Thursday, 22 April 2010

How Big An Impact Do Soaps Have On Kids’ Fashion?

The protagonists appearing in the soaps that adolescents favour are the trendsetters for a generation of viewers. It all started with Kylie, who back in her ‘Neighbours’ incarnation used to sport a look that was boho and feminine, just a little flirty, but modest enough to conjure up an age of leisure and rural innocence, Anne of Breen Gables and tea on the lawn.

Nowadays, the link between what kids watch and what theywear isn’t so accidental, but is actually a deliberate ploy, some series even going to the extent of having their own label. A case in point is One Tree Hill. Popular with young viewers, when the soap re-appeared for a new series and the gang got back together after four years had ‘gone by’, the character Brooke had become big in the fashion world, having pioneered her own clothing range, Clothes Over Bros.Warner Brothers has turned this into a handy merchandising opportunity and Clothes Over Bros. T-shirts and vests are sold online.

A well-established star from One Tree Hill who uses her own website to let fans in on her fashion decisions is former video journalist on MTV, Hilarie Burton, who plays Peyton Elizabeth Scott. A brief glance at her photo albums reveals her taste for waterfall prom dresses, strapless starlet frocks and high-heeled silver sandals.

Childrens clothes, too, is big business and the fashion chosen by young soap celebs reaches fans through blogs and video diaries. In the case of teenage actress Leven Rambin, the kids who model themselves on this dazzling young star might have watched the video diary of her attendance at Rebecca Taylor's catwalk show, amounting to an endorsement for the designer from a mere seventeen-year-old stripling.

The word currently is that now taking over from the soaps are reality shows like Newport Harbor: The Real Orange County. Their impact on youth fashion remains to be seen.


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