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Fashion + Culture

In November 2021, we are exploring fashion's cultural origins, influences and stories, and raising awareness on how we can all celebrate culture consciously and compassionately.

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Culture has been defined as ‘shared patterns of behaviors and interactions... that are learned by socialization’, or more specifically, ‘the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, encompassing language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts’. It’s arguably also the cornerstone to which all fashion origins can be accredited to.

Early modern western colonialism in the 1500’s to the economic globalisation of the 20th century has seen cultures merging, creating what sociologists refer to as cultural hybridity. However, this has often been problematic as more privileged communities began to adopt designs and trends from often oppressed or ridiculed communities without credit or compensation.

Subcultures, a more modern phenomenon, see the birth of mini-cultures within society, often highly distinguishable through the aesthetics adorned by its members. Subcultures usually emerge more reactively, often in direct response to the present societal zeitgeist. Think 60s hippies, 80s punks, 2000s Roadmen, and 2010s e-girls/boys.

In society, to strive towards breaking down barriers of oppression and exclusion, being aware of the cultural origins of fashion and how they are portrayed, borrowed, adopted or still celebrated amongst the original communities could help to make fashion a more vibrant, immersive, inclusive and celebratory experience for all...

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