Jackets
An external examination of fashion involves looking at fashion cycles, where a longitudinal perspective explores the rise and fall of certain styles of dress and decoration. About Fashion Cycle.
Fashion cycles are constructed and maintained by style trendsetters, who determine what counts as fashionable at any moment. The fashion elites may overlap with other social elites or be specific to the culture of style. Thus, the determination of who wears what relates to the establishment of codes of social status and maintenance of the position of social and cultural elites.
The established argument has been that fashion involves a trickle-down phenomenon where the elite decide the latest fashions, and that these gradually percolate down to the middle and working classes in a process of diffusion. Of course, once a particular fashion of the elite becomes popularized, there is an impetus for the style setters to abandon that fashion and create a new look.
And so the fashion cycle is perpetuated. However, there is also evidence that fashion is as much a trickle-up phenomenon, particularly since popular culture and popular media enable the rapid proliferation of new ideas in dress and adornment. This trickle-up process is often seen as originating in the twentieth century, but cultural histories are littered with examples where trickle-up fashion occurred prior to that time.
Even Beau Brummell, the arbiter of the dandies movement in the early nineteenth century, was a self-made court follower who in turn became the role model for the Prince of Wales and his entourage.
Popular theatrical fi gures, performers, entertainers, athletes, and socialites have also had a signifi cant trickle-up infl uence on fashion throughout modernity. There is no doubt that the advent of mass media such as photography, film, popular music, video, and the Internet has created new means for the transmission of new trends and styles, which can be disseminated quickly and widely.
Ironically signaled by the choice of blue jeans for James Dean and Marlon Brando in the films Rebel without a Cause (1955) and The Wild One (1954), respectively, the imprimatur of youth culture was confi rmed as the new engine of fashion impulses. Popular musicians, fashion models and fashion photographers, Hollywood actors, and television stars joined the trendsetters club.
Subcultures that spun out of youth culture (such as mods, Goths, Rastas, hippies, rappers, disco devotees, and ravers) were quick to follow. The fashion industry has had to accommodate these external intrusions into its modus operandi. Such changes complicate the way in which fashion operates as a system internally and externally. Design infl uences trickle both down and up.
Celebrities, for example, at film openings and awards ceremonies and other events, are rated for their choice of designer outfit and how well it suits them. The reputation of a designer can be made or broken on such occasions. A successful gown can generate sales and copycat versions appear overnight and become available in clothing stores. This is an example of trickledown fashion.
However, fashion is also infl uenced by street fashions, subcultural fads, and the habits of popular culture role models, such as models, popular musicians, fi lm and television actors, and athletes. Here a trickle-up phenomenon can be seen at work as a designer borrows an idea or motif and creates a high-fashion collection around it. The work of Vivienne Westwood is an example of this process.
So fashion flows have become more complex as references have multiplied. Social status is also less important than before, as the celebrity machine can turn anyone into a star and role model to emulate.
Whereas the modern fashion system emanated from Europe and spread its tentacles to the periphery (America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific), the contemporary fashion system can be depicted as a nodal system with fashion centers in different continents that span the places between and are mutually infl uential.
No longer can the claim that Europe is the true center of fashion be sustained, as European fashion can be sourced in other fashion centers and it competes with other fashion systems. Nor, too, can some dress modes be excluded from the realm of fashion and cast as simply customary dress. Places such as India, Spain, and New Zealand have established vibrant fashion cultures that both rival and are interdependent with the dominant European fashion centers and brands.
About Levi Strauss’s. Main competitor, the Lee brand, was developed in the early 1900s, manufacturing work clothes and jeans under the slogan “The jeans that built America.” This implied synchronicity between the jeans and American cultural history. The next phase in the development of jeans was the association with the American cowboy culture of the Wild West from the late 1800s.
This image was subsequently reinforced with the advent of Hollywood Westerns in the 1940s and 1950s. The jean-clad cowboy was an essential part of the plot. This was typifi ed by actors John Wayne, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, whose macho images were reflected in the advertising campaigns of the third main jeans brand, Wrangler.
Although jeans were largely identifi ed with male culture, women’s involvement in the workforce in World War II saw the adoption of denim in their factory work clothes, as depicted in the film Rosie the Riveter (1944). Postwar, most respectable girls eschewed jeans for skirts or tailored trousers. Most American universities banned jeans on campus well into the 1960s and 1970s, especially for women. Jeans, however, were adopted by artistic communities as a statement of an alternative lifestyle.
About Jack Kerouac’s. Classic book On the Road was reportedly responsible for selling a million pairs of jeans. The 1950s ushered in the most major transformation, as Hollywood heroes and emerging cult fi gures in popular music such as Robert Mitchum, Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Elvis Presley chose jeans and denim jackets. The three films most commonly associated with establishing the iconic status of jeans in popular youth culture were A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), The Wild One, and Rebel without a Cause. As a result of these films a quasi uniform of jeans, T-shirts, and leather jackets became irrevocably associated with youth rebellion.
Jeans dominated all genres of popular music and became the default uniforms of popular musicians from Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Bob Dylan, rappers, and Bruce Springsteen to the Beatles (in their pre- mod Hamburg days), the Rolling Stones, mod bands, and Madonna. In fact, there are few pop music bands that have not ever adopted denim. By the 1960s, jeans were de rigueur for young people, who were now relabeled teenagers. This created its own moral panic as respectable manufacturers of jeans resented the connotations of delinquency that denim had acquired. They were selling more but, in their eyes, to the wrong people.
For example, between 1963 and 1966 Levi Strauss doubled its annual sales. When, they wondered, would the bubble burst? Another phase of the story of jeans was in the making. Increasingly, consumers were looking for more stylish jeans than the standard workingman’s jeans, and the main brands (Levi Strauss, Lee, Wrangler and Cooper) were being pushed to develop new denim looks that complemented new youth fashions.
Innovations included bell-bottom legs; a variety of colors instead of the traditional indigo; and stone-washed, faded, marbled, torn, distressed, patched, and embroidered jeans. Most key designers, including Paris couturiers, began to include jeans within their ranges, often as a keynote or bestselling line that cross-subsidized their more esoteric ranges.