Many of us think that fashion applies just the clothes we wear, but in actual fact it can be applied to almost anything we do. Fashion is used to describe a means of expression. The terms “fashionable” and “unfashionable” are used to describe something that does or does not tally with the current popular mode of expression. Fashions can apply to many fields of human activity and thinking, including those such as architecture, music, speech, pastimes, etiquette, politics, and technology, to name but a few.
The broad use of the term fashion when applied to clothes was used in the past as a means of people showing solidarity with other people by their choice of clothes. However, in more realistic terms, today Modern Westerners have a wide choice of clothes available to them, and wearing what is currently in fashion is unlikely to be exactly the same as someone else. Nowadays what a person wears is more likely to be a reflection of their personal tastes and character, than wanting to imitate somebody else. However, when celebrities or people in the public eye start to wear new or different clothes, people tend to copy them and a new fashion develops, therefore the original term may still apply today.
Fashion is something that varies tremendously, not just in different eras, but also in the same generation but between different ages, social classes, professions and by location. The term “fashionista” has developed in the 21st century as a way of describing someone who is dedicated to fashion, and the development of this term is indicative of the role fashion and trends play in the contemporary age.
Fashion by its very nature, is something that is continually changing, and when applied to clothes this happens even more quickly than in other areas of social behaviour. What is an interesting phenomenon in regards to clothing fashions is that whilst something quickly becomes out of fashion, it can become fashionable again at a later date when these clothes come back into fashion again. This is something that is seen predominantly only with clothes, and not with other areas of design or human actions.
Every part of ones appearance is subject to fashion, from makeup, hair, length of skirts, and accessories, nothing is left untouched. Fashion houses and their fashion designers, as well as their celebrity clients are key in determining how clothes fashions change and how quickly. They are also the main force behind determining if something is in or out of fashion and if to bring something back in to fashion. An important part of fashion is fashion journalism, and this can be found in every magazine, newspaper, and television article around, as well as in fashion websites and blogs. This is demonstrated by the fact that Vogue, founded in the US in 1902, is now one of the longest-lasting and most popular magazines in the world, and has spurned international editions around the globe. Despite the advent of television and widespread internet coverage, press coverage is still seen by the fashion industry as the most important form of publicity in conveying the new fashion trends to society.