I thought of a slightly different approach to my article this issue. Normally I talk about influences on the high street from the fashion world and catwalk shows, but what we wear is also influenced by media and famous personalities.
Magazines are flooded with shots of TV, film and showbiz stars; all with their own take on style and how to achieve it and wear it. This is not a new trend: in the 1980’s shows like Dallas and Dynasty spawned a generation of heavy make-up and power dressing. Princess Diana sparked new trends with many of her different looks, including copy cats of her wedding dress and the millions who tried to work the ‘Sloane ranger’ look to full effect. Who can forget the 1990’s when we had ‘heroin chic’ and grunge? Indie bands Oasis and Blur bought us Fred Perry and mod fashion as well as making the Union Jack a “cool Britannia” again. Media stars and film stars can impact the fashion world as strongly as designers in Vogue and all the leading glossy magazines.
For example recent film releases such as Black Swan which is set in the world of ballet dancing soon filled the pages of magazines. Short cardigan wraps, ballet slippers and tutu-inspired clothing became the feature of the week, followed by the hair styles and make up. Pale skin and rosy cheeks are ‘in’; hair is loose, or in tight buns on the top of the head. Looks are always watered down for the everyday shopper but this pattern of gaining ideas from the media has become very big business.
We now have websites dedicated to copying the stars’ looks. ASOS.com (As Seen on Scene) replicates red carpet fashion immediately after the events. Celebrities seen in everyday life are picked apart and every piece of clothing or jewellery is scrutinised and copied. Variations on whole outfits are offered side by side to the picture of the celebrities at a fraction of the cost. TV even understands the public obsession with star style. Gok Wan puts together high street outfits for women of every size and shape, giving them a glamorous look on a high street budget.
It is also big business for handbag makers. Once Victoria Beckham was seen sporting a Birkin by Hermes. She was sent one in every colour whilst the rest of the population has to go on a two-year waiting list. Companies understand the power she wields over women aspiring to her lifestyle and wardrobe; every time she is seen with a new colour bag the waiting list gets bigger.
So it is wise to be aware of the influences all around you.
Have fun with fashion and see you in the next edition.