Clothing as a socially moral and directional item, how it has shaped people, specifically celebrities in today’s society

The idea of the body and dress as a social acceptance of morals, or that it has a directional quality to it is a fascinating thought, this is definably relevant in discussions of dress to me as a designer and as an voyeur. In Joanne Entwistle’s “The Dressed Body” she speaks over how certain situations  dictate the way one dresses, such as a wedding for example. You don’t wear white to a wedding unless you are the bride, and on a job interview, you don’t wear jogging pants due to the social construct of that not being presentable. This idea of dressing for certain situations is interesting due to the fact that how prevalent it is our society in everyday life whether we choose to think about it or not, especially how it is seen on different types of people, for example the shift between pedestrians and the “famous”. Especially today, pop stars are the kinds of people that have to be dressed up all the time, or they lose there appeal to someone who does do it 100%. Things you would wear for a certain occasion, or somethings you think of being like that is just bizarre and has no place to be worn, certain celebrities or fashion icons have developed into a regularly ritualistic application that goes hand in hand with their everyday activities. Not just for appearances or videos or award ceremonies, but to do the most basic of things. For Example, the icons that do this everyday, that make us wonder what crazy thing do they wear to bed are as follows.

Lady GaGa

Nicki Minaj

Daphne Guinness

The Late Elsa Schiaparelli

Just to name a few……

These women are examples of how there dress whcih is going on 24/7 even when they are going to the grocery store have developed a way to incorporate things for certain situations into an everyday common practice. Things that the everyday person would do in sweatpants, Daphne Guinness would do in a pair of 8′ heel-less shoes.

In conclusion it is interesting to see the fashion industry really inspire people to do this, and our society today as we had Madonna who started the whole craze arguable of being true to your “persona” has moved into today with such  icons as listed, incorporating what is right what is wrong and what is acceptable to leave the house in.


2 responses to “Clothing as a socially moral and directional item, how it has shaped people, specifically celebrities in today’s society

  1. ericdanko

    This does leave an interesting thought in one’s mind as a social norm. Relating this back to an earlier reading from Roland Barthes, he talked about how we give items their meaning, and nothing has meaning unless it is in a sign system. Today these celebrities are giving us this information that we need to be presentable all day, every day from food shopping to a dinner and drinks evening. However, we have seen this type of dress before, back in the 1800’s when women of the wealthy society would and could wear multiply outfits for different occasions throughout their day, this was later dismissed by the popularity of casual /sports wear, and furthermore due to both World Wars, where fabric was strictly for uniform making. Nevertheless, today in this cultural society where we see these superstars having more and living more luxurious lives, we, ourselves try and do the same. We are seeing a rebirth of this 1800’s culture, where more is more, and more is better. The question can also be raised that are these pop icons just performing each and every single day for us, with what they are wear? Are they really who they say they are underneath the loads of makeup, designer clothing and accessories, that they did not even buy themselves, but were rather gifted to them by various designers? Are we living in a cultural society where we need to look the part every day, or can we just be ourselves, without the performance?

    • This reminds me a lot of my grandmother because she believes in never going out of the house with out her warpaint (makeup), Chanel rouge lipstick and a pair of heels. She is a southern bell at heart and believes a woman should look her best when she is out in public. My grandmother always reminds my sister and I that a ladies knees should always be touching and that wearing navy blue attracts everything but boys! People know her for always dressing up where ever she goes! Her motto is “It is better to be over dressed than underdressed!” On a smaller scale, my grandmother goes out with a perfectly put together outfit that is classic which is true her ‘persona’ similar to Lady Gaga going grocery shopping in one of her crazy outfits. I love that my grandmother is into dressing well and even though she has gotten older she still sports heels, although her other friends are in tennis shoes. Her style has defiantly influenced me as a designer, and I am very similar in that I always want to be presentable when I go out, with the exception of what I wear to class!

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