Malcolm Barnard explains the differences between Modernity & Postmodernity. Modernity was considered the era of the industrial revolution, when people's lives were influenced by machinery and mass production.
Postmodernity, was the era after modernism, when excess and individualization began. Modernity conceived of the object in terms of production, postmodernity conceives of it in terms of consumption. There wasn’t one set meaning to an object or a garment anymore. Both postmodernity and its fashion were based on new and different ideas. This created desire for new things and for the latest model. So there was a cycle of desire for endless difference. Now in most cases our needs are met and the mystical value of some thing is more important than the use value.
At any specific historical time, fashion is located in a discourse on health, beauty and sexuality, the nation and the economy and location. In Freuds Interpretations of Dreams the techniques he uses to analyse the dreams can be related to fashion. First of all symbolic; a relic from a older indentity, secondly, decoding; the signs translated in to meaning and third, deciphering. There is however no fixed meaning to fashion. Any person, any object, any relationship can mean something totally different. While modernism valued the essential, the real, the substantial over the ephemeral, the imaginary, the formal, postmodernism has been engaged in questioning these divisions, and these transcendental positions.
Japanese teens as producers of street fashion
This article talks about the subculture of Japanese teenagers ( mostly girls) from districts of Tokyo, Harajuku and Shibuya. In this subculture the creators of fashion is not the well-known designer but the teenagers themselves. Even though there are Japan inspirations in fashion such as Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons and Kenzo, Japanese street fashion is led by these unique postmodern styled teenagers.
These teenagers mix and maches different patterns, fabrics and accessories together and create an uncommon look. They wanted to make a statement and show that they are different than the stereotypical Japanese person and they are not like their parents who wear more conservative and cultural clothing.
They have different catagories within the culture for example the Kogal which were young girls wearing clothes that look like school uniforms. And even within this there were created subcultures called Ganguro (bleached haired, tanned school girls), Amazoness, Yamamba etc. and even though they look really similar the members of the groups were able to identify themselves from the others. There were also groups who were inspired by mangas, Japanese cartoons which wore more costume like clothes and call this CosPlay (costume play) also there were another group called gothic lollitas.
These girls don’t look up to celebrities, their fashion icons are themselves. Mostly it is not a nice job to work in a department store, but in Tokyo it’s different it is prestigious to work Shibuya 109 because it means you are fashionable. The sales girls in this stores are the trendsetters within their society. Even in the magazines you cant see the celebrities but there are photos of ordinary people from their groups.
It was better to explore a store, a new designer then go to a well known brand. Even the designers they used to shop become famous they lose interest. The garments they buy should be unique so stores create limited numbers. These girls doesn’t spend much money on what they buy because they have to keep up with the newest fashion trends which changes in 2 or 3 weeks. We can see that fashion is not always controlled by the famous designers but there are people who create their own fashion and trends.
David LaChapelle creates absurd photos that suggest the excess of postmodernity and the crisis of meaning
Juergen Teller for Marc Jacobs emphasize celebrities, in postmodernity there is no single authority so media and fame become a form of legitimization
Jeremy Scott uses bricolage, combing elements of Mickey Mouse with the American dollar bill and his own portrait to create new meaning