Research Round 7- Why Did Fashion Evolve In The Late 20th Century?

 Hello folks! 

  Before we get started, I would like to let you all know that this is my second to last research round for this inquiry question (unless something comes up in the comments!) Our school year is nearing the end, and as well, I've been working with the same question for a long time. I nearly have all the answers I need for this project. So after this round, I will be posting one more, followed by a reflection. But if there's anything you guys would like to know, please tell me!

 Without further ado, this round is about pop culture affecting fashion. I will be looking at films and music impacting the fashion industry.

 There is no way pop culture couldn't affect fashion.

 1. Films and TV.

In film and TV, costume design plays a huge role, because it will change how the audience will see the character. Certain looks are chosen specifically for certain characters. (1)  

 A well known example of this is Jennifer Anniston on Friends (see the picture below) - in 1994, many fans of the show would imitate her style - overalls and a certain haircut - and the overalls even made a comeback in 2014. (3) This a very common thing to to; some fans of a TV show will dress like their favourite character or a central character on the show (I have done this myself!) (2)


 As well, some of the most iconic moments in film history wouldn't be known the way they are today without the work of costume designers. (1) 

  Another example that comes to mind is Stranger Things. One reason it's so well-known is because of the stylization. This doesn't just mean the clothes, it includes the set pieces, music, language, and overall themes. 

 Which brings me to my next point:

2. Music. 

 Many artists of the pasts are remembered today for what they wore. In the 90's, for example, Justin Timberlake dressed a specific way. (3) Musical artists may want to have a certain image, or their management staff will want them to have a certain image, so that they will be recognizable, and known for their signature style. (2) (4) 

  But in other cases, artists may be sponsored by a company or brand, and will have to wear things by that brand when they're in the public eye, since that's part of their contract. (A guest speaker from planning 10 told me this, kudos to her.) 

 Music genres also have a huge influence on fashion trends, like how in the 90s, hip hop was a popular music style, so many people would dress like those artists. 

 3. Stereotypes. 

 Since a big part of Butterfly Effect is breaking down stereotypes, I should talk about this. 

 We wouldn’t remember certain time periods the way we do if it weren’t for film, music, and television. However, we also have stereotypes implanted in our impressionable little heads that may not always be historically accurate. Films made in the time period they take place, or by people who lived through the time would have information that is mostly correct. But there are several films that don’t accurately portray certain things in history (which may be because of their target audience, but this could go into another project so I have to stop) and we only remember them for the stylization. Like I said before, this isn't just in fashion, this includes settings, characters, writing, and lots of other elements of film and TV.

  With music, certain genres will appeal to their respective audiences. Everybody has different tastes in music, fashion and films. Some people like things that are very popular, and some people like something completely different. As well, fans of certain music types don’t necessarily make that reflect how they would dress, for instance; not everybody who likes punk rock music would dress like a punk rock artist. One of my sources (4) actually said that people who wear bright clothes will like upbeat music, and did this with a few other examples, but this is not true in all cases. (I hardly used any information from that source though.) 

 4. Conclusions. 

Fashion and pop culture affect each other immensely. Fashion gives costume designers, actors, singers, etc. a look that people will remember. Many pop culture icons have a signature look that makes them iconic. But at the same time, pop culture figures use popular trends to promote a company or a brand. People end up dressing like celebrities or characters they admire, and these companies ultimately get more money from the purchases.







 Thanks for reading. In my next round, I'll be looking at what fashion will be like in the future and making predictions. 


Photos (1)
Original Post

Hey Sophie, 

Interesting research topic! The evolution of fashion has always modelled after cultural ideologies and social perspectives to an extent. The late 1900's certainly win with regard to the magnitude of change but changing trends and fashions are nothing new. Even looking back to when the Romans conquered the Greeks or to the evolution of the Egyptian empire we can see massive stylistic alterations! 

Great work, 


Hi Sophie!

Great post again! I like how you incorporated the breaking down of stereotypes in your research, because it's true that that's part of what butterfly effect is about. It's interesting how much pop culture impacts fashion, and how much certain styles will become so popular that almost everyone will start wearing it. I've also noticed that some old styles become "in fashion" again after awhile, such as overalls. Perhaps there is always going to be new styles in fashion, but some old styles still eventually make their way back to popularity again? Just an idea for your next round of research. I think predicting fashion would be really difficult to do, as sometimes fashion doesn't always make that much sense, I find. 

Here are some websites you can use:

Good luck!

Hi Sophie,

I like how you looked at all the different aspects that can influence fashion today. Celebrities and TV shows definitely have an influence over fashion. It might be interesting to look into how fashion affects society and us as teenagers in our daily lives, or how trends start. 

Here are some websites that might help with your next round of research: (how fashion influences culture and politics)

Good luck with your research!

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