Friday, April 6, 2012

Term Paper on Fashion

Term Paper on Fashion

How Media Affects the Fashion Views in Kuwait
In this paper I will provide analysis of how different media channels influence fashion trends in Kuwait and overall westernization of the Kuwaiti lifestyle. For this purpose I will primarily identify the scope for analysis, as well as draw the picture of what I mean when I speak about fashion and about media channels. It is obvious that people in Kuwait are divided into two parts: those who appreciate westernization and actively participate in this process and also those, who are more conservative and tend to have more traditional worldviews. In order to analyze both groups of people, I will provide points of views of them both and describe their points of view upon fashion and how they defend them. All fashion comes from the historical past and from the traditions of each country, therefore to speak about westernization of Kuwait and the affect of media upon people’s minds is meaningless without understanding this huge constituent, as in the long run fashion is generally influenced by traditional clothes of this or that country in the greatest extent.

As the resource basis for my research I will use extensively Internet blogs that are dedicated to fashion and where people are expressing their opinions about clothes, shoes and accessories. In those blogs as fashion icons are proposed celebrities and movies and visitors are offered not just to evaluate their outfit, but are also able to buy something similar. Then, there are a lot of information about new coming to different fashionable stores in Kuwait and new openings.

I will also include web-sites that offer clothes to be bought online for the broad public. As the part of my research I will include the information regarding Kuwaiti designers that combine traditional Kuwaiti colors and textile with the western traditions to get unique clothes that are popular not just in Kuwait.

As the result of my research I expect to disclose that even though Kuwait traditions are very old and strong, various media channels impact greatly upon minds and views of especially young people and transform their opinions on fashion. I expect to follow how fashion style is going around Hollywood celebrities’ outfits and how media presents this particular information.


1. Introduction
On her dress she wears a body.
Woman’s body is as bumpy as my skull
Glorious if you are made flesh
With Spirit.
Couturiers have a foolish profession
As foolish as phrenology
My eyes are kilos weighing the sensuality of women.
All things that swell advance in depth
The stars hollow out the sky.
Colours disrobe by contrast.
‘On her dress she wears a body.’
Under the heather’s arm
lurk shades of lunala and pistils
When the waters swirl down the back over sea-green
shoulder blades
And the double conch of the breasts passes beneath
the bridge of the rainbow
And the perpendicular cries of colour fall on the
Sword of Saint Michael
There are hands stretching out
The drapes conceal the trick-all the eyes, all the
flourishes and all the habits of the Bal Bullier
And on the hip
The poet’s signature.
Blaise Cendar, 1914

I have decided to start with the beautiful poem “The Simultaneous Dress” by Blaise Cendar, written in 1914 for designer Sonia Delaunay, who by the way was the revolutionary in fashion in the 1920s, to emphasize that fashion is the mask that disguise the real body of the person, as the superficial gloss, in which the role of the designer is crucial as s/he acts as the definer.

Generally speaking fashion is said to be the style of dress, as well in can be equally cuisine, art, architecture and literature, which is popular in the particular culture during the definite time period. Mentioned styles can change very quickly, but the term “fashion” is more long lasting. Fashion and styles can change very quickly, but the culture still remains the same. In the context of “fashion” such terms as “fashionable” and “unfashionable” can be frequently employed that means that the object toward which this definition is used corresponds to the popular mode of expression. The synonyms for fashion are beauty, style and glamour, and in general this notion is used in the positive sense. But it can be also used in the negative sense to emphasize people fads, obsession with trends and materialistic worldviews. In the world there are several cities that are considered to be global fashion centers, as they start each new trend for the season and only then it is spread all over the world through media channels, which are recognized for their fashion weeks and outstanding worldwide known designers. Those cities are New York, Paris, Milan and London. Such cities as Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Sydney and Dubai from year to year become more recognized for their fashion weeks and designers. They became fashion lawmakers.

Fashion in clothes is the most obvious and widely used term, but fashion can be also in design, arts, body type, cosmetics, hairstyle, personal adornment, music and dance, slang, games, entertainment, hobbies, sports, media, philosophy, social networks, technologies, etc.

The clothing habits of people are continually changing, and the worldwide way of clothing is generally referred to as Western one. It was so historically stipulated that changes had been always tightly connected with social or economic changes of the particular community, but after changes occurred, they were followed for substantial time period. The main and the most apparent changes in style began in the fourteenth century Europe, which was the start of the Western fashion of clothing. Clothing fashion through centuries was tightly connected with hair making fashion, which was changing simultaneously. The emergence of fashion started the fragmentation between lower and upper classes of society, which before dressed almost identically. National styles began to appear approximately at the same period of time. But it is important to mention that situation in Europe and situations with fashion in other great world civilizations were quite different. Western travelers, which the source of the information of that kind, claimed that in such countries as Persia, Turkey, Japan and China the absence of changes in fashion were observed, and they explained the rapid changes in European fashion as lack of order and instability in Western world. Many authorities of the mentioned countries usually boasted that their clothing had not been changed for centuries. This is what Jennifer Craik in her book “The Face of Fashion: Cultural Studies of Fashion” wrote on this regard: “Treating fashion as a marker of civilization, with all its attendant attributes, is the reason why fashion has been excluded from the repertoires of non-western cultures. Other codes of clothing behavior are relegated to the realm of costume which, as ‘pre-civilized’ behavior, is characterized in opposition to fashion, as traditional, unchanging, fixed by social status, and group-oriented”.

Some historical resources, such as portraits of Italian and German gentlemen, show that fashion at that time was more rich with accessories, as it could be followed in the portraits men with ten different style hats. By the way, paintings of people were almost the only source to follow fashion trends at that period of time and to follow fashion changes in different regions and countries.

The first haute couture house in Paris was opened in 1858 by Charles Frederick Worth, who was originally from England.

It is very important that what people choose to wear, reflect his or her personality and preferences. When people with the particular cultural status initiate to wear new clothes, there is a strong likelihood that the new fashion trend can start, as other people who respect and appreciate them start to get dressed in the similar way, as the reveal of their feelings. Fashion also varies very much due to generation, age, sexual orientation, geography and occupation. There is also special fashion grammar, which incorporates fashion language and different fashion statements. As I have already mentioned, fashion changes on the constant basis. But there are unique things that are “out fashion” and remain the same over time.

Media plays an outstanding role in fashion world. The essential part of the fashion is fashion journalism, which incorporates commentary and critique that can be found in newspapers, magazines, fashion web-sites, television, as well as in fashion blogs. Fashion blogs as the media channel is the very interesting subject for research that I will discuss a little bit later.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, many photographs became included into fashion magazines, which made them even more influential tools. As these magazines are being distributed all over the world, they had the profound impact upon public tastes and preferences. One of the most influential fashion magazines, Vogue, which is still the icon of style and which is read, adored and followed by millions and millions people worldwide, was founded more than a century ago, in 1902. It became to gain huge popularity after the World War II, after the invention of the color printing that was comparatively cheap in 1960s. Designers started to launch perfume lines and ready-to-wear lines that were strongly advertised in the fashion magazines. Magazines for men appeared just at the beginning of 1990s, however. In the early 50s fashion began to be transmitted on television, showing just small part of it. In 1980s, special channels dedicated to fashion began to appear, FashionTelevision, for instance.

As I have already mentioned, for the last several years fashion blogs began to gain their popularity as the media tool. So, generally speaking fashion blogs are blogs that cover such topics, as fashion in clothing and accessories. Also, covered topics include information regarding runaway trends, fashion items, including shoes, handbags, and belts, fashion of celebrities and also street style which is worn by regular people. Many blogs also offer numerous advice on regard what to wear this season and what shirt would fit the best those jeans. Such blogs are broadly used by fashion retailers that are striving to promote their particular shop and their particular products. As fashion is said to be the multi-billion-dollar industry that literary dictates ordinary people what should they buy and how they should look like and it is basically trend-driven, fashion blogs offer the new way of following trends and in the long run they would have the substantial impact upon the industry. There can be several types of fashion blogs, which include: by writer’s expertise, by ownership and by theme. Fashion blogs can be written by outsiders, insiders or aspiring insiders. Outsiders are people who are very knowledgeable in the sphere of fashion, as being very faithful fashion consumers. Insiders are those who are directly employed with the industry of fashion or the fashion media. They can be also like additional blogs as the part of the larger web-sites. And finally aspiring insiders are those who are willing to work in the industry of fashion or media and consider their blog to be the door to the mainstream fashion. In general, fashion blogs can be owned either by companies or individuals. And one more important thing is that the more the blog is specialized (in writing about shoes, denim or handbags, etc.) the more popular it can be in the long run.

Media reports show that fashion blogs can be not just informative and serve as the tool of advertising, but can be very much profitable, and it is developing at the present moment into the new media business. Fashion blogs are becoming the undividable part of the mainstream fashion press. In Europe and in the USA fashion bloggers are invited into the fashion shows, and large companies (for instance, H&M, Gap, Guess) are using fashion blogs to put there their advertisement or at least targeting blogs in PR efforts.

2. Influence of Different Media Channels on Fashion in Kuwait
As in any other country, the population of Kuwait is divided roughly into two categories of people in relation to fashion. The first group contain people that wear fashionable clothes, they are Westernized and follow latest tendencies in fashion world; they are broad-minded and open for new things. The second group of people consists of conservative people, who prefer to adhere to traditional views on fashion and deny any modern new comings and Western views upon the issue. The matter is that any limit is not good, and any obsession is bad, and in this relation it doesn’t matter whether the person is obsessed with Western style clothes or wears nothing but traditional ones. To my opinion, traditions and customs of each country are very important and undeniable, as well as moving forward toward new styles and fashion horizons, it is just should be moderately.

I would like to start to review my research results with the disclosure of the information regarding Sheik Majed al-Sabah, whom I view as the brightest example of the person who cares about bringing up more fashionable stores in Kuwait, and simultaneously doesn’t forget about who he is and wears traditional Kuwaiti robes, such as dishasha, when being at home with his family. So, Majed al-Sabah is 40 years old and is the member of Kuwaiti royal family. In 2001 he opened the huge mall-cum-boutique called Villa Moda. In Villa Moda such big luxury brands are presented, as Prada, Gucci, Marni, Fendi, Bottega Venetta, Etro, Yves Saint Laurent, etc., there is also the botox bar and the restaurant there. Majed al-Sabah had always the passion for fashion. Since he was a teenager, he wanted to wear clothes from Japanese designers only, which were very difficult to be purchased in Kuwait. About seventeen years ago al-Sabah started to travel all over Europe to negotiate with fashion houses about opening their shops in Kuwait and bringing their brands. He was not very successful with his early approaches, and then he went to USA where the business was easier, as the only thing Americans cared about was the credit rating. Only five years after, in 1996, the European fashion houses surrendered. When al-Sabah spends his time at home, he prefers to wear traditional Kuwaiti robes, but when he is visiting Europe or the USA he immediately changes his clothes for latest fashion outfits. The goals of al-Sabah lie far behind bringing fashion set in Kuwait, even though it is his primary goal, he wants to make Kuwait the place that cannot be ignores and make it important for the world community. He wants that Kuwait be remembered not as the jumping-off point for war, but the place with wonderful beaches, rich shopping and relaxing spas. He is also promoting extensively tourism in Kuwait trying to establish the new fashion for going to Kuwait for vacations. There is a blog in World Wide Web dedicated to his outstanding personality that can be assessed at, in which he writes about his accomplishments, plans and future projects. There are also a lot of links on his blog to other blogs related to men and women fashion trends, accessories and advertising. It is possible to find all latest news about all fashion issues there. This blog is also very interesting and educative, as al-Sabah also tells the stories of emerging of luxury brands in the Arab world, discusses opinions of world-known designers on regard of opening their stores in the Middle East, as well as rises important question about “fast fashion”, as this is how he calls such brands as H&M, Zara, Mango, etc. which are predominantly copying their curves from luxury brands and invade cities with their shops. From one standpoint, I agree with his point of view as fashion should be primarily genuine and any kind of copying and plagiarism and the use of not qualitative textiles diminished their value. But from the other side, such stores make fashion affordable to broader public and all layers of population that is willing to look fashionable.

Speaking about influential paper magazines, I must mention such issues, as Vogue, Elle, Officiel and Cosmopolitan, which provide the information from latest fashion shows. I would like to describe the information that is presented in Vogue magazine in more details. First that I must say that the magazine is about 400 pages, which is the great challenge to read from cover to cover. Other important and influential thing about it is that there are a lot of advertising about new collections of clothes, jewelry, fragrances, underwear, cosmetics, bags, expensive stationary, watches, alcohol, cigarettes, and luxury cars, with the indication of places where all that staff could be purchased so that woman received the full range of information how they can be fashionable fro the tiptoes to the top of the head. There is always the chief editor letter included where he briefly summarizes key season tendencies, as well as adds the personal constituent to the magazine. Then there is the section called “In Vogue”, which covers latest trends in the ornaments, colors, curves, tendencies, characters, textiles, styles and forms of fashionable clothes. The next section is called “Spy”, and it reveals the so-called “spied” information about details, images, designers, accessories from the latest fashion-shows. Section “Shops” says for itself and presents information what would be bets purchases for the next season and what are “must have” things to be considered fashionable and stylish. It also covers information about the bestsellers, lessons on how to combine things properly, and new lines jewelry. “High Life” section tells the readers about new names of designers in the fashion world, latest news about new fashion shows and exhibitions, hot gossips about celebrities and how they are dressed, as well as interview with famous people, new movies information, touches art issues, photographers, design, etc. “Beauty” tells everything about beauty staring with best possible choices in cosmetics and ending with the travel guide to the best spa centers of the world. “Subject of the issue” discloses series of photo shots connected with definite theme with the indication of what model is wearing. The final part of the magazine is entertaining and is about traveling, hotels, food, banquets and horoscope. To my opinion, this magazine has the huge influence upon Kuwaiti fashion views as it presents all sort of information that people are willing to correspond and to have the same in their wardrobes, and as the best attraction this magazine presents outfits of the celebrities, which are always adored, copied and used and fashion icons.

Television channels dedicated to fashion also have impact upon fashion views and Westernization of those views in Kuwait. Such channels include E!Channel, Style TV and Fashion TV. The matter is that all media channels provide nearly the same scope of information, and the only difference is what person prefers- to watch, to read or to research and participate. The distinguishing feature of TV channels about fashion is that they also provide information about models that show clothes on the fashion shows, make reports from backstage, show how make up and hair is done for the shows, as well as make interviews with models and celebrities about what do they prefer to wear. Fashion channels also provide historical overviews and broadcast designer collections of past years. Also, if Vogue presents information for women only, fashion channels show fashion shows with the designer collection for men. It is also possible to obtain direct advices from the designers through interviews about their inspiration, future trends, fashionable silhouettes, etc. The guests of the fashion shows are also showed, specially the first row, so it is possible not just watch what celebrities prefer this or that particular designer, but to watch what do they wear personally. And celebrities have the overwhelming influence upon fashion in Kuwait. is the other influential mean. This kind of blog called “Confashions from Kuwait” is the most popular and very special. The specialty of this blog is in that fact that information presented there is not just about Western kind of style and style of celebrities; it also promotes Kuwaiti designers who create wonderful clothes that combine Kuwaiti traditions and Western chic. For instance, it presented the information about Aisha Al-Fadel Designs, which created new collection for summer and Ramadan. Clothes of the designer are assigned specially for family gatherings and chalets. The clothes presented look really astonishing.

The blog also gathers information of the visitors through polls regarding their favorite shoe designers and well-dressed movie stars. The blog makes announces about new things coming to the luxury stores in Kuwait (including new comings to Villa Moda), about new events in the world of fashion and art answers questions of the readers regarding how to combine fashion items, making overviews of online shopping and discussing how to differentiate authentic things from unauthentic. It also proposes the reviews upon the stores, best choices for shopping and lifestyle.

There are also many web sites dedicated to fashion and online shopping. To some extent they are combining some features of the Internet blogs. The most popular web-sites are:,,, (bags and accessories),, is made in the form of the blog, as all posts can be commented, and it calls itself the first fashion blog in Kuwait. It offers its readers information about local and international shopping and fashion, latest sales, collections, styles, unique discounts at the stores, contests with fashion prizes, as well as interviews with talented designers. It is also attracting the attention of the stores by claiming that due to blogs overwhelming popularity, stores that are presented on the site increase their sales. The site contains valuable links for other fashion blogs, international blogs, Kuwaiti blogs and online shopping (,, which are not fully about clothes, but still about funny stuff to purchase). The owner or the hostess of the blog is Zahra, and it is possible to ask her any question regarding the fashion whether in the blog or on her mail on gmail.

I would like to speak in more details about the attention that is paid to celebrities and their outfits, shoes and accessories at the majority of the media channels. They are shown everywhere and my personal opinion is that they are the main influential factor for changing views and tastes in fashion, then any other one. People are following Hollywood celebrities wherever they go and evaluate how they are dressed up. Millions of people prefer to make the same haircuts and copy their successful make-ups. And of course, people want to wear the same gorgeous clothes as they do. The matter is that all celebrities (or nearly all, as there is always the place for exception) prefer to wear Western designers’ clothes and everything. Due to their popularity, due to popularity of their movie and successful careers they popularize the designers’ clothes all over the world and increase their profits, and that is why designers and fashion houses are usually very interested that the special movie or music star wore actually their dress for the particular event. It is all about right marketing decisions. Let’s take as example the TV show “Sex and the City”. It was broadcasted almost all over th world and Kuwait was not an exception. It can be also purchased on the Internet. This serial was dedicated to three main things- fashion, sex and love (finally). Four women, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda are living at Manhattan in New York, working, going to dates and parties, and discussing everything with each other. They are also making cult of shoes (Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, etc.) and appear in new clothes in every new episode. It seems to be perfect attraction for women auditory- gorgeous clothes and numerous relationships. After watching each new series, women want the same pattern of relationships with men, same parties, and same clothes, bags and shoes. This is what Craik writes about the obsession of Western culture with sex and relationships: “Western culture is obsessed with sex…The topic of women has preoccupied countless philosophers and feminists. The sex-gender distinction is one dimension of this interest. If sex is determined by biology, then gender is learned and acquired as a set of social trainings about how female bodies behave…’Nothing is more technical than sexual positions’. As well as techniques of sexual acts underpinned by an array of sexual morals, there is an even more bewildering array of techniques of gender”. And it is absolutely true s western fashion is dedicated to women’s sexuality, it opens legs and makes necklines deeper for women are more attractive to men. It is the kind of exploitation of sexuality. But let me return to the point, as after the last season as broadcasted all their clothes and everything were sold out and had the immense financial success. I try to stay away from any judgments, but still this movie is very pleasant and attractive to watch- beautiful things, beautiful men and happy end. And it is not surprising that even after years the serial ended, women all over the world (including Kuwaiti young girls and women) follow set standards of fashion and continue to be obsessed with it, as four women in “Sex and the City” were. For the conservative part of the Kuwaiti society such serial is totally unacceptable, but still the most part of the Kuwaiti women and girls were very attracted to it and wanted to look just the same.

The reason that Kuwait is becoming more and more Westernized not in fashion views only, but in political and social ones, is that it is trying to promote itself and its products at the new level, at which it would be possible to dictate to the world community what and how to wear. I don’t think, and my research only confirmed my assumptions, that Westernization of Kuwait, as the result of the media influence upon fashion, will make the genuine national traditions to decline, as many conservative Kuwaiti society members think, it will just raise the tradition upon the upper level in the long run, and culture and national customs will always be valued, followed and never forgotten.

Speaking about Kuwaiti traditional values and clothe, I would like specially mention hejab. Traditionally tight clothes are unacceptable in Kuwait, and hejab is assigned to cover women’s hair for that Allah always guided and supported them. Transparent clothes are also unacceptable, and what is written in At-Tabarani on this regard: “There will be in the last days of the ummah, women who are dressed and undressed. Curse them: they are accursed”. And also Abu Hurairah said that the Prophet referred to the following: “…women who are naked even though they are wearing clothes, go astray and make others go astray, and they will not enter paradise nor smell its fragrance, although it can be smelt from afar”. And also Al-Hakim wrote: “Belief and the sense of shame are tied together; if one is lost, the other is lost”. I decided to refer to all those quotation to support the views of the conservative part of the Kuwaiti people. And I do believe that changes in fashion and clothes cannot change people’s hearts and their respect to family values and traditions.

By the way, some details of the Kuwaiti national clothes are being extensively used by the designers and in general popularized by people all over the world. For example, keffiyeh is becoming the popular fashion accessory used as the scarf not just in Europe, but in Japan and in the USA also.

I would like to come back to the web resource, as it is the one that proposes detailed information on regard Kuwaiti designers and their works. This information is presented in the web-site about it: “Like many young Kuwaitis, the founders of had gone cyber, purchasing a significant amount of their wardrobe from on-line western boutiques, and mega-stores. But noticing the growth of the local fashion industry, the girls wanted to invite the world to view, and perhaps purchase, the extra-ordinary house wares and fashions of a number of Kuwaiti designers. Countless brainstorm sessions, phone calls, meetings, and sleepless nights later, was born. Providing the finest handcrafted fashion and house-ware products that Kuwait has to offer, the website has been bombarded with emails from both local and Middle-eastern designers, wanting to have their collections featured on the site. The girls are humbled, but admit that they’re not surprised, given the void in the region’s on-line shopping market. Working out of their warehouse, and packaging orders themselves, the girls have become attached to many of the items on the site’s meticulously edited collections. They confess that it’s sometimes difficult for them to let go of many of the pieces that they exhibit on-line. Difficult for them, perhaps, but a pleasure for recipients of pret-a-souk’s trademark natural brown box, with black ribbon”. The site tries to popularize Kuwaiti fashion in the Western world, which it the great thing I am sure.

Speaking about the Kuwaiti designers who were influenced by Western fashion I can mention the one from, whose name is Fatima Fawzi Al. Othman, who specializes on T-shirt designs. And another, Dana (A.KA-Dee), with the blog on, who specializes in making exclusive jewelry and bags.

3. Conclusion
In the conclusion I would like to say that fashion is undividable part of the modern person who wants to be successful in his private life, relationships with other people and occupation. National clothes are undividable part of national holidays, supporting customs and traditions. When combined together, this unique merge creates the thing to be proud of. After making the research I have found out, which only supported my personal opinion and what I observe in my everyday life, that media has the great influence upon fashion views in Kuwait. This impact is going through all media channels starting with TV programs and popular Hollywood movies and ending with Internet blogs, which are totally dedicated to the Western fashion pattern and to popularization of the fashion world-known fashion designers. I am sure that this impact has no negative influence upon Kuwaiti culture and traditions, as they remain important to each person as the part of the historical heritage, but will have overall positive influence upon the popularization of Kuwait and Kuwait fashion in world and in the long run, may be some day, Kuwait will become the fashion icon for the world community.

Warning!!! All free sample term papers and college term paper examples on Fashion topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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