by Marina Orhei
MILAN. A recent Nike survey shows that 91 out of 100 young people spend a minimum of 100 Euros per month in brands such as H&M, Zara, Adidas, Nike, etc … Today’s fashion is a circle, no one knows if it is vicious or virtuous; for example, it becomes “trendy” for many young people to buy a garment, an object, a pair of shoes worn by a VIP, be she/ he an artist or a footballer, but this also happens by imitating the “leader” at school, their friend or peer.
So, is fashion just a way of appearing since the most distant civilization? At that time, following fashion meant imitating a living model that was imposing it with his image. Then, and briefly, starting from the Middle Ages up to the Renaissance, we talk about costume rather than fashion. Fashion as we understand it today was born with the invention of printing and with the consequent design’s spread and evolution. From the rich velvets of the Venetian 1500s to the pomposity of the Baroque, from the elegant and refined neoclassicism of the 1700s to the romantic style of the 1800s, from the woman’s body freedom got in the 1900s to the fashion shows that started after the war, fashion today is constantly evolving, dictated to an audience of connoisseurs buyers by great stylists and skilled craftsmen. Returning to the youth’ s theme, why do young people tend to follow the mass market fashion?
Are they taken by the desire to appear, are they hypnotized by advertisements, or in a world that seems to them doomed to self-destruction and devoid of ideals, is it possible that their self be consolidated through these minute certainties? If Mass Fashion’s silver lining makes one feel less alone, the negative side removes, limits, or even extinguishes individual responsibilities. And what happens to those who, on the contrary, do not follow? Sometimes she/he is not even considered, automatically considered “loser”, badly looked at and discriminated, until forced to isolation. A teenager who follows her/his ideals is laughed at by his peers and sometimes bullied. Another example are the “hipsters”, which differ from others not only in the clothing, but also in literature, food, music and cinema, all nonconformist and against the schemes of today’s society.
In a world studded with clones, the “hipsters” are kind of survivors. Is there a relationship between clothing and the psyche? The way we dress can influence our mind in an important way and can change our mood and our behaviour. In fact, a scientific study in the United States shows that 99% feel more comfortable when wearing a brand and, in any case, when they are or feel trendy. Then there is the scientific choice of clothing that can influence perspectives and life projects, for example attending to a job interview, or to an audition, asking for a loan at the bank and, more generally, when the way in which we are perceived becomes decisive. The clothes that today’s boys and girls wear offer two contrasting aspects: the desire to change on the one hand and the tendency to conform on the other. This arrives while another survey at the end of 2020 reveals that today the choice is totally free.
Paradoxically, the coronavirus pandemic awakened the great designers, who in September in Milan surprised with the variety and elegance of their ideas, while great craftsmen invented an incredible number of wonderful accessories, bags, shoes, and hats. So, fed up with sweatshirts, overalls, slippers, and flip-flops, asap we hope to see very elegant young people in restaurants, clubs, and theatres, he in double-breasted vest and she in ball gown, like in the picture offered by a consummate fashion adviser, the journalist-blogger Ilaria Salerno.