Revolutionary innovations have constantly questioned the prevailing customs and have consistently eased our lifestyle over the times. In his very first email to the employees, the newly appointed CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella states that our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation. The Microsoft CEO’s wise words easily apply to our own fashion industry.
Change is a significant entity which establishes a fashion cycle which in turn churns out new trends. It is the very change which even constructs a need for fashion. While several factors such as social and economic development, multicultural effects, internet etc speeds up the fashion cycle, tradition alone can drastically slow down the fashion cycle. Fashion cycle moves faster with innovation while tradition affects it inversely. If Paul Poiret didn’t break the tradition, women wouldn’t be wearing trousers today. If not for Mary Quant there wouldn’t be any miniskirts selling in stores now. If Madonna didn’t wear innerwear as outerwear in 80s, Lady Gaga wouldn’t have a style statement today. Within the Indian subcontinent, there wouldn't be salwar-kameez without the Islamic invasion or a petticoat or a blouse without the British rule. Salwar-kameez, petticoat and blouse were not a part of the Indian tradition when introduced, have evolved to become essential staples in every Indian woman's wardrobe today - very much a part of our culture. Denims, skirts and several western silhouettes are following a similar pattern within the sub-continent.
Innovation doesn’t exist without tradition. Innovation is about constantly changing the tradition. While ditching tradition might lead to cultural de-individualization, digging and reviving tradition results in innovation.
SOME REVOLUTIONARY INNOVATIONS IN 20TH CENTURY THAT CHANGED FASHION FOREVER: