Monday, August 18, 2014

Is Fashion Going Au Naturale?

It's kind of sad to think that ethics and civil rights issues turn into trends within fashion. Things that should be educated decisions and discussions and political issues to be taken seriously are being used as selling points for brands. Magazines and advertisements have taken on much heat for over-editing and dishonest portrayals of models and products. While on the product side of things, sustainable fashion and eco-friendly materials have been pushed to the forefront of brands and designers wanting to gain a "natural" edge.

Unedited ad campaigns and editorial spreads in magazines have been popping up more and more lately. Seventeen Magazine has gone to the point of not editing any of the models that appear within its pages and many makeup brands have followed suit by eliminating retouched features from their advertisements. Obviously this is a step in the right direction, but it's somewhat ridiculous knowing what these brands where doing before they made these changes. It wasn't uncommon for mascara ads to feature models wearing false eyelashes or foundation ads to retouch the skin of the models wearing the advertised foundation. In fact, it still isn't that uncommon. A couple of years ago, an American advertisement was banned from Great Britain (like many others before it) because of the misleading editing. This ad sparked the debate on whether or not makeup ads in America should be regulated when it comes to Photoshop and over-editing. Though the debate brought up some great flaws within the American advertisement system no legal changes were made. Every brand that uses unretouched photos for product advertisements has done so on its own accord and likely because of the consumer outcry for more honest ads.

Likewise there has been a newfound demand for cruelty free, vegan, and eco- clothing. More and more designers are picking up on society's interest in the environment and helping our four-legged friends. Clothing and accessories made from an animal free environment make consumers and designers alike feel like they are doing something good for planet earth. As good as this sounds in theory, trends are trends. They fade and with them goes the public's desire to fight for the causes they represent. Taking a stand for an ethical or political issue shouldn't be "on trend" or "in style." Those who truly want advertisements and magazines spreads to really represent the products they feature are not in it for the short term. These issues need to be addressed throughout the lifetime of fashion magazines, misleading advertisements, animal activism, and environmental concerns.