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Fashion designing is an art. It is about creating what is there as 2D into 3D. When we use the word designing, it is generally about crafting something the way we intend it to become. So, clothing was seen as a huge potential and scope to use the artistic and visual imagination and create something out-of-the-box. Since textile was something that India is flourishing with to the point that even now, every state, every district has their own signature dressing style and a separate culture attached to it. This was the inspiration for designing the garments according to their culture, location, gender, social class and many other factors.
Initially the early stages of fashion were seen in the egypt and roman empire era. This was the first time clothing was different for the upper class and lower class. From the fabric, to colour and silhouettes, there was this differentiation in the way different people belonging to different social classes dressed in their own ways.
Ancient tomb paintings and sculptures depict the type of fashion that was prevalent in those time periods. Initially, there were wrap-around garments and they found ways to cut and sew specific silhouettes according to their needs and wants.
So, fashion designing is the creation of clothing and also complementary lifestyle accessories.
Fashion designing now has reached a different level of sophistication and empowerment that gives designers the freedom to explore textiles, colours, patterns, prints, silhouettes, cut, seam, finishing and so many other things that come under fashion designing. Basically the art of aligning all these parts together and creating a functional garment is the aim of a fashion designer.
The evolution of fashion is different from culture to culture. The influence that they had in their family or society determined what kind of clothing they adapted. So, in a way we cannot concretise fashion and say, ‘this is fashion’. It won’t work like that. Fashion means different things to each and everyone.
‘Survival turned surreal’ - What this means and why I chose to address fashion designing this way is nothing but thinking and considering a few logical factors.
First and foremost, as discussed in the first segment, initially clothing was just to cover oneself and protect them from outside stimulus.
Is clothing/fashion regarded the same way even now?
Answer is a big fat ‘NO’. It has transformed into something completely different. Fashion now is something that is almost out of the world, which commands huge respect and demand globally.
We dress not because of weather conditions or basic necessity, we dress now because of brands, celebrities, movies, and so much more can be added in this list.
Slowly this trend began to evolve and every community and society started wearing different types of clothes depending upon their level, gender, social status, etc.As human intelligence started to expand, we started to look for more innovations, more exploration and started inventing things. This is the base of every invention that we see in the world. The curiosity and a thinking mind, saw these simple clothes that they were wearing and they saw a possibility.
The creativity and a sense of design and geometry from the ancient times itself made us take control over the physical environment with the help of technologies. Design is something that was always there even thousands of years ago. Historians are now discovering various sculptures, carvings on rocks and stones by ancient humans, they are not just random sketches, they are in fact designs!
That is why I’m referring to fashion as ‘survival turned surreal’ because it's not the same anymore. It is a trillion dollar industry and it has reached any number of peaks and will continue to do so in the future also. There is no stopping that.
Fashion and garments are physical components, which can be touched and felt right?
Well, Fashion has entered the digital space also with the help of Augmented Reality (AR) and Metaverse now! It has become non-physical in a way. So, that’s why the heading called ‘Survival turned surreal’.
Personally speaking, rather than using the term importance of fashion designing, it would be much better to use the term ‘Necessity of Fashion designing’.
It is the demand that has arisen in various sectors that enables fashion to flourish in every field. Fashion designing has proved to be the important pivot point in various phases of one’s professional and personal life. Dress codes, parties, business meetings, weddings and other occasions demand change in clothing. And that’s the job of a designer to design the wants and needs of the audience.
Fashion designing and designers have a greater role in the Film industry. When a period movie comes out, or any movie for that matter, it's the work of the designer to understand the script and know what style and look the whole movie is going to be in and accordingly choose the colour palette, fit and silhouettes for the cast and crew members. It is a very big responsibility. Designers also assist models for their shoot and they work alongside Fashion stylists, who choose the appropriate piece for the concerned person.
Freelance designers often have their own boutique where they design their own garments and sell them to people. Designer and custom wear garments are more expensive than normal ready to wear garments but they can also act as a bridge in between very high end brands, which are probably not affordable for most people.
Even without a designer, a factory can make basic clothes and do moderately well in their business. But, when it comes to innovation and taking this basic clothing style to the next level, a fashion designer is needed. It was the necessity that made fashion what it is today.
The future of fashion designing is going to be technologically progressive.With the advent of Industry 4.0, factories are getting converted to smart factories and the production can become completely automated without human intervention. In this case, with the aid of Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning, the fashion industry’s scale can be even more widened because of the empowerment of technology.
According to McKinsey State of the Fashion report 2022, the biggest opportunities that are there for the fashion industry are: Digital, Sustainability and Consumer engagement. Many designers are shifting their business motto towards sustainability. We will look more into this in the endnote part of the article.
The significance and importance of fashion designing was greatly enhanced by the Internet and digital media. Everyone has an opportunity to be a business entrepreneur without even having a physical store, warehouse or whatever. Social media is taking over and it is acting as a main catalyst for the business to keep expanding in terms of reach and revenue.
As far as the future is concerned for fashion, it is one of the few industries like the medicine, food industry and other energy industries, it cannot have a big downfall or catastrophe because everyone needs these things to survive.
METAVERSE: GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY FOR DIGITAL FASHION
The popularity and success rate in fashion designing has led to it becoming like a mainstream course to graduate in various top colleges in the country. Many people are now recognising the possibilities that this field can offer and it has started gaining a positive reputation. As we also saw how Industry 4.0 can transform the apparel industry, we should also not forget the fact that the fashion industry is always on the top 5 list of industries that are the most polluting to the environment, globally. That is why the shift to sustainable fashion is gaining a centre stage now in the business plan of most fashion brands. And this is very crucial. If everyone in the world is just concerned about revenue and profit, the earth will be in tatters in no time.
So, it is very important to create that awareness. Fashion as an industry is very huge and it covers millions, if not billions of people under its radar. If brands create this awareness, it is going to reach big masses of people. Let us work towards maintaining the true colour of fashion in its essence and make sure it evolves consciously.
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