Opinion: When it comes to fashion, we are all the same

Checking out the trends at Vancouver Fashion Week. (Photos by Amber Sandhu)

Eighty designers make their way to one runway to show ideas expressed through the power of fashion. Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) goes on for its seventh year. Each designer reveals the same idea, in different styles.

Designers create clothing to show buyers what could be the best thing to wear in order to fit in with the crowd. Comparing clothing that is modeled on the runway to clothing being worn on the streets, there is a similarity of interest and meaning.

The fashion industry has been around since the 19th century, with an enormous difference between the styles from the past and the present. Looking back at how the styles have changed, the biggest difference would be that all clothes are short, and cut up to show some skin. We now take a look at social media, fashion shows or on the local streets, and only ever notice everyone wearing clothing that only shows skin.

Clothes are a girl’s best friend, or in this case, my best friend. When deciding what to wear, I chose to go toward what makes me feel good, and what I feel shows who I am as an individual. I asked a fellow Vancouverite, why she had chosen the outfit she was wearing.

Woman in red top

Renee Mann, ready for a night out. (Photo by Amber Sandhu)

Renee Mann was ready to attend a party, wearing a red tube top and a pair of tearaway pants.

“I had noticed this outfit while scrolling through Instagram and thought it was cute and something I thought would be the right fit for the night,” she said. “I have seen other girls wear it but I felt that if I wore it, it would make myself trendy and in touch with what is new and in.”

Social media plays an enormous role in the fashion industry. With Instagram, online shopping sites and celebrities using social media, apparel isn’t only worn for pleasure but for fitting in, and seeing what is being trended by the superstars. As much as we want to say we chose our outfits for pleasure, we can’t help but look up to celebrities. Without them, we would be uncertain about what is considered “in” or trendy.

The most common design during the Vancouver Fashion Week show was classy yet simple. Each designer’s clothing lines showed styles to clothes similar to what normally sells at Oak and Fort or Aritzia, both high-branded, expensive retail stores.

As a young woman, I noticed the higher-class style each of them was showing. I felt underdressed, despite wearing dress pants. I had felt I had no sense of style or that I did not belong. I was with a friend, who has the same interest in clothing, and she had worn dress pants and an off-the-shoulder blouse. It blended well with the crowd and showed what the designers would want to see more of.

Designer Port Zienna’s models walked the runway in similar apparel sold at Oak and Fort, Aritzia,or even Zara, which sells clothing for a reasonable price. If similar designs are being shown in different fashion shows, does that mean that there is only one particular image that everyone is expecting to adopt? The styles involve neutral colours, such as black, gray, beige, with more of the warm undertone. Showing different looks with more of the darker shades, gives us the impression of everyone expecting to see us more bland.

During VFW, I had took photos of fellow fashion lovers from Vancouver or other parts of Canada. Two out of the many fashion addicts showed their love for fashion. I noticed the same styles you would see on a mannequin at Wilfred or any other high-quality store.

I have come to realize that everyone you look at on the streets, in the mall or on social networking sites, seems to look the same, or give the same message, that we should all look the same. It seems like individuality isn’t as important as we were taught growing up.

I loved the experience of attending a fashion show, but noticed what was being worn on the runway and what is seen on the streets is very similar. As much as we want to personalize our look, we end up looking the same. We could wear outfits that are as different as possible but, if given the opportunity to stand out as much as possible, I’d rather blend in and go with what’s trendy.

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