Fashion Design: An Underrated Language

By Molly Rose

Do you ever wonder why you like certain colors, textile patterns, or silhouettes more than others? Do you ever wonder why you feel more at home in certain stores when you shop? How about the people that you encounter in the industry, who you most identify with?

All of these preferences that you may have are attributed to your genetic makeup and also to your environmental circumstances and life experiences thus far. More simply put, your nature and the way you were nurtured directly impacts how you express yourself through modes of fashion and design.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that one’s ethnicity– an example of his/her nature– determines the style of clothing that he/she prefers. A Chinese woman may prefer the aesthetic of sub-Saharan African textiles and not the silk-painting aesthetic originating in her homeland. Or a male who grew up Orthodox Jewish may discover at some point that Hinduism is the true religion for him and may end up wearing a mundu instead of pants as a result.

This crossing over of ideas and preferences is the fundamental reason why some designers in the world become more well known than others; they can speak to people across cultures and comfort them psychologically by giving them access to a wide range of styles and visual elements in their clothing.

Take up and coming couture designer, Maral Yazarloo, for example. This designer is an Iranian native but is currently based out of India. Inspired by both cultures, she incorporates elements from each into her clothing, giving them a more diverse appeal. The evidence may not be obvious; however, it is important to recognize the depths of fashion design in communicating with various groups of individuals and peoples.

The next time to put something on or see something in a store that sparks your interest, ask yourself, who else would wear this? You may learn that fashion design is a language in and of itself—with many dialects, slangs, and pronunciations that some are familiar with and that others can get to know if they really wanted to.

How well, then, do you speak in fashion design?

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