EXPLORE 'THE LANGUAGE OF CLOTHES AND BODILY ADORNMENT' IN AT LEAST TWO EXAMPLES DRAWN FROM CULTURE (E.G. FICTION, FILM, MEDIA, DIGITAL MEDIA ETC). YOU MIGHT LIKE TO START BY FIRSTLY EXPLAINING YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF 'LANGUAGE' IN THIS CONTEXT
Communication is the key and critical part of our daily lives and the activities that we engage in our lives. Entertainment industry in general that include fiction, media and film among others besides bringing fun to our lives it also communicates and pass on messages that educate, caution or inform its audience on the various themes that the particular piece of art could be displaying. Such related information of themes is displayed verbally or non- verbally. Experts in communication and related fields have pointed out that non- verbal e elements of communication pass on messages in equal measure and even in some instances more than they way it is done through verbal communication. As the adage goes that actions speak louder than words, it applies to the elements of non- verbal communication such as clothes and body adornments. The ‘language of clothes and body adornment’ entails all that the stated parts of non- verbal communication elements that display messages either directly or indirectly over different concepts and ideology. Language, therefore, in this context has been used to display and show the messages ad communication that result from a certain feature or part that results and arises from the non- verbal communication. However, my goal in this paper it to critically elaborate and analyze how body adornment and language of clothes contribute both positively and negatively to the entertainment industry by reinforcing the different themes and stories presented in them.
Fashion it is argued out keeps on evolving and recurring in different or similar forms but over different times. What was considered to be fashion twenty years back might return to being the in thing today or current fashion trends. Films in most of the instances do talk about and present developments in the society that include the fashion that might be dominant by the time the film was produced as well as events that occurred and dominated issues that touched on political, economic and social life. Depending on the themes and messages that films displayed or intended to display, it determined in one way or the other the clothing and dress code that actors and players involved in the production of such piece of film wore (Krings & Okome, 2013). It, therefore, reinforced in passing on of the messages intended to be passed by various players and actors. This concepts and ideology of how relevance bodily adornments’ and clothing language has in the success of a film or any other form of art production led to a lot of emphasis and recognition of the sector that was it was incorporated as an independent part in the process of film production. There are many steps involved in film production with different people contributing to varied parts such as sound and voice production, directing, costuming and clothing among others.
In the contemporary times, those involved in clothing and consuming in some instances have been outsourced from fashion and design firms to prepare and design clothing to the actors that will help them out to display and pass on the message to the best of their abilities. This shows the extent to which clothing language and body adornments have generated and earned respect ad recognition in the whole process filming. Fashion, therefore, plays a critical part and role in the production of film’s industry in general. Clothing and body adornments, therefore, have to be done perfectly to display the right information and message (Dierker, 2007). In some instances and scenes from films, it is possible for the audience to tell and create a picture about an actor or player in the film simply by looking at the presentation of clothing and body adornments that such an actor in playing. From the dressing, it is can be possible for the audience to tell and distinguish between a bad and a good person and the danger that they posses simply by looking and analyzing at their presentation in terms of body adornments’ and clothing language. A movie is ranked and rated among the best by the audience due to the tricks and features of production used in it such as suspense among others. Such feature is well displayed by use of clothing language and body adornments’ making fashion a key and critical part in the industry as a whole.
In comparison of ancient classical films and fictions to those of the current times, the ideas about fashion are presented in both cases with care and professionalism. It is also noted that fashion from the ancient times has shaped and influenced in a great way the way it is conducted and done today. Ancient fashion used in the entertainment industry has laid the foundation and framework under which the present and modern fashion relating to films has been developed. For instance considering classical fictions such as Great Gatsby and The Devil Wears Prada as a representation of the modern films, they share a lot of similarities. Both players and actors from the two different films turn out in dress code that depict the fashion that was dominant during the times that such movies were written, and the story told through various themes. On the later film mentioned above, fashion is the theme and message that the film talks of. Different personalities dress up differently in society depending on the class that people feel they belong to. It determines the kind of fashion that they end up with as noted by Bye (2010) in his piece Fashion design. This is a clear example of clothing language that has been used to generate and determine the theme of the film. Since films main idea and goals are to develop a replica of the developments in society, and tell a story that many might not have experienced in real time situation, as is noted from the film above that uses fashion to identify and characterize people.
The main picture displayed out as the cover photo of the film is that of a high hilled shoe that has three sharp edges at the bottom that resemble the shape of a fork. By analyzing the cover and the title of the film, at the back of the mind of the viewer, one can draw a picture of possible developments or the story behind that film and the society, as well as generation that it tries to address with the various themes and stories behind it. Therefore, clothing language and body adornments impact of films positively in many ways if used correctly and this can be done easily when one understands and conceptualizes the language of the clothing and body adornments’ (Johnston, 2011). Blending of ancient fashion styles noted from classical fiction have led to a new development of different fashion styles in the present times, and this has resulted into more interesting and exciting films that incorporate old themes and ideologies to those of the present times. Films produced that have incorporated fashion from both the old and new times it is noted have received a good reception and have done well in the market. This is because many people can associate with it and the story that such films tell by using fashion that blends the different generations.
Fashion either in the form of clothing and body adornments have been the main element that passes and shapes the message in a film or fiction. Clothing language and bodily adornments, therefore, tell more that what other forms of communication could do, and at the same time it reinforces that message and themes being presented. For instance in a film or fiction that targets t present a lifestyle or any ideology that relates to the ancient lifestyle and issues, whether, in political, social or economic areas, the dressing of the actors and players in such a case would determine how best or worse the theme and message is displayed. It is expected in such a situation actors and players in the films would dress in attires that conform to the lifestyles that those people lived that present the real conditions during those times, for instance poverty, suffering, and war if that was the case (Rubinstein, 2001). Failure to do that and conform to the demands that fashion and body adornments require n setting up standards of films; it might lead to a film that receives a lot of criticism and one that will not realize its intentions in terms of penetrating in the market and having positive returns since it is an investment and business. On the contrary, if it is a film or fiction that intends to tell a story and theme of the present times and a development, dressing the actors correctly that brings out the modern theme and style of lifestyle contributes greatly to the message and story that the directors and producers of such films have. It therefore, makes the entire process a success. In film production, presenting the story perfectly that would present the picture of the society and the scenario that such a story happens and develops from determines the overall performance f such films and fiction productions.
It is important to note that while analyzing such productions, a lot of factors are considered including costumes and dressing of the actors among other key elements such as directing and sound. Both factors have to work perfectly well just like the system and, therefore, failure for one factor and element to be presented well might result to severe consequences, and negative reception about the produce resulting into huge damage in terms of business perspective. Therefore, clothing language and body adornment prove to be critical and relevant not only in the entertainment industry but also other sectors as well since it communicates and talks more that what meets the eye in many instances. Body adornments that include tattoos, body paintings and drawings on the body have also been used to convey messages that support the industry at large. The manner in which clothing language talks and tell more regarding to film and fictions productions applies in the same case with body adornments. Bordwell (2005) in his article Narration, in the fiction film noted that the body adornments’ such as tattoos and paintings can tell and describe the character of a person in advance. Many film and fictions directors have used this to their advantage in directing and producing films. In situations that require the theme or character of a bad person to be displayed, the paintings and tattoos that are drawn on the body of the person to play such part determines and reinforces the message displayed. In most instances, such actors are presented in tattoos and drawings of dangerous and wild animals or events such as skulls that send the picture at the back of the mind of the viewer of danger or a bad person.
This technique has been used to reinforce and produce the element of suspense in production of films and fictions and such element are the determinant factors in categorizing and classifying a film as either interesting and successful or not. Therefore depending on the message that is intended to be displayed shapes and determines the body adornments’ used. In some instances, actors have been forced to undergo body shapeup and changes to suit certain characters and personalities that they intend to present in the films and the story at large. In some instances, actors have been compelled to undergo various programs and projects such as weight loss or weight gain either through exercise or other means. The reasons behind such action is for the actors to suit in fashion and clothing being presented to them that tell a story as it is. Various fashions and styles are noted and preferred among certain people with certain body shape. This, therefore, has compelled actors and players in the film industry to use al the means possible to realize the body and shape that suits a certain fashion that directors and producers intend t use in the production of such pieces (Bye, 2010). This shows and emphasizes how serious the concept and ideology of fashions are in relation to the job. Clothing language body adornments, therefore, have a critical and important role to play in bringing out the message as it is intended.
Events that have been made to honor and recognize the great work that players in the industry have done regarding film and fiction production among other classes of movies have a category that awards the best dressed and costumed actors and actresses. McNeil, Karaminas and Cole (2009) in their piece Fashion in fiction: text and clothing in literature, film, and television explained that this is done because experts and professional in the industry note and recognize the importance that clothing language and body adornments have to their work. Such competitions has even increased awareness between and among different films producers and, therefore, has made the subject and topic even more interesting and competitive as it is noted in the contemporary films and fictions unlike in the past classical films that did not take the subject with the intensity that currently it is witnessed to have attracted. It is, however, cautioned out that despite clothing language and body adornments being tools that have shaped and contributed to the message and themes displayed by films and fictions, it has to be done with a lot of cautions. This ensures that it does not distort the originally intended message and theme (McNeil et. al., 2009). It has to be done with consultations from experts especially in the fashion industry and to the extent that will only work perfectly to relay the message in the language that will be understood by many; that is of clothing language and body adornments.
In conclusion, fashion has shaped and continues to shape film and fiction production at large. It talks and tells of a language that reinforces and makes it easy for the audience to understand and enjoy films and fiction that address many themes in the society. In the recent times, it has attracted a lot of emphasis and recognition making the subject more relevant. Clothing language and body adornments have been used to present fashion to the world that has impacted positively in many ways to the film and fiction industry. In utilizing such tools to reinforce and tell a story in the production industry, caution should be done. Professional advice is recommended so that the right concepts and features regarding fashion can be displayed in the best possible manner leading to success of the industry in general and great benefits to those involved in terms of returns for investments. Fashion keeps on changing and recurring in varied times and, therefore, it never dies, making and telling stories in different ways and times.
BORDWELL, D. (2005). Narration in the fiction film. Madison, Wis, University of Wisconsin Press.
BYE, E. (2010). Fashion design. Oxford, Berg.
DIERKER, V. (2007). The relationship and influences of the Hollywood film industry to the fashion industry during the nineteen twenties through early nineteen forties. Thesis (M.S.)--University of Wisconsin--Madison.
JOHNSTON, K. M. (2011). Science fiction film: a critical introduction. Oxford, Berg Publishers.
KRINGS, M., & OKOME, O. (2013). Global Nollywood the transnational dimensions of an African video film industry. Bloomington, Indiana, Indiana University Press. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&db=nlabk&AN=585129.
LOREN, D. D., & NASSANEY, M. S. (2010). The archaeology of clothing and bodily adornment in colonial America. Gainesville, University Press of Florida.
MCNEIL, P., KARAMINAS, V., & COLE, C. (2009). Fashion in fiction: text and clothing in literature, film, and television. Oxford, UK, Berg.
RUBINSTEIN, R. P. (2001). Dress codes meanings and messages in American culture. Boulder, Colo, Westview Press. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&db=nlabk&AN=538886.