Forever 21’s Bankruptcy: the end of fast fashion?
Forever 21 is filing for bankruptcy, prompting the question of where it went wrong. Having been the paragon of fast fashion for years – supplying cheap, easy, and accessible clothing for women and men by taking advantage of individuals living in developing countries (under terrible working conditions) – it seemed as though, despite its immoral nature, the future of the brand was promising. The filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy, as well as the closing of many Forever 21 locations in Asia and Europe, illustrates the brand’s fast plummet since its peak in 2015 with global sales at $4.4 billion. The brand’s demise may be attributed to the decrease of mall culture brought on by the rise of online shopping, as well as a recent rise in awareness of the consequences of our purchases on the environment and those fabricating the items. Many people, including myself, have found that it is more fulfilling and better for the environment to own a few quality pieces (from reliable, eco-friendly brands where the workers are paid and treated fairly) rather than many cheap disposable ones, and we are mindful that the consumer mentality is one that can lead to disappointment from always wanting more. Second-hand shopping is also a good alternative to give a second life to an old piece. In light of the end of Forever 21, a brand that played a part in many of my formative years, we can look to reform a more sustainable future, and continue shining a light on the consequences of our actions.
Halloween’s Influence on Fashion
With Halloween just around the corner, I was wondering how the holiday rose to be the popular costume-centered day that it is today, and wondering about the holiday’s relationship with the fashion industry. The tradition of wearing costumes to disguise oneself is speculated to have begun as a Celtic tradition on either October 31st or November 1st to celebrate the transition into winter. It was a common belief at the time (around the 5th century) that ghosts of the dead roamed the streets on those days, and dressing up would conceal one’s true identity to be protected against them. The tradition then morphed into a more widely known All Hallow’s Eve, where it was the custom to dress up in order for the souls of the dead to more easily enter into our world. The entering of the souls of the dead were believed to ensure that humans and their livestock would survive the winter. Over the following centuries, All Hallow’s Eve transitioned into Halloween, and propagated throughout Europe. It wasn’t until 1911 in Kingston, Ontario that Halloween traditions were documented in North America. Children were reported dressing up and wandering their neighbourhood, very similarly to the common practice today. With the knowledge that Halloween originated from dressing up to blend in with the souls of the dead, we may notice how the tradition has blended into our everyday fashion. Vampires are a common choice of costume, and wear dark colours and capes. The transition from autumn to winter is often one where people reach for their darker colours, and the cape is a common trend on today’s runways (see below). This reflection of a halloween figure into our closets is not uncommon, and can be seen in many household pieces. The Gothic and Grunge style can be attributed to Halloween customs, and will be revisited in this year’s TFS fashion show, Once Brand New. In conclusion, when deciding on your Halloween costume this year, you may be interested in exploring its possible historical roots, and notice its reflection on the fashion industry.
Appearing in many 90s movies and tv shows, on fashion icons such as Cher in Clueless, and Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the 20th century staple is back, and not to be ignored. It can be worn with jeans, a skirt, or over a dress, and creates a chic and effortless look fit for any occasion.
Ruched Midi Dress
Another trend making a comeback from the 90s, a Ruched Midi Dress can be worn in both formal and casual settings, and still steal the show and make anyone wearing it look elegant and classic.
An unexpected trend appearing on Chanel, Galliano, and many more runways. The cape – if styled correctly – can be the center of attention of any outfit. I suggest styling the cape with a dress or skirt for formal occasions.
This Season’s Accessories:
Chains can be seen on practically everyone this Autumn, now adding an elegant touch to the outfit, rather than the former ‘rapper energy’ they were associated with. With chains, less is more, so I advise wearing one or a small set to not overpower your outfit.
Back from the 1900s, the cloche hat is similar to a bucket hat, and is appearing on several runways – and in closets – this autumn. The cloche hat makes any casual outfit appear more elegant, and is the perfect addition to an already-formal arrangement.
The shoe of the season is the Mary Jane, the staple of my primary school uniform years. Worn best with socks, the shoe is comfortable and makes any outfit appear casual and timeless.
Teeny Tiny Bags
Teeny tiny bags may be inconvenient, but their allure is undeniable. I suggest carrying your tiny bag with an outfit with pockets, and trying a colour or texture outside of your comfort zone.
Pistachio is hands-down 2019’s biggest colour trend, and is the new light pink. It can be worn as a pop of colour in a mute outfit, or as a monochrome pistachio outfit.
Jewel tones are a category of colours to look out for this Autumn. In shiny satins and silks or fur, a jewel tone will steal the attention and admiration of all people in its surroundings, and can be worn in any form.