We usually consider fashion as a global occurance. Especially when we talk about history of fashion. (I exclude the history of fashion in different countries, I mean just world fashion’s history).
There’s a certain image that appears in front of our eyes each time we mention a period in fashion. Let’s try something – ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s…, XV century, the end of XVIII century… What do you think of? You probably imagine some posters you’ve seen or paintings in museums or the cover of a musical album.
Now I originate from a small town in Bulgaria, namely Kazanlak and every time I go back, I realize that there is another kind of fashion, which is quite interesting as well. I can’t say weather it is connected to the lack of information or to the lack of abilities or just to the lack of expensive boutiques around (which is absolutely explicable as you can’t find enough people who could afford expensive things). Anyways, people are people everywhere and there are always those ones who want to impress the others, want to be better or more beautiful or more stylish or more fashionable. But what happens when we are “isolated” like that? You can’t travel all the time to a big city just to shop for brand stuff in order to be in.
Then new fashion is created – a fashion that has nothing to do with the rest of the world because it is local and it works only in this location.
What is fashion actually? For me, it has nothing to do with style. For style you need to be smart and to have certain culture in your veines. Fashion is usually copying some trends that you saw somewhere. I don’t know why we follow it, I guess it’s because we want to be better accepted, we want to leave this good impression (which usually plays a bad role later as many people think you’re dumb because you’re wearing something fashionable). Another reason could be that we are already influenced by these trends, our idea of beauty changes along with fashion so once we fall in this trap, there’s no way out unless we start to ask ourselves questions, but come on, modern people have no time to ask themselves
questions, especially when they lead to inconvenient answers.
Now in local fashion you have the same “copy-paste” principle. What’s scarier is that the abilities of a small town are really limited and you don’t have so many clothes stores as in a big city. And those horrible markets, full of low quality products made in famished Asiatic countries… But it is not scary that a few creative people can actually dictate ideas to everyone else. It gets immensely terrifying when people with no imagination give ideas to other people. Now this is a problem…
Let me give an example. When I was in elementary school there were some crazy trends on make up.
First there was the white eye liner. I couldn’t understand what’s wrong with those women applying this strange white line above their eyes and how could they believe it looked beautiful?
up disaster was when it was “trendy” to outline your lips using black pencil. OH MY GOSH, how ugly is that! Sometimes it even came with no lipstick!
Later on everybody wore some peculiar foam hats, something between a bowler and a cowboy hat wrapped in some strange fabric like velvet. Some of them had a periphery in Dalmatian nuance. (I couldn’t find photos online)
Oh man, I will never be able to forget how when I was in high school almost every girl in the city had the same pair of jeans. I don’t know how it happened, but there was only one model, no idea where it came from, but everybody decided that this exact model was very sexy. Actually, now when I am thinking of it, it was making every thin girl look like a skeleton as it was very bright on the front and back and had some darker lines on the sides, which makes a visual illusion for thiner legs. Maybe that’s what
provoked such an astonishing success. The suppliers must have been very happy though.
There are sometimes political reasons for the existance of local fashion. Like, for example, fashion in all the Eastern block was really different from what was happening on the West during the years of
I was very optimistic before as I was thinking that with Internet and the easy access to information things will change rapidly, but still I go back to my native city and still everything stays the same. It seems like there is no freedom or very little of it. It seems that people are afraid to be different as in a smaller city the society is quite cruel to those who are not part of the grey mass and you risk to be excluded. Still it requires some braveness to be different and to be interesting and to feel like you can do whatever you want without caring about the judgement. I don’t know, is it just me or is it everywhere like that? Does it at all have to do with the size of the city? Because still, there are some people who decided to be free, to not be like the others and to do something creative. Unfortunately, they usually leave sooner or later…
Now here’s an example of the local fashion I see everywhere around me – it is so mass to be wearing boots, leggins (skinny jeans), long pullover or and a winter jacket. And it’s important everything to be really tight and skinny. What’s really impressive is that there are girls with lots of make up and huge self-confidence who sometimes look at the others as if they are the centre of the world. It’s really strange. As if it’s kind of a defencive reaction to the curious looks. Hm…