Fashion is influenced by many things: culture, socio-economics, politics, music, art. Now add television to the list. TV is a major part of our culture. TV usually represented the style of the times: 90210 and Saved by the Bell in the '90s or Gossip Girl today. However, with the growing trend of period piece television, shows like Mad Men and Downton Abbey are influencing fashion like no show ever have in the past.
Banana Republic created a Mad Men collection that was so popular that they are collaborating again. The trend of '60s fashion definitely came back in a big way these past 2 years. Pencil skirts, peplums, loafers were all seen on the runways.
But now there's a new show changing the course of fashion - PBS's British series Downton Abbey. It takes place at a fictional estate called "Downton Abbey" in North Riding of Yorkshire and follows the aristocratic Crawley family in the 1900s. World War 1 was happening which affected the world because no other war had been fought at this scale.
Many felt like some of the greatest pieces of art and literature occurred during this time. The threat and danger of not knowing what was going to happen really inspired artists (such as) to create lasting pieces. Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce created a new and very different prose style of writing.
One reason why this show has grown in such popularity is because we are coming off a hard hitting economic recession. People stopped spending less so fashion had to tone down the extravagance on the runways. Now nearly 3 years later, we are in a slow recovery and consumers feel more comfortable shopping and indulging again. With the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, consumers breathed a sigh of relief and felt like a war that was fought for many years was finally over (even though in reality it is not). Obama made Americans feel that the everything was right with the world again and that made consumers comfortable shopping again.
Designers like Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren were extremely lavish with their Paris Fashion Week runway shows. Fur has been all over the runways and it's because designers know that people are ready to treat themselves to a luxury item again. We took 3 years of toning down our looks but now fashion is going to have a revival of extravagance. We are no longer ashamed to show off that we can afford certain pieces or to save our money for one luxury item in our closet. Where's the first place people usually spend? Fashion.
It has even taken over culturally with a spoof from Jimmy Fallon on his late night talk show. Watch below:
Next major influence? "The Great Gatsby." The first trailer has been released and the fashions are gorgeous. There have already been some flapper influence on the runways and it's only going to get bigger:
Are you excited about these cultural influences on fashion?