September 2009

Fashion or Fad ?

There were times when, a certain fashion in India would last a couple of years, if not decades. There were limited clothing brands in our country and hardly any accessories' , with even limited international ones, just one or two fashion magazines (not even solely dedicated to fashion) to boast of, and just about manageable media exposure. The average fashion cycle lasted about 20-25 years, i.e. the fashion lasted a reasonable period of time, completed its entire life cycle i.e. Introduction, Rise, Culmination, Decline and Obsolescence, which took almost 5-6 years; then returned or repeated itself with a few changes in 20-25 years' time. But this was in 70s and 80s....rather till 2005, the time when the Indian export quota got abolished.

Ever since, the Indian export quota went out of the picture, international brands including high-end and luxury have flooded the Indian market. We have almost all the clothing brands in the world, at our disposal, with a few accessories brands too, not forgetting some 20 odd fashion magazines and 'n' number of fashion weeks with 'n raised to the power n' number of designers. Everybody has something or the other tempting stuff to offer...and we as customers have so much to choose from. Which is great to say the least, but does it really serve the purpose ?

Any fashion that we follow today, lasts anything between 6 months to 2 years, only to be discarded for yet another fashion, which goes through more or less the same life span. Which brings me to wonder, Are we following fads instead of fashion? Or is fashion the new fad? Or was fashion always a fad, a cultural fad maybe?