The history of style shows fashion’s support of minorities and expression of one’s identity. It is quite amazing to see how fashion has developed with time especially when looking at it from a bird’s eye view. Taking in the beauty that is the history of fashion, however, can only be truly appreciated when we break the history up into smaller slices possibly even smaller than sets of generations.
The problem with looking at the past of fashion as a whole is that one will never be able to understand how a certain “movement” changed the lives of the people who started it. Fashion has a bad habit of normalizing in the sense that the industry often defines a new normal after the status quo has been defied. In the grand scheme, this might be a good thing but when we examine history it can be really difficult.
The way each slice of ten years reacts to big fashion changes during their time is different. For example, people born from 2000- 2009 interact and react to fashion’s gender fluid movement much different than those born from 1990-1999. This difference in reaction has been a constant for quite a while farther than when it was expected of girls to only wear skirts to school.
I think a lot of it has to do with how the identities of gender, sexuality, and age intersect when it comes to fashion. I think we can break life up into three categories: childhood, middle-age, and old-age. As children, we are taught certain “concepts” about gender and how it applies to our lives.
“Boys wear blue and Girls wear pink”
Children tend to feel the incessant need to push and enforce these concepts in their day to day lives. Often, this leads to them ridiculing their peers when someone tries to be different. When children see a fashion based movement, they are usually unable to comprehend it. As we grow older, most come to a phase of self-discovery and acceptance. This phase is also that of defiance where we push back against society’s expectations and pave the way to new ideas. This is the set of people that start movements in fashion such as the non-binary gender movement currently going on. Entering old-age constitutes the idea of tolerance and acceptance. Many people at this point in their lives should ask themselves how to adapt to the new movement’s ideas.
With all these different point of views, examining style can have a completely different angle when looking at different age demographics.