Postmodernism fashion has developed over the years with incredible designers demonstrating its essential elements. However, since the beginning of the new millennia, the cultural and societal shift of younger generations has led to the rise of new fashion ideas. The era of fitting suits, perfectly tailored suits, and dresses is long gone; hence, new designers in high fashion are emerging.
Postmodernism has a significant influence and impact on the fashion design and design mode of traditional clothing. Postmodernism fashion has awakened new design concepts to fashion designers, including notable changes in fashion materials, patterns, and colors. This article talks about the concept and development of postmodernism fashion. Keep reading to understand all you need to know about postmodernism fashion.
What is Postmodernism Fashion?
Postmodernism fashion is one of the most controversial movements in fashion design history. It shatters established ideas about fashion design and brings a new self-awareness about fashion itself. However, postmodernism fashion is a difficult concept to pin down as it emerges in the dying years of modernism. This relies on a distinction between the old and new fashion and aims to call into question the idea of objective reality.
So, how is postmodernism fashion still relevant today? First, postmodernism means after the modernist movement. However, there is more to postmodernism fashion than that. It is a flexible term that covers a wide range of designs, and you can use it to describe the society we live in today. Postmodernism fashion embraces experimentation and individualism, which comes to light through different combinations of different fashion designs.
Postmodernism Fashion – History
The concept of postmodernism fast started in the late 1980s with Martin Margiela. This prominent Belgium designer thought that everything could be fashion if channeled the right way. However, Martin Margiela was very successful in his fashion endeavor. The name Margiela is highly synonymous with postmodernism fashion and top-quality deconstructed fabrics. Margiela introduced ripped jeans, inside-out stitching, oversized silhouettes, and a lack of branding. The whole idea of making a jacket out of bedspreads or even out of ski gloves are all Margiela’s fashion ideas.
Then in the mid-2010s, Demna rekindled the idea of postmodernism fashion again with the fire of a million suns. Demna Gvasalia, a Georgian designer, took a slightly different style to fashion than Margiela. His distinct approach to fashion extended to his brand name “VETEMENTS,” which translates to “clothes.” The name of his brand was the fashion idea; irrespective of what brand you are wearing, it’s just clothing at the end of the day.
These designers did something in fashion; Demna made unfashionable ideas fashionable. He changed the concept of high fashion and all it can stand for. Clothes show your social identity and how the general population puts everyone in categories. This fashion category has evolved with top designers such as Comme des Garcons, Alexander McQueen, Yohji Yamamoto, YSL, and Vivienne Westwood.
Postmodernism Fashion – Concept
Postmodernism is becoming a description of changes in contemporary culture and society. Life is quite different not to hundred or fifty years ago, with traditional roles such as a woman’s place’ no longer in context. Postmodernism, as a whole, challenges these conventional values of today’s societal values, especially in western society.
The concept of postmodernism is that there is no supra identity surrounding fashion; we make clothes to wear them. This is why VETEMENTS made leather jackets for streetwear but also made suits for business occasions. These are all twisted and would change the proportions of anyone wearing the garment. He also designed oversized hoodies and bombers to create a sense of androgynous fashion styles to show that it’s not about one’s physical appearance.
Furthermore, postmodernism fashion is usually applicable to historical imagery and the use of materials from another framework. Today, many people regard postmodernism fashion as retro because it revisits the style from earlier years. In addition, the styles from these earlier years can reveal multicultural ideas. Finally, for many people, there has been this continual trend of expressing oneself through fashion, especially this past decade. When combined, you can use fashion and art as social and political symbols.
We can also describe postmodernity as the era of modernism when individualization began. However, modernity is all about production, while postmodernity conceives consumption. Postmodernism fashion is based on new and different ideas, which creates a desire for new things and the latest model. The postmodern fashion era emphasizes difference to the point that there is metanarrative meaning to fashion. The modern mass production of clothing created excess, resulting in the current postmodernity of fashion. Now, with this excess clothing production, people can combine varieties of clothes and assemble them to form something new.
Examples of Postmodernism Fashion Designers
There are several examples of postmodern fashion designers who changed the fashion that we know today. Let’s quickly look at how these designers demonstrate the key elements of postmodernism fashion.
John Galliano was a student at Central Saint Martin College of Art and Design in 1981. While schooling, John worked as a dresser for Britain’s National Theatre in London. His job was to ensure that the company’s actors looked perfect while performing. Upon his graduation in 1984, he inspired the French Revolution and entitled ‘Les Incroyables.’ The independent London fashion boutique bought this. Eventually, John Galliano quickly established his brand and had the support of various financial backers. People described Galliano collections as being rather intricate and dramatic.
Alexander McQueen was another postmodernism fashion designer whose spectacular fashion expressed creativity and originality. His idea of fashion persistently questioned and challenged the requisites of clothes. Alexander saw beyond clothing’s physical constraints to its ideological possibilities. For him, fashion and emotions are linked inexorably, just as fashion and politics. Alexander’s runway presentations validated strong feelings as compelling and undeniable sources of aesthetic experience.
Like an artist or a writer, McQueen associates unfettered emotionalism with the appreciation of beauty. What captivates us is a vision of fashion that aims to reconstitute the romantic past into the postmodern time. Alexander McQueen’s style also referenced the exaggerated silhouettes of the 1860s down to the 1950s. However, his technical originality always infused his designs with an innovative sensibility.
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic garment will be on display forever in the grand surrounds of the Bowes Museum, County Durham. In 1966, this postmodern fashion designer debuted a menswear-inspired tuxedo made for women, and this became an instant classic for women. Women who wanted to appear strong but glamorous also found this collection rather impressive.
Mining one another’s inspiration is now the new black in the 21st century, but Saint was the first to tap into the gallery for the runway. He also campaigned for diversity in fashion, which has become a norm in today’s fashion. However, white-washing was still an issue at that time, and Saint was the designer who went against the grain with his focus on diverse castings. He did this by tapping black models such as Rebecca Ayoko, Iman, and Katoucha Niane.
The Coco Chanel collection in 1937 changed Saint’s entire approach to fashion. He felt that Dior’s tradition of reintroducing new silhouettes with each collection was becoming outdated. This was in contrast to Dior’s interest in creating fashionable styles. This inspired Saint to search for a uniform or style of his own, and this uniform developed into a trend of essential garments. Chanel’s dedication to making streamlined and modern garments for women only inspired Saint to transform the fashionable wardrobe. The effects of Saint’s fashion development are still greatly felt and seen in today’s fashion world.
Vivienne Westwood was known as one of the most influential British postmodernism fashion designers of the 20th century. She introduced underwear as outerwear, revived the corset, and invented the youth movement fashion known as punk. Punk was a youthful reaction in the 20th century against the older generation, which was considered outdated and oppressive. Punk was a quickly digested fashion of all the previous youth fashion. Since the 20th century, punk has never completely gone out of style. One can still see flamboyant teenagers wearing bandage trousers with studded leather motorcycle jackets on the streets. However, punk has become more than a reaction and become an inspiration for haute couture. In the 21st century, punk and hip-hop are fused into what has become the trendy look for the contemporary youth.
Postmodernism Fashion – Digital disrupting Reality
Young designers are constantly engaging with these academic terms and understanding their visual counterparts with their work. However, some designers might dismiss these literary terms as inconsistent, but these ideas underpin most progressive work in the fashion industry. However, the difference between today’s intelligent designers and those from earlier years is the advantage of growing in a digital world. Of course, this offers the designers unparallel access to seemingly endless resources.
These resources include Pinterest, Tumblr, and other sites that distill images of the past into usable forms such as .jpeg. These sites then present these images as malleable reference points to reconfigure and modify as we like. The disruption of objective reality is one of the progressive results of postmodernism fashion. In addition, more fashion designers are creating incredible designs that break the standard convention of fashion. Therefore, it’s safe to say that postmodernism fashion yields some excellent and ground-breaking results.
Postmodernism Fashion – Final Thoughts
Postmodernism fashion embraces all new technologies and still represents the past. Fashion in recent times is becoming more relevant in this ever-growing population. Postmodernism fashion has changed our outlook on what is considered fashionable to put on and what we can wear. With this, people now dress freer and more openly. Fashion, like art, evolves and keeps bringing new ideas to light as time goes on. In the 21st century, the impact of postmodernism fashion is still felt by many. Postmodernism fashion has given us a different way of looking at today’s fashion world.