Television is a cultural reference point for most of us, a type of shorthand that makes it easy to carry on a conversation. Columnist Ellen Goodman wrote that to those born since the baby boom of the late ‘40s, “All history begins with television. ” We compare ourselves to those on TV; we change how we dress and cut our hair and talk based on the latest television trend. Viewers pick up catch phrases and turn them into side-splitting party parodies that in turn become part of our culture.
For decades, almost ever since the inception of the television, the two have seemed to influence each other. In the ’60s, Jacqueline Kennedy was seen as a fashion icon after bringing style to the White House. News reports focused almost as much on her wardrobe as on her husband’s dealings as president of the country. Diane Keaton brought thrift store couture to a whole new level with her now-famous “Annie Hall” look of menswear with a twist of femininity and Madonna changed the way the world viewed undergarments worn as clothing with her videos on MTV in the ’80s.
Today’s small-screen fashion icons range from the geek chic of the “Ugly Betty” characters to the vampire- and dark-influenced “True Blood” to the retro teachers and students on the ever-popular “Glee” to the chic girls on “Gossip Girl. ” “TV and fashion are inseparable,” said MeeAe Oh-Ranck, a fashion designer and professor at Philadelphia University and Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster city. “Some of the shows have had such a huge impact on sharing fashion with the world. ”
Shows like “Sex and the City,” “Ugly Betty” and “Glee” are at the top of Oh-Ranck’s fashion-influencing list. They illustrate how fashion and television help each other by making looks popular that may have been questioned in the past, she said. “Geek chic has become an acceptable form of fashion because of shows like ‘Ugly Betty,’ ” said Oh-Ranck said. “It shows that being a geek is acceptable,” Oh-Ranck said. “It shows that there is fashion everywhere, and it’s up to each person to create her own style. The breakdown for the geek chic look is heavy glasses, braces, slim pants and mismatching colors and prints. (pic: famous tv sitcom – Ugly Betty) Another popular look stolen from the small screen is the “Gossip Girl” glam of a layered casual look with funky accessories and cocktail dresses. Park City Center store Charlotte Russe carries the Eric Daman for Charlotte Russe collection, which is actually designed by “Gossip Girl” stylist Eric Daman. The line features party dresses, shoes and accessories, according to a CW Network press release. The line was launched Oct. 4 and everything in it is priced under $50. According to David Hacker, vice president of trend and color for Kohl’s, “popular television shows like ‘Gossip Girl’ typically feature the most up-to-date looks and accessories which help viewers translate fashion forward, runway ensembles into hip, everyday looks. ” For teens and 20-somethings, the jury is out on whether some of the TV characters’ fashions are acceptable or not. Recently, “Glee” and “Gossip Girl” stylists came under fire for the not-so-modest dresses and attire worn by many of the characters on the shows.
Some of MTV’s shows have escaped the critical radar, even though the fashions are very similar and show just as much skin. “Feminine details, lace and embellishment rule the screen this holiday season,” Hacker said. “Take cues from Addison on ‘Private Practice’ or Rachel on ‘Glee’ and layer your lace and ruffle-trimmed top under a LC Lauren Conrad motorcycle jacket or cardigan to create a lingerie-inspired look. ” However, the main fashion characters on “Glee” — Rachel and teacher Emma — are found on the conservative side of the spectrum with their classic, almost retro look.
Rachel sports a prep-school inspired look during school scenes with girlie skirts, ruffles and fun, quirky accessories. Emma, the doe-eyed, red-head teacher, wears layers, pencil skirts, cropped cardigans and Mary Jane-inspired chunky heels. It’s during the musical acts that the tight, and sometimes revealing, clothes are worn by the characters and critics have questioned the appropriateness given the show airs at 8 p. m. , when the younger generations can still be exposed to the not-so-conservative clothes. Left is Rachel from the famous TV sitcom Glee, Right is Emma from Glee) Although many teens and 20-somethings look to TV and movies for fashion inspiration, Oh-Ranck encourages them to develop their own fashion sense and says it’s OK to use these characters as influence and inspiration, but that they should try to find a fashion voice of their own. “It’s great to borrow some of the pieces of these looks,” Oh-Ranck said. “But adapt it into your own personal style and have fun with fashion. ” Top 10 most influential Style and Fashion TV shows
Pop culture in general has greatly influenced the styles and fashion of today. Popular TV shows in particular have helped mould the way fads and trends have evolved to what they are today. Below are some of the most influential shows that have set the tone for what’s in and what’s out in the fashion world. The Fashion Show This show offers viewers a chance to look into what will soon be hitting the runways from the hottest new designers. It incorporates the most popular up-and-coming designers and some friendly competition. Trends are born on every episode. Project Runway
One of the pioneers in reality fashion is Project Runway with its iconic Tim Gunn and the ever-popular Heidi Klum. This show takes designers for a whorl wind adventure through the trials and tribulations of making it in the fashion industry. The audience gets to see first-hand where style comes from. What Not To Wear This series is a raw, in your face tour through what not to wear. Participant’s closets are stripped down to bare hangers and empty shelves and are forced to start with the basics with fashion experts coaching them the entire way. Informative and entertaining, this show gives you your ashion medicine for the day. Gossip Girl This hot and steamy series takes a look at the life and styles of affluent young people in New York City. Aside from the drama and betrayal, this show exhibits the lattest styles directly from Fifth Ave. Keeping Up With The Kardashians The Kardashian clan has made a spectacle of themselves in many ways but fashion is a subject where they have excelled. The women of this show are decked out in the hottest trends from noon to night and spare no expense at parading around with their immaculate taste for fashion on permanent display.
The Real Housewives Series Through the many series, the styles were as outlandish as the cat fights. Straight from the styles of the rich and wanna-be famous, the woman of all the seasons of The Real Housewives franchise showed viewers how to dress in style yet act like a bull in a china shop. America’s Next Top Model Although this series’ main focus is the journey of aspiring models, the fashion trends shown come in a close second. As they worked with the hottest designers on the market, these young woman flaunt fashions unlike anything you see window-shopping. Sex and The City
Perhaps the most iconic fashion show of its time, Sex and The City paved the way for all trendy shows to come. With its varying styles amongst the women, this show presented New York trends in a way that felt as if we could all reach them one day. Fashion Star With a new spin on the traditional reality fashion show; this series gives designers the opportunity to showcase their lines for actual buyers from some of the biggest retails in the market. Fashion star gives viewers the ability to view what will be hot and what stores they can find their favourite styles at.