Emerging Fashion Designers in Turkey Research Proposal

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Turkish Designers

It has been argued that the Turkish designers can be considered which conceives beauty as a universal coordinate. However, one should ask himself if there is any way that these designers can be identified as a group through the ethnic characteristics of their works. We have already seen that they bring numerous elements from their cultural background into their work. The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the relationship between beauty which can be considered universally valid and the ethnic specificities.

Let us first analyze the concept of beauty. Is this a really universal coordinate? Or is there a huge gap between the western and the eastern cultural paradigms? And if so, can fashion overcome it?

Speaking about physical beauty, scientific research has demonstrated that people perceive as being beautiful the traits which are perfectly symmetrical. The baby like face is also perceived as being more attractive. This may be true all over the world and women may appeal to tricks such as makeup in order to correct some natural asymmetries. But is it the same thing with the body and the overall look? In order to answer this question one needs only to look at the fashion and the life style magazines. They try to impose beauty standards which change every season. Ideally the woman is very slim if not extremely thin, has long healthy hair, a healthy smile and let's not forget big breasts.

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There has been a lot of opposition to the super slim silhouette that the media have been advertising in the last twenty years and some magazines as well as brands have been trying to impose the silhouette of the regular woman, the so called girl next door, but if this ideal is to be universally accepted is remains to be seen.

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Emerging Fashion Designers in Turkey Assignment

As far as style is concerned, there are some relevant differences that can be noted when moving from country to country. Showing more skin is believed to make a woman more attractive. If you take a look at all the advertising campaigns it is safe to say that they depict a woman who achieves her power through her sensuality and sexuality. In Turkey things are somehow different. On the one hand the fashion magazines are trying to impose the western beauty ideals through aggressive advertising, editorials and advertorials. On the other hand, due to the strong religious beliefs that some of the Turkish women still have, a certain important percentage of them will still cover their bodies and be loyal to the traditional wear as a sign of respect for tradition and religion.

Under these circumstances it becomes even more interesting to speak about fashion and imposing fashionable beauty trends to an entire population. It must be mentioned that this statement is valid both ways. In other words, just it is difficult to impose western beauty standards which imply a lot of nudity to the Turkish women belonging to the category mentioned above, but it is just as difficult to impose their standards in the very free and open minded American society.

However there are two aspects which must be underlined at this point. Some things can be considered esthetically meaningful and therefore beautiful regardless of the cultural context. The ethnic elements are such a thing since they reflect the particularities of a certain culture. I believe that people from other cultures may be indifferent to them or they make like them regardless of the trend, but I also believe that it is enough for a leading figure to manifest their appeal for them openly in order to transform them into a trend.

What the Turkish designers seem to have understood is that trends come and go. I believe that they could introduce the Turkish ethnic elements in an almost brutal manner. The Turkish ethnicity could become a trend, but just like all the other ones, it would fade after a while.

The intelligent thing to do is obviously introduce subtle elements which remind of the Turkish culture, elements which perhaps the uneducated viewer can not identify but is most likely to appreciate and enjoy wearing. This is not only a self assumed choice which is based upon the respect for their own cultural patrimony. It is a decision which has a lot to do with marketing. Let us assume that these designers would introduce the ethnic elements to the wide audience and try to impose them as being the fashion.

This might work, but it might turn against them as well. People might appreciate it, but they might also become defensive and reject it. These designers would risk being perceived not as valuable talented designers but as mere Turkish designers trying to impose the specific elements of their cultural background. That could be easily translated into trying to impose cultural values and ways of being and everything might end up in a debate about Muslim values vs. The freedom of the western world and their careers might get seriously damaged.

Of course it might be argued that there is a big chance for things to work out differently. Yes, it might be assumed that the designers in case achieve huge success. What would the consequences be then? On the one hand, the haute couture elements would be imitated by the masses. The hype would only last for a while, the top level elements would be simplified and made more commercial. In the end the ethnic dimension would loose its meaning and the fashion would fade. At the same time the Turkish designers would be affected by this decay and their careers would be threatened again. People would be tempted to say that it was easy for them to launch this trend because it is a reality that they were born into but that it is more difficult to succeed outside of that. And everybody knows that it is very difficult to fight prejudice.

So far we can conclude that the choice of the Turkish designers not to be positioned as Turkish designers, but as international designers who benefit from a rich culture and an even richer talent is a vey wise decision from a marketing point-of-view. I believe that their success is based not only on their talent, intuition and understanding of the mechanics of the trends, but also on the fact they introduce ethnic elements in a subtle manner.

On the one hand they play with the ethnic elements from their own cultural perspective. They have declared to find inspiration not only in the folkloric elements but also in the architecture of their cities and in the more profound social customs of their country. On the other hand, they are extremely able to play with the western conception regarding the oriental world. It is under these circumstances that he concept of fairy tale is introduced. How does this function?

In the western mentality the Turkish fairy tale is associated with an exotic place, youth, beauty and extreme riches. It is enough to think about the story of Aladdin and his magic lamp. The idea of richness is extremely important as it is transferred to the clothes. Luxury becomes a central value and it is translated into expensive fabrics and a very elegant design, meant for evening wear in important contexts where people can display their status, use it and reinforce it. Hence it is easy to understand why the Turkish designers have chosen to work in the haute couture area.

As far as the Turkish fashion industry is concerned it can be stated that the textile industry is extremely important.

This fact is based on a traditional reality and studies show that the country's economy greatly benefits from this area. The textile and apparel exports were extremely successful in the eighties and the nineties. Afterwards there was a period of decline but it seems that the trends are rising again after the taxes have been diminished in the European area. Some studies state that turkey is among the major providers of textiles in the entire world. What started in small private shops got supported and enhanced by tradition and this industry turned Turkey into one of the most important global competitors in this particular area.

Turkey is among the top ten producers of wool cloth, polyester and polyamide filament. From this point-of-view it is safe to state that the Turkish industry has enough power in influencing the trends, not only through the quantity of the manufactured product but also through their designers (such as the ones discussed in the present paper).

But this is not the only area where Turkey is a solid competitor. The cotton and interior textiles industries are also strong. But it is a known fact that Turkey is trying to impose its power by promoting the new designers. One of the advantages that it can base its endeavor upon is represented exactly by the already achieved and solid reputation in the textiles and production industry.

It is a known fact that in order to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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