New World More Conservative Than Old World?
We are two young, European women, only recently arrived in NY, but the differences between EU and US fashion is already pretty clear to us. Forget the clichés, it turns out that the key influences on the trends us girls choose to follow are the industries we work in and the social criteria we are affected by.
Fashion is, of course, a god-given worldwide phenomenon, taking different shapes, sizes, forms and fabrics all around the globe. And there are certainly areas of more diverse difference than those we’ve seen first-hand, but in the interests of making use of our experience, we’ll look at NY and Europe.
It seems to an outsider (us) that fashion in Manhattan is pretty heavily influenced by much of the area’s being a business district. It’s probably for this reason that Europeans are more likely to follow the very latest trends, given that there are fewer restrictions on what they can and can’t wear. The Manhattan business dress code is clear and relatively static, so NY trends tend to last longer; where the Europeans can try out the latest freaky and markedly unprofessional-looking fashions and drop them the following week.
Europeans seem more comfortable taking risks with their fashion, in general, and are not so afraid of venturing into the avant-garde. These fearless fashionistas often add personal twists to popular trends – directly influenced by the neighboring meccas of fashion, such as Paris and Milan – and tend to feel a need to express their individuality with their appearance.
On the other hand, there is more to New York than the Manhattan business district. NY is home to numerous people in the arts industries, and fashion for these folks tends to markedly different. Like the Europeans, many arty NY women aim to express themselves through their choice of clothes, personalizing the fashion and adding creative twists to high-fashion styles. This inventiveness of style, however, tends to be somewhat of a general tendency in Europe, as opposed to a conscious decision of the creative New Yorkers.
New York and European women aren’t a million miles apart in terms of fashion though, and there are plenty of trends to be found on both sides of the Atlantic. Bright red or yellow shoes and accessories, for example, and the playful mismatching of items’ shapes and sizes.
Across the globe, the women of big cities tend to be influenced by high-fashion trends, and global communication increasingly means global standards of what’s-hot. There’s no danger of homogeny though, as we see plenty of potential for creative contributions and personalized twists to high-fashion offerings.
FARVEL, AU REVOIR,
LOUIS Sorensen Denmark
KIMHA Chau France
TheVogueCity.com Interns New York, April 2008
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