Fashion’s Call Of The Wild: A Sociology Of Style Perspective On Animal Totem Trends

keep_calm_and_put_a_bird_on_it_by_redraspus-d3al7hz-791x1024

Have you been noticing an abundance of animal prints on your nights out lately?  Perhaps you have seen a lot of feathers flying from people’s ears or design motifs at Crate and Barrel with big black crows and big-eyed owls?  You are not alone, but indeed witnessing a style-trend that has been bringing the wild into the urban jungle for the last year or so.

My friend Eve recently wrote an article for Sociology of Style exploring this context.  I have re-posted most of it here, as I know my readers like a little bit of style with their social science sometimes.   Enjoy!

Animal and Nature Totems in Style:
Why does everyone have a bird/bunny/owl/sun on their necklace/t-shirt/wall/tattoo?

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. ― John Muir

Even though you have always loved birds, the shelves of design-sophisticate shops like Jonathan Adler, Anthropologie and ABC Carpet & Home have started to look a bit like that old Alfred Hitchcock movie, without the screams of terror.

What gives?

The reason may be that these images are more than fanciful decoration. They are neo-shamanic imagery. Flaunting flora and fauna on our clothes, jewelry, and walls is our way of bearing modern totems that reflect our relationship to nature and our own wildness. The city is the new jungle. We are all vying for our place in it, struggling to survive while simultaneously trying to sync our heartbeats to the rhythm of the Earth. We develop tribal loyalties (to brands, political parties, sports teams) in order to ground ourselves in the natural order of things by finding nature where we can.

In the face of a world that disregards our feral origins in favor of a more contemporary “civility,” stylish representations of animals and nature develop into pervasive design presences, inviting cultural identity through consumerism. How we choose to adorn ourselves and our homes says a lot about the natural impulses that are driving us.

Boxes of honey-bee thank you cards tap into a deeply held cultural need for community. A quirky owl wall decal expresses a collective thirst for higher wisdom. Wide-eyed rabbits embroidered onto pillow shams access the child within. Foxes screen-printed onto messenger bags evoke our innate ingenuity.

For tips from Eve (and more from Sociology of Style) on how to “Be a style shaman of the modern age!”, click here and scroll to the bottom of the original article:  http://sociologyofstyle.com/2012/12/24/why-does-everyone-have-a-birdbunnyowlsun-on-their-necklacet-shirtwalltattoo/

And as some extra fun pop culture context, enjoy this Portlandia Sketch. After all, it’s not a trend until it’s been officially mocked:

About these ads
Categories: Anthropology, Art and culture, Consumer Anthropology, Consumer Culture, hipster culture, pop culture, Trends, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Post navigation

One thought on “Fashion’s Call Of The Wild: A Sociology Of Style Perspective On Animal Totem Trends

  1. Pingback: How Culture Can Lead to Style Mistakes: More Sociology of Style « The Narcissistic Anthropologist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Millennials at Work

Coming of Age for the Millennial Workforce

Creativenauts

Personal, design, inspiration, interests.

tumsen

Just another WordPress.com site

Echague

fotografias

ThePopularitéBug

Being a popular kid isn't easy,you have to be cautious about every move of yours because you know that all eyes are on you.Not just the eyes that look up to you but also the eyes that love to see you in pain.You might have your own list of followers but with this list there exists the "popularity starved crowd" who wants to replace you.But when reality bites these morons and they're back to square one,hurt and angry with themselves they try to make you the victim of their moment of high adrenaline,just to make you suffer because you're better.They try to clean their head by ruining your perfect life.What's more is right then you realize that none of your "friends" are what they appear to be.You're broken,depressed .You feel the need to talk to someone of your own kind,someone who won't judge you and that's when you can find me at thepopularitébug,I promise to do anything and everything to help you out of your problem!Amen.

Working Self

Creating Meaningful Work with Rebecca Fraser-Thill

AMERICAN MALE

Often described as a blog, an online magazine, a journal when examined further the description changes and it becomes a project, an objective, a mission. American Male is one simple thing. It is a collection of different thoughts and experiences so come share yours and be part of the narrative.

nydwracu niþgrim, nihtbealwa mæst

signals, signals everywhere / and not a thought to think

franceleclerc

Travel and Documentary Photography

franceleclerc

World travel and photography

entitled millennial

"any man can handle adversity; if you want to test his character, give him power"

Thought-Dream Guillotine

A Brain Unfiltered

The High Heel Gourmet

by Miranti Borvornsin, the recipe and menu developer (specialize in Thai foods and Asian fusion) and custom confectionery designer for special events

this man's journey

my past , present and dreams for the future.

Archaeology, Museums & Outreach

Discussions to more effectively engage the public in Archaeology and Museums.

Northstar: Insights to Impact

Someone has to notice

So-Called Millennial

Musings about so-called Millennials

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,501 other followers

%d bloggers like this: