The dawn of the internet age was a time to behold. It was considered even better than the invention of sliced bread. Trends and styles that were once secluded to a particular place or people have become globalised. The connectivity across borders made it possible to share fashion knowledge with others faster and more instant. Fashion and the internet now seem inseparable. Has this been good for us? Or bad?
The culture of fashion and the internet are similar. This ranges from the need for a regular update and continual transmission. They disregard space, border, history or culture as no part of the world is unreachable. Most of all, there is the tendency to represent all knowledge in the two-dimensional image. The disparity is seen between fashion and the internet as fashion encourages differentiation and hierarchy. Status is acquired according to the purchasing power of the individual. On the other hand, the internet pays no attention to such status. With no regard for race and location, ideas are shared unstoppably.
The collision of fashion and the digital space has become a force to be reckoned with. Fashion designers who seem to always be unapproachable, have become ones that cannot be stopped from showcasing on the internet. Gone are the days where fashion is left for a selected few, preferably the high class. But with the internet, there is a larger market to reach.
Flamboyance is what counts. Fashion has cut into the corners of every consumable product in the world. These products now can be placed at every corner on planet earth. The connection between these two, help sell the visual style. A product as simple as laundry soap somehow has fashion attached to it. Positively, the connectivity of the world has encouraged an increase in perspective. Prior to the invention of the internet, designers had to take trips across the world just to get inspiration for their next collection. Now with the click of a button, all that problem goes away. The counter-result of this solution is homogeneity in research, which almost always leads to Rome. Also, the individual only has secondary material at their disposal as opposed to the first-hand experience.
Connectivity has put fashion everywhere, but this has come with a price. It is known that fashion is about image with substance. Today’s fashion influencers have been reduced to documenting every inspiration or result on the internet. This has almost completely removed the mystery and the magic. They have become like pop stars whose lives are measured not by ingenuity but their talent is measured by the number of followers you have. Those few designers who do not want to succumb to the internet world, risk going into obscurity.
Saying that the entire fashion world should go offline seems impossible. However, in building our image and substance, there can be a balance between the virtual world and reality. Honesty, integrity, and substance should be the order of the day and global connectivity can be used to spread this. This way we stand a chance at driving progression. Think less about yourself as a fashion icon and more of the people that these values would impact. Then you won’t become swallowed by the virtual world.
Written by Nkem Ikeh
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