When we are presented with the topic of communication, we most often think of the verbal ways we interact with each other; in reality, there are so many different methods of communication. In recent years, people have utilized music, art, and dance as a means to communicate nonverbally, but what about fashion? As our comprehension of communication has expanded from the verbal aspect, the body as a whole has become a tool to create, convey and represent messages.
As a result, fashion has become a form of communication. What a person wears is the first nonverbal way of communicating with our surroundings. Experts say that due to its distinct ability to convey aesthetic beauty and its wearer’s values and personal brand, fashion is a facet of the Communication field.
For centuries, people utilized the language of the dress code to express their race, class, gender, ethnicity, religion, and even social and political movements. Since all languages have their own grammar, one could argue that fashion does as well. For decades, unspoken rules about what matches, what is appropriate, what to wear in certain situations, and what is unacceptable have been taught and passed down. In addition to grammar, every language has different dialects and accents. Unique cultures, religions, and groups have different ways of constructing outfits to communicate their beliefs, customs, and history. Like spoken language, these rules are educated from our family, friends, groups to which we belong, and the media.
Everyone strives to belong somewhere; clothing and the norms surrounding them are vital to forming and maintaining both culture and subcultures. Moreover, one can use fashion strategically to influence an audience; fashion movements, later, can be interpreted as a facet of strategic communication similar to advertising and mass media.
Fashion is powerful, especially in a culture that emphasizes the importance of first impressions. Before you even begin to speak to someone verbally, they have already made assumptions about you because of what you are wearing. Whether it is a date, a job interview, or meeting the parents, your sense of fashion dramatically influences how you will be perceived; that is why you must be conscious of your appearance. Fashion as a language can be used strategically, but it can also cause people to create a wrong assumption about you.
Doaa Dashoush is an experienced businesswoman in the fashion industry. She currently serves as the President and CEO of GFASHION, a global luxury brand currently based in New York City. GFASHION prides themselves on their unique approach to the industry. They don’t follow trends set by others. The Luxury brand focuses on innovative design through their work with the top designers on collections that reflect the company’s craftsmanship.