Why Does Fashion Change? - How Historical Events and Cultural Influences Changed Fashion in Japan -

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  • Topic: World War II, Japan, Fashion
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  • Published : November 1, 2011
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Why does fashion change?
- How historical events and cultural influences changed fashion in Japan -

Why does fashion change? In fact, there are so many reasons such as famous designers, new technologies and social issues. I suppose they all influence fashion very much and also various things like celebrities, magazines and movies are connected strongly to fashion changes. However, when I look back to the history, there are significant factors that changed fashion. There are one tragic reason and one hopeful reason to fashion industry all over the world.

First of all, historical events such as World War I and II had a big impact on fashion. Sometimes, people are forced to change their clothes due to these events. In European countries, women had to do men’s jobs and needed to wear practical clothes like trousers because of World War I (McDermott, 1998). The same sort of thing occurred in Japan, too. When World War II was started, women had to remake their kimonos to working jackets or monpe (see image), Japanese loose trousers with drawstrings around each ankle, because they had to do work that men used to do (Milenovich, 2007). I think these are really sad reasons to change clothes due to the fact that people were required to change fashion even if they did not want to.

[image of monpe]

Historical events are not the only reasons that fashion changes, but also cultural influences can change fashion. Milenovich (2007, p. 192) says ‘After Japan opened up to foreign trade in 1853, the Japanese gradually forsake the kimono in flavour of Western fashions, which symbolized their arrival in the modern world.’ I think it was one of the most important turning points for Japanese fashion. At that time, Japanese people get a new choice of their clothes. In addition, more Japanese male started to adopt American and European style of fashion after World War II ended though Japanese women keep wearing the kimono much longer. However, women adopted Western-style...
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