Fashion is a way of living, and it encompasses more than just clothes. It reflects culture, social change, and the times we live in. It is also an art form. It can be used to express individuality, create a sense of mystery and even to show off wealth and status. In this article, we will look at the various aspects of fashion, from its earliest days to the present day.
The emergence of continual and increasingly rapid changes in clothing styles can be reliably dated to the late medieval period in Europe. During this time, women’s clothing began to liberate from the traditional, restrictive corset. This was a time of great change as wartime austerity, industrialization and social change all found expression in changing fashions.
Fashion is inherently a social phenomenon, and for something to be considered fashion it must be widely adopted. This can be accomplished either from the top down (or “trickle-down”) or from the bottom up through viral memes, media, and more. It can also be a combination of both.
The current system of fashion favours financial capital over cultural and human capital. As such, the world of fashion is complex and ambiguous. Its richness is reflected in the multitude of articles, discussion and study that surround it. The internet has sped up the pace of the cycle from runway to retail, with some designers experimenting with a faster approach – see now, buy now. This has been met with some success, but there is still a need to build consumer trust and loyalty.