Fashion Designing with a Difference

The word ‘fashion’ has always been viewed with suspicion especially within the religious circles. It has often been associated with immodesty, vulgarity and as a luxury that only rich people can afford. Very often do we hear elders and parents tell their kids and the youth not to be swayed away by what the Hollywood or the Bollywood runway advertizes. There is no denying the fact that fashion has become something that religious people scorn because of its infamous associations. However, like all things in this world, the world of fashion is also fallen because of the sinful nature of men and has to be redeemed for the glory of God. And as a student of Fashion Design and as a follower of Jesus, it has been my desire to set fashion right and project a healthier and a more positive image against what people generally perceive as fashion.

Fashion is generally defined as ‘a style that is popular at a particular time especially in clothes, hair, footwear, furniture, accessories etc.’ In the area of apparels and clothing, fashion would refer to the prevailing style in behavior and the newest creations of designers. Much of the popular trends in the world of fashion are set by celebrities and stars and often the common people try to imitate them without really thinking about its implications. Hence, they turn out to be uncomfortable, unaffordable and often immodest and unsuitable for daily wears. However, fashion is not about wearing expensive clothes or something funky. It is about being comfortable in what you wear and about how it enhances the God given beauty in all of us. As a follower of Christ, I believe that we are the temple of Christ and that we are supposed to love our bodies. If we understand this, in no way shall we ever wear something that will bring disrespect upon our bodies. That would mean refraining ourselves from dressing shabbily too for when we dress so, we fail to be the beautiful creation that God intended us to be.

As a fashion design student myself, I am well aware of the evils that often go hand in hand with the production of fancy and expensive clothes. Most of the apparels that are available in the rich countries are made with forced and underpaid labour in third world countries. I strongly believe that such injustices in the fashion industry needs to be uprooted and that more Christian designers should make sure that the products that they design or produce are made justly without the exploitation of any human beings.

Another important thing that needs to be addressed is the environmental concern that goes along with the fashion industry. In the beginning, God entrusted us with the task of looking after the planet and that responsibility continues even for us. As designers, it is our duty to ensure that our products are produced by using resources efficiently and at the same time cost efficient. As consumers, we should also ensure that the clothes in our wardrobes are environment friendly and does not contribute to global warming or pollution.

Our God is a fashionable God. It is seen in the creative ways in which He created this beautiful earth. In fact, Coco Chanel, a forerunner in the fashion industry said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas and the way we live.” Designing, like all other professions, seek to imitate God’s incredible handiwork and is an expression of the creativity that is innate in all of us. We can be both fashionable and followers of Christ. It is our call to redeem the fashion industry from its present throes.
Ms. Punasenla S Longkumer is a Fashion Design student in Delhi and is the Treasurer of North Delhi ICEU

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