Praying At The Fashion Altar – How Religion Influenced The Fashion Industry

Clothing brand Religion started in the east end of London in the late 1980s with a niche t-shirt line aimed at the emerging rave scene and chemical youth culture of the time.

As Britain was entering the club culture which would dominate the 1990s, the designers at Religion created their first small collection of t-shirts and sweatshirts, with anarchic images and deconstructed design aesthetics, aimed directly at the emerging rave scene and chemical youth.

Inspired by the club scene in London at the time, the brand has always drawn inspiration from modern British youth culture, and was at the forefront of many iconic club launches.

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Religion still maintain this design inspiration, while moving forward with the times, now taking its inspiration from London’s East End street style, as well as musical themes, lyrical quotes and graphic prints.

Religion clothing behavior and their clothing will bring out anyone’s inner bad boy or girl. The look of the brand has evolved into sharp tailoring and distinctive fraying and casual rock star cool style.

Sharp tailoring and an effortless casual cool have earned them many celebrity fans, particularly singers in edgy rock bands and indie actors, such as Matt Bellamy from Muse and Michael Fassbender.

Religious iconography frayed and distressed denim and edgy photographic prints are all over the high street today, but this look was pioneered by Religion, and has continued to be a huge inspiration to designers and the fashion industry in general.

Religion has expanded their clothing collection since their early days, into a full range of menswear, women’s wear and an emerging accessory line.

Religion Influenced The Fashion

In the last 20 years, they have gone from designing and releasing niche capsule collections to having their brand in stores such as House of Fraser and Selfridges, as well as stores of their own all over the world, with the most recent opening in the club capital (of course) of Ibiza.

As well as their obvious, immediate influence on designers and brands such as All Saints, Religion’s general devil-may-care, rock-n-roll attitude and style have been adopted widely across the fashion industry, especially with very youth-oriented brands such as Topshop.

They have also recently been the darlings of London Fashion Week, with their own catwalk shows, alongside designers such as Westwood and Galliano.

The spring\summer 2013 menswear collection is a perfect example of how the brand uses provocative, iconic logos and subversive religious influences in their designs.

Many designs on the high street for the past few years have also been using the cross symbol, and the faded, vintage style imaging on their clothing ranges, to varying degrees.

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This, along with the use of quotations allows the wearer to express themselves through their clothing in a new and more meaningful way.

This approach has been a huge influence on the fashion industry, particularly youth fashion, which has leaned toward encouraging the rebellious for the past 30 years, since notable punk designer Vivienne Westwood initiated the distressed look, and mixed fashion and music.

What Vivienne did for punk, Religion have, arguably, done for the club and rock scene.


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