Shadows of Fashion in the Contemporary World

Dr. Ashwani Kumar and Dr. Vikas Bhandari

In modern times, fashion has developed into a significant influence that can be seen in the clothing styles that are worn. The fashion industry constantly and unknowingly makes women the source of pleasure for people by dictating trends that are constantly shifting and changing. This control is exercised over women’s conduct as well as their appearance. The dominance of fashion in today’s society, which can be understood as an instrument of colonisation because it moulds women’s perspectives and restricts their potential, has cast a shadow over traditional practises and standards.

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Furthermore, it is essential to keep in mind that the contemporary institution of fashion is primarily representing the interests of the market rather than expressing the ideals and requirements of society. For instance, the clothing brand Fashion to Figure is known for its commitment to providing inclusive and trendy fashion for women sizes. They offer a variety of clothing options, including dresses, tops, bottoms, outerwear, and accessories, one of their notable aspects is their attention to current fashion trends, ensuring that plus-size women have access to the latest styles and designs. Similarly, Fashion Nova is a popular fashion brand known for its trendy and affordable clothing, primarily targeting a middle-class women. ┬áThese brand’s emphasis on diversity and representation in their marketing and product offerings has contributed to its popularity among customers seeking fashionable options in extended sizes. Within the framework of Indian culture, conventional standards have historically been responsible for imposing stringent limitations on women, relegating them to secondary roles, and limiting their degree of autonomy. On the other hand, as a result of the process of modernization, women have started to contest these conventions and assert themselves in society. Sadly, rather than obtaining complete liberty, women have been confronted with a new type of dominance in the form of the establishment of fashion.

By establishing and popularizing fads to which women are socially pressured to adhere, the fashion industry serves as a sort of social control. The influential members of society who have the power to shape cultural preferences frequently impose these tendencies. As a direct result of this, women are inundated with pictures and messages that define beauty and fashion, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy if they do not fit these ideals. This pressure is the result of the power dynamics at play within the fashion business, where the ruling class and powerful personalities hold the authority to develop and transmit fashion trends. As a result of these power dynamics, the fashion industry is subject to this pressure. It serves their interests to maintain power over society by generating false awareness among women and sustaining the assumption that conforming to fashion trends is vital for acceptance and success. This is accomplished through the use of fashion as a tool to achieve this goal.

Diverting attention away from structural disparities places additional constraints on the agency and freedom of women. In light of this, it is absolutely essential for women in the fashion business to become aware of the power dynamics there and to actively challenge them. They will be able to restore their independence and liberate themselves from the colonializing effect of fashion if they take this step. It is crucial for women to re-imagine what it means to be beautiful and to express themselves in their own unique way, rather than succumbing to the standards that are set by the elite. Women can recover their autonomy and achieve true liberation from the repressive forces of fashion if they take responsibility for their own lives and make a point of expressing their unique identities.

We are able to have a clearer understanding of the repressive nature of this phenomenon if we draw parallels between the institution of fashion and Marx’s notion of religion. Along the same lines as religion, fashion may become a tool that is used to impose influence over individuals, thereby moulding both their beliefs and their conduct. Fashion acts as a tool that creates a false consciousness. It is essential to provide women with the agency to break away from the standards that are imposed on them and to assert their individuality in order to fight this oppressive influence. They will be able to restore their sovereignty and achieve true independence if they take this step. This procedure entails acknowledging and contesting the prevalent narratives that are perpetuated by the fashion industry, as well as redefining beauty and self-expression according to their own terms. Women have the capacity to demolish oppressive hierarchies and develop a fashion culture that is more empowering and inclusive if they embrace diversity and promote inclusive portrayals. It is impossible to disregard the significance of fashion’s role in moulding and influencing the discourse of women in modern society.

Understanding the repressive nature of this phenomenon is possible once we recognize the links between fashion and the Marxian idea of religion. Fashion is a kind of social control. It is vital for women to be given the power to break away from enforced conventions and assert their individuality in order to reclaim their autonomy and accomplish genuine liberty. Women are able to liberate themselves from the colonializing impact of fashion and reach their full potential if they challenge the power dynamics that exist within the fashion industry, as well as redefine beauty and self-expression according to their own standards. The contemporary fashion institution has given birth to fast fashion, encouraged by the modern fashion industry’s push for rapid production of affordable clothing, particularly appealing to women. This trend raises the concern that individuals, especially women, may develop consumer cognition, consequently, they may be alienated from political cognition, an essential cognition to survive in a complex political world.

The views and opinions expressed by the authors in this article are their personal opinions. You can contact the author/s at ashwinsoc@outlook.com. The details of the authors are:

Dr. Ashwani Kumar Assistant Professor of Sociology, Guru Kashi University, Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda, Punjab.

Dr. Vikas Bhandari Assistant Professor UILS Chandigarh University, Mohali, Punjab. 

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10 thoughts on “Shadows of Fashion in the Contemporary World”

  1. Well written. Only thing that clicked me is fashion and being controlled by modern dressing trends is all about women of elite class. Usually Middle class women adhere to similar dressing styles.

  2. Going with fashion trends is a thing of elite class women. Middle class women wear similar fashion clothes in all seasons.

  3. The article is talking of facts, fashion has become a trend everywhere. Due to socialization people are capable of copying each other’s cultural wear abd terming it as “fashion”.

  4. This insightful perspective highlights the interconnections between fashion, power dynamics, and social norms, making connections to Marxist ideas.

  5. very well written. In this modern era, fashion seems to function as an opium for the masses. These industries not only generate profits for capitalists but also exert influence over people’s mindsets, fostering a false consciousness that keeps individuals hooked and discourages people’s critical thinking or challenging the established norms.

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