Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fashion Has Always Been A Big Deal Throughout History!

Fashion plays an important role in the society that we live in today. Not only do we like the way certain fashion looks, but it also plays a key role in the age old idea of projecting which class we live in. Oh sure, we don't like to think about it that way, but when it comes down to it we traditionally wear clothing that shows off our class. Now, in today's society there are some exceptions (big exceptions in some cases), But as a rule of thumb status do exist.

While you ask yourself why are we influenced this way! Well, If you look back at major ancient societies throughout time like the Roman Empire and the Egyptians, you realize that those who were in the "upper echelon" of society would dress differently then the "commoners". The Egyptian clothing of the royal family and those who worked and lived  in the palace where much different those of the people who worked and toiled in the streets. Everything from the fine silks used for the royals robe, to the crowns that the pharaohs and other nobility wore, you knew who was a have, and who were the have nots in society. During the Roman era reddish-purple band on the lower edge of the toga (a one-piece garment that draped freely around the shoulders and down the body ) was worn by magistrates and high priests as an indication of their status. The white toga was worn by political candidates. The toga pulla was dark-colored and worn for mourning, while the purple toga was worn in times of triumph and by the Roman emperor.

The same went for the Fashion that we saw on the European continent. Whether it's the fine robes that the rich wore during the Roman empires, or the fine suits and dresses that were worn during the centuries of Royal rule in England, France and other kingdoms, you could see a definite class difference on how people dressed. For this reason, fashion has always been a big deal throughout history. Only now has the idea of "dressing down" become popular in the fashion world. One hundred years ago the idea of dressing the same that the "lower classes" did would be unthinkable. The fashion tradition remains customary today, although in a modern way under the name “Luxury”!


  1. It's a timely piece of commentary on fashion!
    I totally agree with your expanded definition of 'luxury'.It's not much different in South East Asia where luxury, where strong statement of "I have arrived" can be seen from the expensive fabrics mainly silk which are then translated into traditional atire the'baju kurong' among royalties and near royalty figures.
    There's another set of people much less known to the fashion world, much less defined and not fully supported in their hunger to be well dressed, fashion savvy; the well educated women (regardless of their class, their upbringing).They still yearn to wear traditional clothing only on certain occasion.Mostly they want a practical translation of fashion that define a modern them either as professional or business owners without looking looking too ethnic or too western.Perhaps we can really look into this segment of consumers from a more intellectual eye.
    Till then, be satisfied with what's there in the market to help us define who we are through fashion:)

  2. Assalam alaikum.
    You have a very colorful, inspiring, beautiful blog mashallah!

    I agree with you that Fashion is a Big Deal. Fashion is not only about clothes. There's always been fashion for many other things too- like what we eat, where we travel, hobbies, interior design etc. There's no need for everybody to be obsessed with fashion, but at least it's importance, influence on our daily life has to be realized. I used to have little respect for "fashion" in the past as I thought it was only about the "brands of clothes". But later thanks to Alexandre Vassiliev I learned to appreciate Fashion in general and people working in Fashion industry (clothes) in particular.

    By the way, the history of Fashion- particularly in Europe (where it has long and rich history) is fascinating!