Fashion, TedX talk

Understanding fashion and its importance in our life

My name is Alex Angelino, and I design clothing. I was lured to the world of fashion at the age of 16 by my older brother, who needed trustable cheap Labor for his small clothing store in Iran. Eventually, he got out of clothing business, but I liked it and stayed in course.

In the last 45 years, I worked in all aspects of the business, from retail to designing textile and clothing. I started my clothing label in Los Angeles in 1999. For the nature of this business, I have been fortunate to live in many countries and learn their culture, language, working ability, and ethics. 

 As I grow older in the fashion industry, I am amazed ( astonished ) and fascinated with its power to influence our lives, societies, and civilization. And how little majority of us know about this everyday ritual called fashion. And what a powerful non vocal tool it may be if we understand its fundamentals.

How many of you believe fashion is art?

Fashion is an essential part of the culture and daily life. It represents an Art form that allows individuals to preform better, and express their inner emotions and feelings that cannot be expressed with words. Fashion elevates the state of mind, and like any other, art satisfies a need and communicates a message.

Fashion and its history, achievements, and offerings result from the courage and struggle of many individuals before us. Like other arts, fashion helps in the advancement and progress of Societies and individuals'. Fashion communicates silently and undoubtedly has therapeutic properties.

Fashion puts the very basic Human rights of individuals in their own hands, right over your body. Therefore it helps to democratize society. Moreover, fashion helps individuals perform better, achieve more of their daily tasks, and create a better state of mind to appreciate life and achieve bigger goals. 

According to studies, we read so much of each other only in the first 7 seconds, and as we go further and have the conversation, we look for clues to affirm our judgments. That is why it is said that first impression is everything.

If I had to use an analogy to help you understand the potential of fashion, I would say that you are the cover of your daily published magazine. 

Fashion, in truth, is a combination of different disciplines, technology, industry, and arts. Like any other objects around you, drawing and sculpture are the two primary art shaping fashion.

From yarn making to textile, and garment designing, all over Art and craft is involved; even when we put together an outfit to wear, considering style, colors, and texture, that's an art by itself.

Yes, fashion is an art, and is directly related to social liberty, justice and freedom of expression. Interestingly, it is the Art where the consumer as a king has a role in its design, color, and style. 

Customer is king" I love this business mantra reflecting the importance of customers.

 My main challenge as a designer in each season is to create a collection that is king desire. Remember king does not like to be commended. It's he that commends. To do so, I need to understand consumer preferences and tastes. This is very important, meaning styles are imposed to me by the king.

Designers have various methods to predict and find out about king's desire. Fashion shows, trade conventions, pre-sales, and so many other techniques are out there, but the one that interests me the most is almost obsolete in most western countries except Japan, called Cool Hunter, or "trend spotting".

Cool hunters are photographers hired by fashion organizations or magazines that stand at busy intersections looking for people dressed uniquely and ask them if they like to be photographed. Some newspaper like Latimes has a section even today called street fashion. but the hot bed of cool hunters is Tokyo Harajuku.

harajuku fashion

Harajuku Fashion

Harajuku fashion and environment, at its heart, is an open-air laboratory for innovative youth fashion concepts. An area where people gather to experiment with fashion without fear of being judged or rejected; instead, they are encouraged to try innovative aesthetic concepts and theories, receiving immediate feedback from people.

 Fashion empowers

The extent of knowledge and understanding of fashion varies in different societies. In the more traditional society have little or no understanding of this powerful tool. And often see it as western culture and do not see it helpful to their society—what an unjust and disservice to society by patriarchy. Fashion designs don't have a nationality. 

Extreme case of this is the Taleban mentality, depriving half of your society of their Right, enforcing restricted roles for women's clothing. What an unjust.

Fashion is manifest of human knowledge, struggle, experience, and feeling. 

In the west, however, we have a much better understanding of fashion than in undeveloped countries, but are long way away from what where could be.

 

In April 2011, France became the first European country to impose a ban on full-face veils in public areas. Wikipedia

"Paris women finally allowed to wear trousers - BBC News. Feb 4, 2013 — The French government overturns a 200-year-old ban on women wearing trousers in the capital, Paris, dating from November 1800".

 

But even in the most powerful nation on the earth, we have a long way to go to realize the power of fashion, its application in our lives and society. We know more about Mars than this everyday ritual called fashion.

To demonstrate how little we know, I refer you to the smartest person we chose to decide on our interest from 2008 to 2016. Present Obama interview on MTV Henderson Nevada. When Eric from Huntington, California, ask his opinion regarding anti-sagging-pants ordinances. He didn't know about the disservice that he would do to communities that he tried hard to improve. He dodged the question and said,

"Here's my attitude: I think passing a law about people wearing sagging pants is a waste of time. We should be focused on creating jobs, improving our schools, getting health care, dealing with the war in Iraq..."

"Having said that, brothers should pull up their pants". this didn't look like "yes we can slogan,Is more of No you can't. He ( sagger ) is Satisfying a need, communicating a message). He screams his message and manifests disrespect that brings him discomfort, yet he is satisfied. 

It's not that Sagging is my favorite style, In fact, I am for a more disciplined and objective styling. But I value the art of clothing.  We are not all the same, and we are different; some of us like colors, some don't. Some even are Colorblind and see everything gray. Some like baggy clothing, some like fitted.

Looking sloppy by wearing sagging pants satisfies the need to express an objection to what happened in the past and what is happening today and express doubt about the challenges ahead. Interestingly since early 1990 that sagging was popularized no fashion house designed a sagging style. this was design by consumer itself. three decades to this trend in 2021 Balenciaga made a sagging pants for $1200. Expressing anti establishment sentiments is not only pertaining to clothing but also other contemporary art, music, dance, and painting.

The discussion of what to do about art and fashion trends should never focus on legislating codes and ordinances against the wearers or the artists, but rather looking to the social conditions which need to be changed for people to feel more hopeful and ultimately to express themselves differently.

Indeed, generations express themselves by their appearances, make-up, hairstyles, and accessories.  Jeans have been a weapon of choice to exhibit rebelliousness, and disobedience.

The Hippies movement in the 1960s. punks, Hip Hop and Sagging are fashion trends and a way of expressing ones inner emotion toward life and society.

I've known for a long time that inner feelings and dress choices are linked. Choosing an outfit to wear involves a complicated thought process including both the conscious and subconscious minds.

There is no doubt that external forces influence our clothing choices: peer pressure, community, culture and advertising are just few of these forces.

It would be beneficial if we could minimize the effect of these forces and take control of this intimate powerful tool.

Not only Lots of our clothing choices are decided by our subconscious, but we all have cognitive biases that grow through time as a result of our life experiences, influencing our total fashion preferences. I'd want to discuss three of them.

1- Halo effect 

The halo effect is the likely hood for positive impressions of a person when we approve of their appearance. This halo of positivity will have a long-lasting effect on our judgment of the person. We have a favorable view of the person throughout the time, even though other characteristics may not be satisfactory. That's why we say "first impression is everything".

 2- Horn effect

The horn effect is the opposite of the halo effect. When we don't like the person's appearance, we will disqualify a person from another characteristic that may not be true. Sagging, Tattos falls in this category.

 3- Reward effect

Reward effect is when your clothing behavior looks discomforting, unbalanced, and unpleasant, yet the reward influences the user's judgment. High heel shoes and Sagging falls in Reward effect.

 Now that you know the importance of individual role in fashion let us go through some styles of fashion clothing.

Style, color, texture, and fit are primary elements, as are the fit and proportions of the garments. Cut and proportion are the two main factors for expressing oneself as funny, serious, victorious, indifferent, sexy, conservative, etc.

Knowing the principle of choosing clothing

psychology of shapes
Every visual aspect may be seen and analyzed in form and mathematical calculations. If you want to make a home icon, the first thing that comes to mind is a rectangle with a triangle on top. That's how it's viewed at its most fundamental level. Symbols and forms have a big influence on our perception and behavior. The science of 'psychology of shapes' is concerned with the impact of forms on humans.

Over the years, specialists have used research and experiments to determine what each form means and how it affects human perception. I just like to go through few of them.

Squares and Rectangles

The most commonly utilized shapes are square and rectangle. We see them daily. The majority of the items we use daily, such as our homes, cellphones, walls, furniture, books, monitors, and so on, are square or rectangular in shape. These two forms have straight lines and 90° angles, which give them a sense of dependability and stability. In addition, squares and rectangles are strongly associated with buildings because they provide a feeling of order, power, courage, balance, logic, trust, and authority.

Circles, Ovals, and Ellipses

Because they have no beginning or end, these forms perfectly depict the impression of eternity. Most celestial objects, such as the sun, moon, and earth, are round or circle. The ellipse is similar to the entire universe. That's why spherical forms evoke a sense of magic, mystery, and secrecy. Unlike other shapes, circles don't have angles, and they are gentler and milder than other forms. Eternity, enchantment mystery, and the cosmos are connected with circles and ellipses.

Triangle

Triangle is a form associated with motion and direction that is dynamic, energetic, active, and forceful. The positioning of lines draws the eyes to the top of a triangle or in the direction in which it is placed. Triangles, on the other hand, can have a variety of meanings depending on their arrangement and orientation. The impression of stability and balance is evoked by an upright triangle, but the emotion of danger, instability, and uncertainty is evoked by an inverted triangle.

 Clothing color

 Color: Choosing colors palette that work well together is knowledge about human optical ability, psychology, and culture. Colors can allow us to create different types of feeling, desired and emotions.

Dark colors are associated with formality, dominance, and authority.
Light colors make the wearer look more accessible and welcoming.
Some vibrant colors build confidence and vigor.
Colors that are muted are more conservative and less intimidating.

Color effects can be measured. Warm hues like red, yellow, and orange trigger stronger excitement emotions like love, passion, happiness, and anger. Blue, green, and purple are cool hues associated with peacefulness, melancholy, and neutrality. Colors have the power to evoke certain sensory states and emotions.

 Clothing Texture

 The texture is the apparent physical aspect of a piece of clothing. It can be felt with the hands, seen with the eyes, or both. Therefore, our texture understanding is influenced by our experiences. Some textures are inviting and warm; some are shiny and some dull. All textures invoke a certain feeling in us.

 Clothing Fit

Well-tailored clothes make a huge impact on how you look. By well-fitted, I mean clothes that conform to your body's shape, allow you space to breathe and move, and yet do not restrain you. Extra fabric adds bulk to your frame. Fit is very personal, and our taste of it goes through changes. Regular fit, relaxed fit, slim fit are appropriate options.
With all that being said, fashion is an Art, and perfection and skills come with experiment and practice. Knowing that we are all different and need to express ourselves differently, fashion is an accessible tool to improve our lives and society.


Throughout history, Art is the foundation of human civilization. No civilization was raised without being the best of their time in Art. The growth of Greek Hellenistic culture and Alexander the Great, a 20-year-old ruler who conquered the world in thirteen years and whose culture became the foundation for European civilization, as well as numerous historical instances, show that Art is the primary vehicle for progress.

This is relevant today. The top economies are the one that produces the most of art business and production. The United States, the united kingdom, and China are respectfully the first three art producers. 

You have a tool at no extra cost to help you create the greatest version of yourself and the world you love ❤️ , if you get off the autopilot mode, and take control of this everyday Ritual called Fashion. You should seek to minimize the impact of external influences and explore fashion objectively. Every day as you leave the house, dress appropriately for the setting, duties, and role you'll be playing, and expect better performance and feelings.


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