Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have enabled television and movie characters – new and old – to revive clothing styles and influence fashion trends.
Katie Dixon, senior business analytics and accounting major, said that movies and television have a huge impact on fashion trends.
“I remember when ‘Euphoria’ came out and everyone wanted to experiment with makeup,” said Dixon. “Or when I was in middle school, Pretty Little Liars was the greatest show and everyone wanted to dress like these girls.”
Middle school trends that Dixon is referring to include skinny jeans with wedges and large accessories.
However, some students feel that social media has a greater impact on influencing trends than television.
Lulu Stones, a senior strategic communications major of Raleigh, North Carolina, said that fashion on television had taken a back seat to influence trends. With social media platforms such as Youtube, Instagram and TikTok, Stones felt personally inspired by the apps.
“I think the more people stream, the less relevant fashion is on TV compared to what can be seen on social media and what influencers do on Instagram, Pinterest, [and] TikTok, ”said Stones. “During the quarantine, I was definitely heavily influenced by TikTok style trends.”
The trends she is referring to are oversized button-ups, sweater vests, and skater skirts, Stones said.
While she doesn’t believe that television has the greatest influence on current styles, Stones recognizes that television has some influence on trends. Shows like “Outer Banks” and the HBO Max reboot of “Gossip Girl” have sparked an influx of new trends, Stones said.
“The release of the new ‘Gossip Girl’ was in vogue around the same time [Tik]Tok exploded with preppy street styles like oversized button-ups, sweater vests and skater skirts, ”said Stones.
Although various media outlets have taken over the fashion influences, iconic characters and their style choices continue to dominate the clothes people buy, like that a report from Lyst. Shows like “Emily in Paris” and “Normal People” have been featured as the top two fashion influences on the silver screen of 2020.
Films like “The Devil Wears Prada” changed Dixon’s view of the fashion industry.
“I was in my uncomfortable teenage years where I still didn’t know how to dress or what to and shouldn’t wear,” said Dixon. “I remember sitting in the living room with my mom and watching this movie and how much I was involved with Anne Hathaway’s character. At that time I didn’t care how I look and just put on clean clothes. “
It was the iconic Meryl Streep monologue that shamed Hathaway’s sky blue sweater, which emphasized the importance of fashion to Dixon and showed her how powerful the fashion industry can be.
“Describes that clothes are not ‘just stuff’, that they are jobs and millions of dollars that go into just one color, that the fashion industry is not just about clothes, but the meaning behind it and the work [that] was only used to make a piece, ”said Dixon.
Dixon said she has begun relativizing her own style choices and discovering a new appreciation for what the industry has to offer.
As for Stones, she believes relatable movie and television characters can influence personal style.
“At some point, when you get into the character, you get to know the celebrity in their real life and look up to them and know that if they can play great roles in movies and TV, they can have a cool or interesting real life, and you pay attention to details, ”said Stones. “That’s what stays in your mind, and that’s what you look for, after all [in] yourself.”
Although her style has changed, Stones feels that her personal style has taken on fewer rules as she is more exposed to trends from the media.
“My view of fashion was less about sticking to a certain style and just letting me buy things that catch my eye or things that I like, whether it’s preppy, boho, chic, [or] sporty, ”said Stones.
Similarly, Dixon said her fashion developed beyond the characters she used to idolize in television and film.
“It’s funny looking back at the movies I’ve watched religiously and trying to imagine how I’m wearing this stuff now,” said Dixon. “I think at that time it was a lot easier to reflect on what the TV shows and movies attract their characters. Now I think the industry has changed so much that there are so many different trends to follow.”
Regardless, Dixon believes the impact that characters and on-screen shows have had on the fashion industry is undeniable.
“If you are to be successful in the industry, you have to keep up with what affects everyone most,” said Dixon. “Sometimes it can be a trend that lasts for a week while others can last for months.”