Definitions and Concepts of Fashion
- The French word 'mode' dates back to 1482, while the English word for fashion originated in the 16th century.
- In the 12th and 13th centuries, the concept of elegance and making oneself more attractive through grooming and dress emerged.
- Fashion is a multifaceted term that encompasses the creation of clothing, footwear, accessories, cosmetics, and jewelry.
- It is a way for individuals to express their social status, self-expression, and group belonging.
- Fashion can refer to both industry and individual styles and trends.
- Fashion differs from clothing and costume in that it encompasses the social and temporal system that influences and activates dress as a social signifier.
- Clothing refers to the material and technical garment, devoid of social meaning or connections.
- Costume has come to mean fancy dress or masquerade wear.
- Fashion is connected to the qualitative concept of 'kairos,' meaning the right, critical, or opportune moment.
- Haute couture, a term often associated with fashion, is technically limited to members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris.
- Fashion allows individuals to display their unique tastes, sensibilities, and styles.
- Fashion designers are often influenced by outside stimuli and reflect this inspiration in their work.
- Fashion can be a key part of someone's identity and a form of self-expression.
- Personal style functions as a societal formation, allowing individuals to distinguish themselves from others while also satisfying the need for social adaptation and imitation.
- Fashion can be seen as a way to overcome the distance between an individual and society.
- Changes in clothing often occurred during times of economic or social change.
- In eighth-century Moorish Spain, the musician Ziryab introduced sophisticated clothing styles based on seasonal and daily fashions from his native Baghdad.
- Similar changes in fashion occurred in the 11th century in the Middle East following the arrival of the Turks.
- Western travellers in non-Western countries often mistakenly believed that fashion in those countries did not change over time.
- Ming China had evidence of rapidly changing fashions in Chinese clothing.
- Early Western travellers observed little change in fashion in non-Western countries like India, Persia, Turkey, and China.
- However, this belief is generally untrue, as there is evidence of rapidly changing fashions in Ming China.
- Clothing in imperial China was regulated by sumptuary laws and reflected the strict social hierarchy and ritual system.
- Chinese fashion varied in appearance throughout different periods of history.
- Fashion in different cultures serves as an indicator of socioeconomic conditions.
Fashion in Different Regions and Time Periods
- Fashion in Ancient China experienced fast-changing fashion.
- Recorded in ancient Chinese texts.
- Referred to as 'shiyang' and 'fuyao'.
- Similar changes in clothing seen in Japanese clothing during the Genroku period and Edo period.
- Western Imperialism and Orientalism influenced the perception of fashion in China.
- West Africa has a long history of fashion.
- Cloth used as currency in trade with Portuguese and Dutch.
- Local and European cloth assembled into new styles.
- Strong tradition of weaving in the Oyo Empire and among the Igbo people.
- Fashion in Europe began to change in the late medieval times.
- Male over-garment shortened and tightened, creating the Western outline.
- Women's and men's fashion became complex in the following century.
- Fragmentation of styles among the upper classes led to distinctive national styles.
- Counter-movement in the 17th to 18th centuries imposed similar styles, mostly from France.
Fashion and Social Class
- The rich usually led fashion.
- Increasing affluence led to the bourgeoisie and peasants following trends.
- Differences in fashion between Nuremberg and Venice in the 16th century.
- Spanish style in the late 16th century started the move towards synchronicity.
- French styles took over leadership in the 18th century.
Fashion Design and Innovation
- Fashion design is generally understood to date from 1858.
- Charles Frederick Worth opened the first authentic haute couture house in Paris.
- Haute couture houses adhere to industry standards.
- Fashion designers have become celebrities in their own right.
- Unisex dressing originated in the 1960s and expanded to encompass various themes in fashion.
Fashion Trends and Influences
- Fashion trends are specific looks or expressions that spread across a population at a specific time and place.
- Trends can emerge from street style, cultural influences, and celebrities.
- Factors influencing fashion trends include cinema, climate, innovations, and social, political, economic, and technological aspects.
- Fashion forecasters use PEST analysis to determine the growth or decline of a trend.
- Social influences on fashion include the dissemination of fashion through top-down (trickle-down), bottom-up (bubble up/trickle-up), or transversal across cultures.
- Cultural influences on fashion include music, news, literature, and events like music videos, runway shows, and the Met Gala.
- Economic influences on fashion include circular economy practices, sustainable fashion, ethical and eco-friendly production processes, and the use of social media platforms for advertising.
- Technological influences on fashion include online shopping, virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, and fashion apps.
Fashion Data Sources