Originality and aesthetic beauty are two things that are both of great importance in contemporary Western society. The fashion Industry is one of the main proponents of these two virtues and encourages us as individuals to be fashion conscious, to be aware of what clothing is deemed acceptable and fashionable. The fashion design Industry uses the changing trends and tastes of fashion to introduce new ranges of clothing but also markets fashion as a form of expression. Each person's individual taste in clothing and fashion is perceived as a form of self expression and has led to the creation of certain dress codes belonging to sub genres.
If you listen to punk music and subscribe to the Punk view, you will invariably dress in a punk way to express yourself and your personal preferences. This form of self expression is most overtly practised by young people and adolescents who are often at an impressionable age and can invariably become easily influenced as they to belong and conform. This is a very generalised and even generic view of why young people will dress a certain way to confirm to certain sub cultures and genres but the link between fashion and music has been well established since the beginning of Rock and Roll in the Fifties and the beginning of teen rebellion.
Designer clothing can also be argued to be a genre of clothing as it is just as much a statement as dressing with ripped jeans, boots and a leather jacket can be argued to be an expression of punk Music. Designer clothing is often an overt display of wealth as it is not affordable by the majority of people and the wearing of designer labelled clothing can be argued to be elitist.
However fashionable designer clothing has also in recent years become available for children and not simply restricted to adults. Children's clothing is no longer exempt from the influence of the fashion industry but is being targeted just as much as adult clothing. The age range between zero years of age and fourteen is becoming one of the most important target markets and areas of growth for the designer labels as parents with disposable income want to dress their children in the latest brands too, sometimes as a cute miniature parody of adult fashion.
Children's clothing and children's shoes have become far more diverse and extensive markets in recent years and children's clothing boutiques are becoming increasingly commonplace on the High Street in your local town. In previous years children's shoes and clothing was not affected by the pressures and changing trends of the fashion industry but as the child clothing market is increasingly targeted as an emerging market the idea of designer clothing is being propagated and popularised by those parents who like to dress their young children in designer clothing. Does this turn the child into a fashion accessory too? Most probably the answer is dependent upon the individual parent/s and is a matter of personal preference but I would not like to ever envisage the scenario of a young child and parent being stigmatised for not wearing designer clothing.
Will it also lead to young children becoming more self aware than necessary or even self conscious if they are not dressed in the latest, "must have clothing " for children?