Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fashion's Idol by Thuy Duong

For many centuries, fashion has existed as a popular belief provided by an insight of culture. You see, fashion is like a two-bladed knife, so if you're not careful you could get hurt one way or another. It is a powerful tool that could signifies someone's life and/or social status along the lines of a wealthy royalty to a poor peasant. But don't let the idea of fashion fooled you because no matter how you look at it, cultural aspects has always play an important role in developing fashion. I mean, "fashion is never stationary, never fixed and ever-changing" so in a way fashion has always been represented by cultural values. Culture is reflected on the manifested clothing itself but more evidently preserved on the traditional-wears and national dresses. The idea of fashion varies depending on the time-period you belong to. For instance, when comparing the way a woman dresses in the earlier centuries to the present 21st century, you can easily identify the changes that took place. One example of such a change is the cultural and traditional dress of Vietnam, the Ao Dai costume. Essentially ao dai is a symbol for beauty to the Vietnamese culture. The traditional ao dai makes a girl feels beautiful inside since the ao dai provides the essence of cultures while complimenting the beauty with a sense of fashion. Despite how modified it has been, the traditional ao dai attire has always display a good portrayal of the Vietnamese women as charming and elegant with flexibilities. Throughout history, "women were increasingly constructed as a spectacle even as they remained culturally invisible." Gender roles and battle between the sexes has always remained a controversial issues and the females seemed to be experiencing a harder time. However, when it comes to fashion the idea of the female roles has been adapted, modified, and incorporated into the clothing all over the world. Since time has allowed the technology and culture to improve and develop, it has also changes the way society accepts and view a woman's role. Therefore, the women's personalities and movement creates a huge impact on fashion and history. Sometimes society, especially the men, may become forgetful of how important a women's role really is. Thus, fashion does a good job reminding society how truly important it is for things to function with the women's contributions.

"Wifehood and motherhood were regarded as women's most significant professions," and the women has done an excellent job perfecting their roles.


Kawamura, Yuniya. Fashion-ology. Berg, Oxford. New York, 2006.

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