By Grace Tworek
Fashion in the Digital Age
The Eighth Installment of a Weekly Fashion Column
By GRACE TWOREK
Fashion is an art; it is the type of art that is timeless and can be expressed in many unique ways. Although timeless, it is constantly evolving along with our society. Each day, both the fashion industry and the every-day people of society experience new trends—whether bringing the fanny pack back in style, eating avocado toast, or staking out a career in the enigmatic field of Instagram influencers, trends touch and influence the lives of just about everyone.
Social media is a major trend that has evolved both in the fashion world and in society, but this “trend” is no longer seen as something that is temporary, but rather, it has become an aspect of society that we have learned to depend on… and it doesn’t seem to be going out of style any time soon.
Granted, social media has the utmost ability to connect people in novel ways, and when it comes to fashion, differing social media platforms have allowed the industry to elevate itself. Companies can convey the aesthetic of their fashion to its consumers just through them opening their phone.
But has social media become too overbearing? Too addicting? In some cases, people have learned to depend on their social media platforms for validation as some may believe the only way to confirm you are like totally drop dead gorgeous is by how many comments you received on your most recent selfie, or how many likes you attain on a post.
This type of culture is unavoidable as it has become the norm not only for us millennials, but for just about anyone that has social media and uses it often. Sometimes I worry that the timelessness and beauty of the fashion industry may be getting stripped away as it too feels the pressure to confine to the pressures that the world of social media puts on everyone.
The fashion industry feels the pressure to keep up with the advancing world of social media in the same way that every industry does, but for the world of fashion it is absolutely vital to maintain the existence of creativity and fashion through their usage, and this is where things can get tough.
Industries have been continually forced to choose between classic and modern when it comes to their vision, and these little touches go unnoticed because as a society, we have become so used to these subtle changes.
For example, have you ever wondered if Kendall Jenner has been on precisely thirteen Vogue covers because she is a top-notch fashion model or because she is a part of the Kardashian family and her social media presence has a following of 108 million Instagram followers?
The editors at these high-fashion magazines, such as Vogue, know Kendall Jenner sells and although she may not be exactly the pinnacle of an editor’s vision, her social media presence cannot go unnoticed. I am in no way here to discredit the work and abilities of Kendall Jenner and her modeling career, but it is a detail that needs to be noticed as it makes me wonder if the fashion industry is seemingly giving in TOO much to these pressures of social media.
It seems unfathomable that Vogue could no longer be printed as a real-life magazine and instead only be read online, but in the direction that the fashion industry is going—as social media continues to gain more capital in society—this possibility has become strikingly more likely.
Let’s not discredit social media—it opens up its viewers to creativity, self-expression, and connection by giving people inspiration through fashion content easily consumed on an iPhone. Each day, my feed is filled with outstanding content from the accounts of Chanel, Vogue, or my absolute favorite fashion bloggers. The world of fashion is past the post the point of existing without the presence of social media, so rather than trying to see how one can exist without the other, we can attempt to find the perfect balance of the two.
I am notorious for posting my outfit of the day on my social media accounts as well as watching numerous style videos to gain inspiration on what I want to wear to certain events. I am also guilty of checking my social usage numbers for the week and being completely horrified by the numbers I was seeing. This balance is so important to find because when it is found, social media and fashion really are so compatible as they have the ability to bring out facets of creativity and inspiration one never knew existed.
Grace Tworek (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes a weekly fashion column for the Indy.