Fashion is a way of expressing your personality through your clothes. It’s a big business, and millions of people are involved in its production. Fashion includes everything from shoes and clothing to makeup, hairdos and even the way you speak and move. It’s a constantly changing and evolving art form.
The word fashion is derived from the Latin ‘fashionable’ meaning “in fashion.” Fashion describes how something is worn, and it can also refer to the current popularity of a style or trend. Fashion is a reflection of society and is influenced by it. Clothes are a great example of this; they can express a person’s culture, social class or time period.
In addition to revealing information about the wearer, the style of clothes can indicate one’s attitudes, beliefs and personality. This is particularly true of clothing that serves a symbolic function, such as religious robes or uniforms. Fashion can be subtly political or subversive, as in the case of Goth and punk styles, which often convey messages of rebellion or separation. It can also be a sign of conformity, as in the case of the many young people who dress according to pre-determined fashions in order to belong to specific groups.
Fashion is usually determined by a few ‘fashion leaders’ who set the tone for the rest of the industry. They are often celebrities, politicians or other influential people. Their influence is reinforced by the media, which promotes certain styles and trends in clothing, shoes, accessories, lifestyle, music, etc. The public either follows these trends or rebels against them. The former group are known as ‘fashion victims’ who slavishly follow the latest fads. The latter are known as ‘fashionistas’.
It is important to remember that fashion is a cycle; what was once popular may eventually become unfashionable. It is also a matter of taste; some people will always find certain fashions attractive and others will find them ugly. It is also possible for an unfashionable trend to suddenly become fashionable again, as was the case with low rise jeans.
Fashion can be expensive and exclusive, involving custom-made clothing for models or celebrities. It can also be mass-produced and affordable, such as with a GAP or Nordstrom brand. The highest level of exclusive designer fashion is known as haute couture. Ready-to-wear clothing, which is often referred to as pret-a-porter, is less expensive than haute couture but still quite expensive.