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The Difference Between Australian and European Culture in Fashion

Question:

Discuss about the Australian Fashion Design and Cultural Identity.

Fashion is shaped on the basis of national culture. However, based on the historical foundations, the Australian fashion is mainly shaped through the models from Britain, which have been evolved internationally. However, the modern Australia has a unique style of fashion, which is able to be clearly distinguished from European fashion trends. It has been revealed from the fashion brand’s principles in Australia; the designers are continuously trying to keep balance between creativity and national identity (Entwistle, 2015). All the designer brands attempt to integrate unique features, symbolizing the particular cultural identities. In Australian culture, fashion is distinguished from dress not by only how the fashion been fashioned or created rather by its nature. Moreover, fashion is represented by reflecting the prevailing styles in ‘polite society’ instead or being based on function. Identity is one of the most compelling and contentious concepts in humanities and social science. Fashion is significantly linked with constructing and reconstructing identity, i.e. how people represent the contradictions and self in their daily life. Through appearance and style people represents their wishes and thus it is a metaphor for identity (Bulmer & Buchanan-Oliver, 2010).

While considering a particular fashion cloth, i.e. skirt, Australian culture significantly represents a difference from the European culture. For instance, Australian culture believes in wearing such cloths that would help them to be relaxed. Thus, in contrast to the full or knee length skirts preferred by the European culture, the cloth has evolved to miniskirts in Australian culture. In also the indigenous culture, skirts are favoured in Australia, although the materials for those clothes are different from the non-indigenous Australian culture. Moreover, Australian culture promotes colourful representation and establishing a link with nature (Gibson, 2016). Thus the floral and fabric work is preferred in skirts. The fashion appearance in Australia has been represented the influence from 1960s fashion design and those clothes are modified and integrated in new forms in the current Australian fashion culture. For instance, during 1960s, the sarong design became very popular among the Australian people. Additionally, during 1975, specialized hand prints in the t-shirts, sarongs and accessories have been shown to be prevalent. According to the trends and tradition of sarong skirts currently Australian labels are exploring their designs to boutiques and department stores in Europe, Asia, US and other countries throughout the world (Geczy & Karaminas, 2012). Therefore, Australian brands are attempting to promote their global presence, which included Gorman brand for their unique style of skirt. Fashion weeks at Sydney and Melbourne represent different unique combination of Australian tradition with the modern clothing principles like balance between colour, texture, cutting, pattern and combination.

In this assignment of Australian clothing and fashion culture analysis, the renowned fashion clothing brand has been selected, i.e. the Gorman brand, which have significantly looking for aligning their modern fashion and clothing designs with the Australian culture and evolving lifestyle. In this context, the brand especially focuses upon maintaining the quality of fabrics, shapes and customized prints, which modern Australian generation is looking for, while maintaining a link with the national culture (Healey, 2010). The founder of the brand, i.e. Lisa Gorman launcher her eponymous label at fledgling boutique in 1999 in Melbourne, with her latest collection known as ‘less than 12 degrees’, which got an instant success. The entrepreneur identified something special in her brand and followed that unique trend in her designs through years; as a result Gorman label became an iconic part of the Australian fashion industry. The reason behind its flourish is the unique thought of the owner to make a strong link between the traditional Australian culture and the specialized needs of modern young generation through the unique texture, fibre and colour concepts. Although the organization was started at Melbourne, which is limited within the home country, the online presence of the brand is making its designer clothes available to women throughout the world. Starting from a status as “one-lady-with-sewing-machine-in-her-bedroom” the founder has adopted unique way to turn her small business into a major operation, without slowing down (Wilcox, 2017). The brand, with other women’s outfit, prioritizes skirts, which is a preferred outfit by the Australian women as casual, professional as well as occasional outfit. It is in the fashion since 1960s and the brand Garmon is attempting to keep an essence of Australian traditional symbol in the modern skirt design. For instance,

Integration of Traditional Culture and Modern Clothing Principles in the Gorman Brand

The philosophy of the organization is that it consist a distinct handwriting underpinning all of the designs, including its signature prints, directional knitwear and distinctive colour palettes (Gorman Online, 2017). In addition, the brand is thoroughly modern for all of its tribal and vintage references and the inspiration from the local culture and artist surrounding the brand is significantly inspiring its designs, especially the culture of the founder’s local fitzroy. In addition, to symbolize the culture in the clothing, the flora and fauna, which are native to the continent, like Kangaroo, emu, wattle are used sometimes in designs. For instance, in sarongs, these symbols are commonly utilized in designs. The brand uses different types of fabrics and textures, aligning with the style and pattern suitable for the residents. The founder inspires the designers to include their cultural experience in their designs. For instance, the city, the person or a song along with a touch of modernism. In addition, Australians are nature lover and like to be relaxed, thus the brand attempts to incorporate natural art, i.e. sunset or flower, representing each designs with colourful background, as per the likings of people (McRobbie, 2013). The organization includes silhouette prints for representing relaxed mood, floral and other colourful patters for playful representation along with a urban touch in their materials and colours.

The unique pattern of the skirts also includes a beachy and natural feel. The formal collection for skirts is made on the basis of visual communication principles, like maintaining a proper balance between colours. As equal distribution of colour makes communication boring, unequal distribution of colours would be required (Garling et al., 2013). The patterns are unique for the brand that is why the brand is getting global appearance quickly. On the other hand, the casual skirts, like wrap over, miniskirts and sarong and knee length skirts include feature rope, coral, rock patterns, slit, star fish or shells and loose fabric. To represent more on culture and climate, they also launches a seasonal clothes, for instance, in summer or spring season, light pattern and fabric is used for creating more refreshing and colourful designs, according to their relaxing nature (Carrico & Kim, 2014). For this, they use light soft fabric with lace and overlays, which gives an essence of feminine look. On the other hand, the formal skirts are more sensitively designed to eliminate any symbols of boldness.

In addition to the consideration of cultural attributes, the organization is also focusing upon the social well being also. For instance, the brand introduced Gorman organic in 2007, for responding towards increasing environmental awareness. Thus, the organization started to focus more on manufacturing innovative organic fabric. In addition, the organization blended their innovation throughout their traditional cultural collection, thereby offering customers to make a sustainable choice, instead of compromising good design and quality. In this context, all the garments produced and offered by the brand are made of certified organic materials or comes from sustainable farming or non-chemical processing of via closed loop production means. In this context, to be culturally identical, the designs and patterns are made unique, which can be significantly distinguishable from the other nations Yu et al., 2014).

However, the brand follows the traditional western culture through their global presence. The visual communication is aligned with the cultural traits, aligning with the design principle and values. For instance, the traditional occasional skirts are made through the use of warm and dark colours, as these colours contain more visual weight than cool and light colours. The combination of colour and patterns follows the 6 design principles and values. Longer, wider lines are included, while maintaining a visual balance in colour, texture, pattern and shape in formal and party wears, whereas for beach or summer skirts, the short and thinner lines along with soft, fine textures are used (Baird & Collias, 2014).

Gorman skirts (left: relaxed, middle: professional, right: occasional)

Figure: Gorman skirts (left: relaxed, middle: professional, right: occasional)

(Source: Gorman Online, 2017)

Analyzing the cultural attributes of Australian cloth company Gorman, it has been revealed that the brand has several strength as well as weaknesses. For instance, the organization is continuously working on improving their production, through innovation and making their products customer-centric as well as environment friendly, as a result the brand has a significant chance of global expansion. However, one of its key weaknesses is less offline presence; the brand is providing more concentration on its online presence. Thus, it can be interpreted that this area should be improved significantly.

Reference List

Baird, D. G., & Collias, D. I. (2014). Polymer processing: principles and design. John Wiley & Sons.

Bulmer, S., & Buchanan-Oliver, M. (2010). Experiences of brands and national identity. Australian Marketing Journal 18(4), 199-205.

Carrico, M., & Kim, V. (2014). Expanding zero-waste design practices: a discussion paper. International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, 7(1), 58-64.

Entwistle, J. (2015). The fashioned body: Fashion, dress, and social theory. John Wiley & Sons.

Fletcher, K. (2010). Slow fashion: An invitation for systems change. Fashion practice. The Journal of Design, Creative Process and the Fashion Industry, 259-266.

Garling, S., Hunt, J., Smith, D., & Sanders, W. (2013). Contested governance: culture, power and institutions in Indigenous Australia (p. 351). ANU Press.

Geczy, A., & Karaminas, V. (2012). Fashion and art. London: Berg.

Gibson, C. (2016). How clothing design and cultural industries refashioned frontier masculinities: a historical geography of Western wear. Gender, Place & Culture, 23(5), 733-752.

Gorman Online. (2017). Gorman Online :: About Us. Gorman Online. Retrieved 2 June 2017, from https://www.gormanshop.com.au/aboutus/

Gregory, D. (2004). It's all about Australia, mate. Auckland: Exisle Publishers.

Healey, R. (2010). Global positioning of Australian fashion. New York: Berg.

McRobbie, A. (2013). In the culture society: Art, fashion and popular music. Routledge.

Wilcox, C. (2017). Badge, boot, button: The story of Australian uniforms. Canberra: National Library of Australia.

Yu, W., Fan, J., Ng, S. P., & Harlock, S. (2014). Innovation and technology of women's intimate apparel. Woodhead Publishing.

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My Assignment Help. Analyzing The Gorman Brand: Australian Clothing And Fashion Essay. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2018 [cited 15 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/australian-fashion-design-and-cultural-identity.

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