sng magazine

Fashion as Material Culture

In our culture, fashion is much more than trendy styles and popular practices for which to wear or showcase them. Worldwide, fashion is one of the very means that we use to define who we are as individuals, as well as a collective culture. It is fashion that, when the present becomes history, archeologists will use as the way to describe who we are as a people and a culture. It is our practices of fashion that will leave indelible marks of our existence on this planet.

Fashion is comprised not only of what clothes we wear, but how we wear them and with what attitude we wear them. It is much more than shoes and jewelry and accessories.  Entire countries, England, America, Tokyo, Italy,  have adopted fashion, not as a passing trend, but as a culture.  There are runways devoted solely to what the rest of the world will wear and how.  Celebrities are worshipped, or ridiculed, on the basis of their fashion sense.

Fashion separates the haves from the have-nots, just as the caste system delegates who's who in Indian countries and riches or the lack thereof divides social classes in America.  There are countless magazines devoted to achieving the right look; there are numerous blogs and television shows, social media pages fully committed to fashion alone.

There is no other faction of our society that defines our culture the way that fashion has. Stone tools, arrows and other ancient artifacts are what defined the people of the stone ages. Farming and hunting marked the middle ages. Industrialism is the point of reference for the previous generation.  Fashion will be what our culture is identified by in the history books of the future.  They will tell of the pride with which we wore our clothes, shoes, accessories and makeup. They will speak of the runways that gave verdict upon the attitudes of men and women alike. They will tell stories of the devotion the people of this generation have to style and trend.

Fashion sets us apart from every generation before us. It is a movement, an attitude and a culture. It is not just clothes but confidence and certainty. It is how we define others and how we define ourselves.  It will be used to define our culture in the future.