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How Does Religion Impact Fashion Trends?

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

Fashion and religion have always had a hard time going hand in hand. We know from history that there have been discussions over religious values and fashion for many

years as well as the use of religious connotations in fashion. Despite it being a controversial topic, it is very common that we see religion influence fashion in some way.

Most designers know that religion causes controversy, controls and transforms lives, and in some ways arouses passion, this is exactly what they want to achieve as any publicity is good publicity.

Throughout history, religion and spirituality have been a key influence in fashion. As most of us know, fashion trends differ around the world. These so-called trends are derived from cultural and

Source: The Seattle Times

traditional beliefs. In fact, religious symbols and styles are often a taboo subject in today’s world. This is due to the fact that religion and spirituality are viewed as sacred and in some countries, religion is something very important and is taught from a very young age.

Nowadays, it is very common that we see people wearing a cross necklace as it is considered “trendy”, something that was supposedly only worn by Christians in the past as a symbol of their faith has now become a key accessory to go with people’s outfits. This is when the question of “how far is it to wear these symbols as a fashion statement is too far?” comes to mind.

However, the beauty of fashion is that it is considered a form of art and a way in which we can express ourselves, with this in mind someone who cares about religion may choose to express this in the way that they dress. We live in a fast-paced world, where fashion trends can only last so long before they are considered out of date and new trends arrive only to be replaced again by others, like a never-ending cycle; it is extraordinary how much of an impact religion can still have on these trends without it being considered old fashioned or out of date. It could be argued that trends inspired or influenced by religion or cultures are somewhat of a timeless piece as they showcase the beauty of other cultures and religions.

Whether or not people believe in a religion, it is clear that in many ways religion has influenced fashion, and has been doing so for many years. We see these influences all around, on runways, in stores, even at the 2018

Met Gala whose theme was “Heavenly

Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”. It is undeniable that religion has helped shape fashion and still influences it vaguely. This is a very broad subject and many are opinionated about it, some have seen it as creative art while others are completely offended by it however, the question of “is the spiritual and religious influence good or bad?” remains.

Outfits inspired by religion displayed at the 2018 Met Gala

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