The Medium is the Message and Fashion Communications

“It is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action.” Marshal McLuhan 

Clothes cannot exist without humans. But clothes have become a wide scale form of communication that we take for granted as being a media source. When someone dresses for a job interview, goes to university, goes out for lunch with a friend, or does their grocery shopping they are communicating something different to the broader world, and expressing who they want to be to the people around them. Aha those bold letters, are you wondering why I gave them a podium to stand on?

Just because someone wears a piece of clothing, that does not mean that they are portraying who they are in reality. They may be someone who is bubbly and bright, however potentially wears black to work because of the persona that they must be in that context.

Gif found on giphy.com

Like McLuhan’s example of a IBM selling communications rather than office equipment, Gucci is not in the business of selling clothing, but in the business of selling individualism, strength, status and beauty. When people spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on Gucci, they are buying an image in the hope that other people will recognise them as someone who has a rich taste in style and who chooses individually made quality goods over fast fashion. Hence, when a person wears Gucci the attitude change in the people around them becomes the message, and the garments themselves are the medium through which that message is communicated.

Have a look at the video I made below showing how fashion can be used as a medium of communication: