Abstract: In Europe and Abroad: Fashion Diffusion Theories in Differing Cultural Contexts

Shiela Gies

Abstract

This work explores fashion theories in a contemporary context out of Europe, where the phenomenon of fashion styles diffusion has developed differing facets. The aim is to show how particular cultural issues are imbued and expressed in current fashion designs in Brazil, and how this is related to traditional fashion spread theories. The methodological approach is material culture for quantitative primary data collection, through the method developed by Jules Prown, interview technique for qualitative primary data collection and secondary research by means of literature review. The research is a deep insight into the work of Italian descendant, Brazilian fashion designer Karlla Girotto, whose creations have had an impact in the emerging Brazilian fashion market and abroad. Girotto's design development process is loaded with her life style and values, which highly affect the design appearance as a product. The findings show that class-related European fashion diffusion theories cannot be wholly applied to the flow of fashion in a globalized world, for different cultures express differing values through fashion. As this research is based on a single case, it necessarily implies a limited view. However, the findings are considered an important contribution to the knowledge of fashion as a cultural phenomenon, in both academic and business areas.