Does fashion define us? From H n M to Congo.

people-2590661_960_720The month of January has been a tumultuous one for fashion and symbolism. When over 80 percent of Golden Globe attendees came out in all black to denounce sexual assault and unequal pay in Hollywood there was a resounding applause from viewers and readers.  When an H&M advert featured a black child wearing a ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’ hoodie, accusations of racism came from all walks of life – from media influencers to Jane Doe, the blogger. At MOCCA Mums we’re asking – are we what we wear? Do our girls’ choice of clothing define them?

From as far back as 13th century dress was recognized as an expressive and a potent means of social distinction.

USA A recent study showed that when women moved to richer cities, such as New York City or Los Angeles, the heel size closely matched the size that other women in the area had bought, showing a desire to fit in. That’s interesting and speaks volumes about fashion strategy and social psychology.

Hausa – In the African Hausa community, members of the ruling aristocracy wore large turbans and layers of several gowns made of expensive imported cloth to increase their body size and thus set them apart from the rest of the society.

Congo Have you heard about “La Sape”? This is a remarkable fashion movement based in Congo, uniting fashion-conscious men ready to splurge money they don’t have on flamboyant designer clothes. Through this movement they have become celebrities.

A short video on this “saper” movement is a must watch. It is a fashion movement like no other.

MOCCA Mums, without getting into the intricacies of hoodies, ape-ism and HnM, it is fair to conclude that what we and our girls wear has always been and is a fashion “statement”, even if that was not the intention.