Fashion has long been begrudged by its celebrity and high-end associations. But fashion does not belong solely to the knee-high boot, fur coat wearing divas of the world. Fashion is not exclusive to one group. Fashion is anything we wear to that shows something; that speaks something, and it is a tool that everyone can use. Like the paint wearing tribes of the Azande, and Hijab wearing Muslims of the Middle-East, anyone can use fashion to represent who they are and what they stand for. Over time fashion has transformed from being practical to personal. In our modern world- with a combination of an abundance of choice in materials and colors, freedom in choice of what we wear, and a globe full of different cultures- fashion takes a plethora of forms.
Most prominently, in the world of fashion, in the 2010s, we have seen a great increase in acceptance of peoples’ attire. Gay men are wearing make-up, ‘thick’ girls are wearing booty shorts, celebrities are being stuffed into Lycra ball gowns, and Dutchesses are wearing hiking pants. Fashion is a direct reflection of an era’s social milieu- see a corseted dress and immediately you think of all things 1800s, see a pair of flower glasses and you’re taken back to the hippy ’60s. See a 6-foot guy in 6-inch heels next to a proud Muslim woman not wearing a Hijab? You’re in 2018. This decade has been a watershed era for the development of human rights and freedom from oppression for many minorities, and this has been reflected accordingly in the burgeoning acceptance of all peoples’ personal fashion choices. Many designers and companies have gone a step further and begun paving the road to inclusivity by incorporating features into their product designs to cater to religious and physical needs of people. (Such is seen in Nike’s new collections featuring an activewear Hijab and easy to tie sneakers.) Especially in comparison to all decades preceding the 2010s, never has such a diverse array of common Western fashion been worn and never before has the attire of minority groups been so globally appreciated. Although this merely sounds like a 13-year-olds best dream, it is in actual fact a really big deal for societal progress. The fact that we can dress grungy, or preppy or like a rainbow or wearing a piupiu and virtually no one bats an eyelid directly means 2 things. On a personal level, people can be themselves without being bullied and on an international scale, people can be themselves without being bullied. No longer do we slut shame, fat shame, and culture shame people for their appearances. No longer do we restrict the attire of certain peoples with our judgment and discrimination. Fashion is about expression and in the last decade, as a society, we achieved full freedom of expression. (or at least, the closest we’ve been to it yet.)
Overall, the fashion world has widened its doors to the strange, the unconventional, the rebellious, and the Queen inside all of us
For 2019, all I can say is: If the shoe fits, then to hell with it! Wear it!