Future of Fashion

The fashion industry with its ever changing trends has had a big role to play in polluting the environment. But with growing awareness among the consumers, many apparel manufacturers have switched to employing eco-friendly methods of production. Saumya Chaturvedi discusses about the sustainable technologies and processes being used in the industry to make fashion green.

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, in the way we live and what is happening around us.”- Coco Chanel

Fashion is a means to express one’s ideas, culture and values, interests and personality. Fashion has been evolving since the 19th century when Charles Fredrick Worth had labels sewn into garments that he created.

Even though fashion has evolved through decades of constantly creating demands by being stylish and fascinating, its impact on the environment is becoming increasingly hazardous. Being one of the biggest players in the global economy, the fashion industry holds the responsibility to protect and save the environment and its precious resources. Insatiable and increasing demands are putting undue pressure on the environment. The culture of affordable shopping has led to increase in the number of shopaholics, thus increasing shopping.

Since Fashion cannot die by Norelle Rheingold it is the need of the hour to identify potential sources to lessen the pressure it exerts on the environment. The textile industry is one of the biggest culprits. The World Bank reveals that the textile industry single-handedly contributes to 18-20 per cent of global industrial water pollution from dyeing and pre-treatment of fabrics and textiles. A large amount of solid and liquid wastes are discharged into water bodies during the manufacture of textiles. Processes in textile mills lead to air emissions containing several harmful chemicals including chlorine and hydrogen sulphide. Consumers and clothing manufacturers are becoming aware of the harmful consequences and are trying for alternative technologies to protect the environment.

One such initiative is the launch of Liva, the new age fluid fabric by Birla Cellulose. It is a cellulosic high quality fabric which falls and drapes according to the body and moves with the body. Birla Cellulose has been creating superior and sustainable viscose staple fibre balancing the power of science and nature. With over 50 years’ experience, Birla Cellulose has been making metal-free fibres with increased absorbency and softness accompanied by lustre, smoothness, and drapability. Their fibres are not only eco-friendly but also versatile and beautiful. Birla Cellulose is increasingly engaging with big brands.

Reclaiming the Substance of Clothing : The Surreal Spectacle of Lady Gaga

This paper is motivated by the spectacular appearances of Lady Gaga, and the frequent misconception of her as a split personality and artificial copycat. The aim of the paper is to explore the difference between fashion as image and fashion as embodied experience, in an attempt to reclaim the substance of clothing. Although reclaiming the substance of clothing through an analysis of spectacular appearances may seem like a contradiction, it is possible by combining practical experience with philosophical considerations of clothes in conjunction with the act of dressing. Adapting a phenomenological perspective enables us to consider clothes as objects and their significance to human life. Through Surrealism’s original engagement with fashion, we come to understand fashion and its instruments as the correlation between objects of the mind and the real world. Through a philosophical notion of the depth of life revealed in the spectacle, it all comes together, as I argue that Lady Gaga, through her engagement with clothes reclaims the substance of clothing.

Introduction

It is often said that fashion is a superficial pursuit of the vain. As if being conscious about ones appearance is a one-dimensional and shallow affair. I argue that there is nothing superficial about fashion itself, but that one can choose to have a superficial engagement with fashion.

Contemporary Men’s Fashion and New Technology

Contemporary Men’s Fashion and New Technology; Shifting Perceptions of Masculinity, Menswear Aesthetics and Consumption

Introduction

This paper will explore contemporary menswear fashion and aesthetics in order to evaluate if the notion of ‘masculinity’ viewed through the prism of dress has shifted society’s perception of what is considered acceptable to be a well dressed man. Entwistle writes that ‘There is no natural link between an item of clothing and ‘femininity and ‘masculinity’ but an arbitrary set of associations by which clothes connote masculinity in a culturally specific way (2003; p 143). Davis contextualises this gender difference in dress in Britain from 1837 when men clothes were to symbolise a ‘highly restricted dress code’ while women were permitted the freedom of an ‘elaborated code’ of dress (1994; p 39). This is linked to the period of industrialisation when men and women lived separated lives and men dressed sombrely to accord a successful working career. This restricted dress code has for decades been linked to male identity. However in the last decade new and emerging technology has aided menswear design and manufacture, particularly in the high end-luxury market. Combined with changes in male consumer attitudes and behaviour to fashion this has challenged the conventional restricted dress code.