Here is another fashion related essay that I wrote for one of my classes. It covers differences throughout the US, UK, France, and Russia from the way trends spread to style differences all together. I hope you enjoy, shine on xx!
Fashions Around the World
Throughout our world, there are many cultural differences. These include language, customs, beliefs, food, and even clothing. This leads me to the question how do contemporary fashions differ throughout the world? By looking at American, British, French and Russian style, I was able to come across many differences. However, there is one main similarity, the way trends spread.
To start off, what are the main differences in fashion between the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Russia? The answer is the intent which leads me into my next question? What are the different fashion intents in each country? Both of these questions can be answered with the same explanation. In American, the main stereotypical intent around fashion is to look cute and feel comfortable at the same time. Though there are many fashion enthusiasts in metropolitan cities who follow European trends, the majority of Americans are perceived as wearing casual clothes on a daily basis. This is probably the only country where students show up to class in sweatpants, Uggs, North Faces, sweatshirts, etc. However, there are those who do dress comfortably, but they still look put together. For example, they choose to wear a dress with flats opposed to heels. In the United Kingdom and France, the intent is to show off a form of art. The article “Review: British Fashion Design: Rag Trade or Image Industry?” states, “As a result, art school training in fashion design emphasizes artistic creativity while downgrading more practical aspects as mere “dressmaking”. Not to be able to sew becomes a matter of pride for fashion graduates, who insist on what they do is art, not rag trade,” (McRobbie, 156). In most of Europe, fashion is looked at as a form of art and therefore, is an artistic background is more important than a sewing background? The answer is yes. Moving on, how is the fashion intent in Russia different from The US, the UK, and France? Fashion in Russia is geared towards showing off wealth and high status for the middle and upper class. The higher the heels the better. Russian fashion bloggers Evelina Barry and Sonya Esman explain in their video “Russian vs American Fashion” how women in Russia only buy designer goods if the logo is very prominent because otherwise it is not worth the price if you can’t show off or create the illusion of wealth. Evelina states, “It’s a waste of money if you buy an expensive thing without the logo,” (“Russian vs American Fashion”). Since the intent of Russian fashion is to portray or create the illusion of wealth, many people buy fake designer goods so they can still show off, but not spend the money. While in France, not just manufacturing, but owning a counterfeit good is illegal. To me it is fascinating to see how just the intentions of fashion vary throughout the world.
Secondly, how do trends work in each country or is there a set style? An article from Glamour Magazine online comparing French and American fashions states, “French women believe in uniform dressing, whereas American shoppers are more driven by trends. Every French girl has an individual style they adhere to every season, while American girls are more likely to change their style frequently to keep up with trends.” (Clinton, “10 Key Style Differences Between American and French-Girl Style”). In France, the set style is primarily minimalistic, effortless, and elegant while in the US, there is no set style. When it comes to fashion does America looks up to Europe for inspiration? It is clear that European trends are copied in the US. However, there is a massive difference. Most people in The UK and France have their own style and it stays the same season to season whilst in America, one’s style may change. Why do many people’s style in America change from season to season? This is because American fashion is primarily influenced by trends and not by style. If they see a group of people following a specific style on social media, they will conform unlike the British and French who stay true to their own styles. When it comes to Russian fashion, they have a set style and that is glamour. Wherever you go in Russia whether it is a formal gathering or even a Walmart-like retailer, the women always have on their fancy coats, mink hats, and stiletto heels. Russian blogger Sonya Esman states, “A lot of woman in Russia will always be dressed up. It doesn’t matter where you’re going,” (“Russian vs American Fashion”). Even if the weather is terrible and the ground is covered in ice, the woman will still where their stilettos. To me, I find it inspiring that people in Russia will always make sure to dress their best no matter the occasion.
Moving on, does the climate in each country have an influence on the fashions? The answer is yes; the weather, a form of natural science, is the primary influence of fashion in every country. How does this vary from the United States, The United Kingdom, France, and Russia? In the US, there are places like Florida, Southern California, and Hawaii where the weather is warm all year round. However, there are also areas like Connecticut and New York where all four seasons are experienced. Therefore, these northern areas follow Northwestern Europe when it comes to trends because of the similar climate. However, when there are drastic climate changes, are there any issues? An article from British Vogue states, “A warm, bare-legged December 2015 sloughed into a mild January, then a very cold March and April. Next came a wet June and a disappointingly cool summer, followed by the equal-second-warmest September since records began in 1910,” (Pithers, “Why Can’t We Buy What We Want, When We Want It?”). Manufactures produce the expected needed attire for each season however if the climate drastically changes, sales go down because the appropriate clothing is not in stores. This causes many business and financial troubles within the fashion industry. When it comes to Russian fashion, the clothes are primarily suited for cold weather since Russia tends to be a cold country. Opposed to glamour’s miniskirts, fur coats, mink hats, and thick stilettoed boots are must haves. Russian-Canadian fashion blogger Sonya Esman states, “My mom always told me like to always have a hat on in the winter because you have to protect this part of your cranium cause god knows, you know, if you lose your brains cells because it’s so cold outside”. (“Russian vs American Fashion”). Sonya explains how it is important to keep the top of your head completely covered because winters in Russia are very harsh. She and I both wonder, could the cold weather really damage one’s brain?
Another massive influence on fashions are finances. An article titled “Social Class and Clothing” explains, “Dress was capable of signifying one’s culture, propriety, moral standards, economic status, and social power, and so it became a powerful tool to negotiate and structure social relations as well as to enforce class differences” (Medvedev). Throughout the world, can people determine one’s social status by the way they dress? In countries such as the US, the UK, and France, the majority of its citizens are members of the middle class. However, the majority of Russia’s population is poor. How does one’s wealth affect fashions? It’s simple, those who can afford luxurious goods are the ones who tend to purchase them. Therefore, it is easier to find people with authentic luxurious clothing and accessories in wealthier countries and cities. Those who have less money, tend to buy cheaper clothes or rely on hand me downs and donations. Therefore, keeping up with current trends is rarely an option. Where exactly is one more likely to see this example in real life? If one visits a metropolitan city like New York, London, Paris, or Moscow, they will see a variety of both wealthy and poor fashions. The rich are more likely to wear something new, in good condition, of good quality, possibly designer, and in style. However, a poor person might be wearing something second hand or old that is a bit worn down, poor quality, and possibly outdated.
It is clear that there are many differences of fashion throughout the world, however, are there any massive similarities? The answer is yes. The main similarity between world fashions is how trends spread. What is the universal way trends spread? With the rise of social media and blogging, the media is the largest influence on trend spreading. An article from Italian Vogue explains, “Doing so, the search engine determines which are the current topics of interest and comparatively establishes the trends’ rate of popularity,” (Lugli, “Google and how Trends Spread”). This shows how the internet is the main factor towards trend spreading. People search different styles, pieces, etc. into Google and see what they like. If a certain look is rather prominent, worn by a celebrity, or plastered all over social media, that trend begins to spread. How are these trends started in the first place? Usually when a designer finishes a runway show, the looks shown spread rapidly through social media. Celebrities begin to wear clothing resembling these looks and followers copy them. Before you know it, the trend is seen on every street corner.
Another fashion similarity is why do people care and follow up with fashion? This is because no matter where you go, the vast majority of youth want to look good and fit in with their peers. In other words, they want to “look cool”. Though a huge percentage of these people just follow trends to fit in, there are those who truly appreciate fashion and these people are mostly found in big cities or within metropolitan areas all over the world. Why is it that fashion is more prominent in large cities? This is because it is where most designers find business and inspiration. Due to the large amount of people coming from various places whether they are immigrants, tourists, or even locals, many designers take note of all the culture (primarily art) surrounding them and that is where they gain some of their inspiration for new designs. Though caring about fitting in and fashion appreciation seem widely different, they do connect and are present in the US, UK, France, and Russia.
Furthermore, how do world fashions and my personal success plan connect? As I stated in my PSP, I plan to “work in a field I enjoy”. It is very likely that field will either be fashion or interior design. By researching world fashions and the spreading of trends, it gives me a deeper insight on the world of style. Since the fashion industry is a very competitive business, it is best to get a head start and to use every opportunity I have to explore. By completing this assignment, I am moving forward in my goal. As the years’ progress, I plan to study fashion outside of Quinnipiac and hopefully have a few internships in Manhattan as well.
Finally, after conducting more research and receiving feedback, I would make a few changes to my poster. First of all, I would have bought the tri fold kind if I knew that was the one I needed. Though I only received to comments, one statement did stand out. Though both responses were positive, one person stated how I should make my poster pop more. Since they were on the back, the viewers could not tell that I had images of examples of fashions in the US, UK, France, and Russia. If my poster had more room, I would have definitely pasted them on the front. Therefore, it would be sure to pop more. Also if I had the room, I would have added more questions possibly covering more disciplines as well. However, I was able to make up for the missing content in this essay by adding more on social class, and fashion appreciation.
As a final statement, fashions throughout the world do indeed vary greatly. These include the intentions, visual elements, climate practicality, finances and more. However, some things do remain the same. These are trend spreading, competiveness, and of course appreciation. As time passes, I hope to further my knowledge and gain as much experience as possible. Therefore, I will be able to pursue a career I enjoy.
Barry, Evelina and Esman, Sonya. “Russian vs American Fashion” YouTube, Evelina. 23. Jan.
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Clinton, Leah Melby. “10 Style Differences Between American and French-Girl Style.”
Glamour. Glamour Magazine, 24 Jan. 2016. Web. 1 Apr. 2017.
“Google and How Trends Spread.” Vogue Italy. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
Pithers, Ellie. “Why Can’t We Buy What We Want, When We Want It?” British Vogue. British
Vogue, 18 Mar. 2017. Web. 03 Apr. 2017.
“Social Class and Clothing.” Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion. Encyclopedia.com, n.d.
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Storr, Merl. “Feminist Review.” Feminist Review, no. 66, 2000, pp. 155–157.,