Status of Cloth in Contemporary Fashion

Topshop £69

Topshop £55

Topshop £39

£95 &Other Stories

Topshop Boutique £75

Within contemporary fashion, it is a little more complicated than the Lou Taylor model of marks of distinction. This is due to the styles changing and the hierarchical barriers having been broken down since the model was made. No longer is there a fascination with low and high culture the way there used to be. However, some of the facts remain, the materials of the garment will always have somewhat of an impact on the price of the piece.

1.Rarity of fibre and cloth type

This is still important to dictate the cost and popularity of a piece. Alongside…

11. Tactile qualities

and…

8. Unusual or costly manufacturing technique

All of these factors combined will somewhat dictate how the garment is sold. Silk/satin will always have a higher cost at market value within a garment due to it being more costly to manufacture. These materials are also usually used for garments with a more important purpose e.g an event, this is due to the cost and the norms for social events dictating a dress code. This relates to…

6. Known elitist designers

and…

4. Elitist status of wearers

However no.4 is not so evident in todays society the way it would have been in the Victorian era for example. A variation of materials can be used within different price ranges e.g a velvet top can sell for £20 in one store and £300 in another. This is due to the marketing of the piece through branding or the cut and appearance of the piece.

5. Country of origin

in contemporary fashion, this is still important but most manufacturing is done overseas, lowering costs across the board. However, places like Mulberry manufacturing in the UK adds cost to the product before sale, ensuring it has a higher cost to the public.

Though many of the points made by Lou Taylor collect to give a vague idea of the status of cloth, I believe it isn’t as black and white as she suggests. Not all purchases are made due to the way the garment is perceived to the public. Sometimes it is due to personal taste and opinion. For example, I don’t spend over £20 on any single garment but my wardrobe contains garments of all priced cloth. This is due to the modern worlds reuse recycle DIY culture and the ability to contrast historical social norms.

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