Fashion is an omnipresent aspect of our lives. It is everywhere – in print and electronic media, TV and the internet, movies, music, advertising hoardings etc. Fashion is a means of self-expression and a powerful way to convey our personality and attitude. Fashion also represents our culture and our heritage.
In the early days, clothing was utilitarian and designed to make work easier or more comfortable. But soon, people began to wear clothes for aesthetic reasons and fashion became a social phenomenon. Fashion changes with time and varies by geographical region and age group as different societies and cultures develop their own set of established styles.
For example, the embroidered and beaded tops worn by women in Morocco differ from those of the women in Nuremberg in Albrecht Durer’s drawing. Similarly, the t-shirts and jeans that were popular in the United States during the 1990s are not as common as those popular today. This is because as the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the styles that are currently considered fashionable are influenced by cultural factors from all over the globe.
A major change in fashion came about with the Industrial Revolution and the development of machinery that made it cheaper and quicker to make clothes. This allowed clothing manufacturers to produce mass amounts of garments with the same design at a fraction of the cost. This allowed the average person to purchase clothing that was once the exclusive domain of haute couture.
As time went on, new inventions were made to improve the production of clothes, including the use of cotton and synthetic fabrics. Other improvements, such as the introduction of looms that could weave multiple threads at the same time, greatly reduced the amount of work required to make clothing. This led to the creation of dresses that were much simpler in design and could be produced at a lower cost.
Fashion also changed because of the discovery and exploitation of other parts of the world, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For example, Europe would favor Turkish styles at one point and Chinese styles at another. But with globalization, it has become harder for fashion to be influenced by exotic novelty.
There is a very short turnaround from the moment a style ‘walks the runway’ or is spotted on a celebrity in the media to when it hits the stores. This has created a situation where it can be hard for consumers to distinguish between genuine fashion and the knock-offs they see on the street.
Despite this, many people still consider the fashion industry to be important to our society and the economy. Many designers still create original, cutting-edge designs that challenge the status quo and inspire social transformation. In addition, the ability of fashion to elicit solidarity and support for important social issues has empowered individuals to be agents of change. The fashion industry can also play a positive role in the development of sustainable lifestyles and environmental protection.