Areas of Fashion

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Fashion as social phenomena is common. The rise and fall of fashion has been especially documented and examined in the following fields:

Advertising

Architecture, interior design, and landscape design

Arts and crafts

Body type, clothing or costume, cosmetics, personal grooming, hairstyle, and personal adornment

Dance and music

Forms of address, slang, and other forms of speech

Economics and spending choices, as studied in behavioral finance

Entertainment, games, hobbies, sports, and other pastimes

Etiquette

Fast fashion

Management, management styles and different ways of organizing

Politics and media, especially the topics of conversation encouraged by the media

Philosophy and religion: although the doctrines of religions and philosophies change very slowly if at all, there can be rapid changes in what areas of a religion or a philosophy are seen as most important and most worth following or studying.

Social networks and the diffusion of representations and practices

Sociology and the meaning of clothing for identity-building

Technology, such as the choice of computer programming techniques

Hospitality industry, such as designer uniforms custom made for a hotel, restaurant, casino, resort or club, in order to reflect a property and brand.

Of these fields, costume especially has become so linked in the public eye with the term “fashion” that the more general term “costume” has mostly been relegated to something fancy dress or masquerade wear, while the term “fashion” means clothing generally, and the study of it. This linguistic switch is due to the so-called fashion plates which were produced during the Industrial Revolution, showing novel ways to use new textiles. For a broad cross-cultural look at clothing and its place in society, refer to the entries for clothing, costume and fabrics. The remainder of this article deals with clothing fashions in the Western world.

Clothing

2008 runway show

Further information: History of Western fashion

The continually changing fashions of the West have been generally unparalleled either in antiquity or in the other great civilizations of the world until recent decades. Early Western travellers, whether to Persia, Turkey, Japan or China frequently remark on the absence of changes in fashion there, and observers from these other cultures comment on the unseemly pace of Western fashion, which many felt suggested an instability and lack of order in Western culture. The Japanese Shogun’s secretary boasted (not completely accurately) to a Spanish visitor in 1609 that Japanese clothing had not changed in over a thousand years. However in Ming China, for example, there is considerable evidence for rapidly changing fashions in Chinese clothing.

Changes in costume often took place at times of economic or social change (such as in ancient Rome and the medieval Caliphate), but then a long period without large changes followed. This occurred in Moorish Spain from the 8th century, when the famous musician Ziryab introduced sophisticated clothing styles based on seasonal and daily timings from his native Baghdad and his own inspiration to Crdoba, Spain. Similar changes in fashion occurred in the Middle East from the 11th century, following the arrival of the Turks who introduced clothing styles from Central Asia and the Far East.

The beginnings of the habit in Europe of continual and increasingly rapid change in styles can be fairly reliably dated to the middle of the 14th century, to which historians including James Laver and Fernand Braudel date the start of Western fashion in clothing. The most dramatic manifestation was a sudden drastic shortening and tightening of the male over-garment, from calf-length to barely covering the buttocks, sometimes accompanied with stuffing on the chest to look bigger. This created the distinctive Western male outline of a tailored top worn over leggings or trousers.

Marie Antoinette was a fashion icon

The pace of change accelerated considerably in the following century, and women and men’s fashion, especially in the dressing and adorning of the hair, became equally complex and changing. Art historians are therefore able to use fashion in dating images with increasing confidence and precision, often within five years in the case of 15th century images. Initially changes in fashion led to a fragmentation of what had previously been very similar styles of dressing across the upper classes of Europe, and the development of distinctive national styles, which remained very different until a counter-movement in the 17th to 18th centuries imposed similar styles once again, finally those from Ancien Rgime in France. Though the rich usually led fashion, the increasing affluence of early modern Europe led to the bourgeoisie and even peasants following trends at a distance sometimes uncomfortably close for the elites – a factor Braudel regards as one of the main motors of changing fashion.

Albrecht Drer’s drawing contrasts a well turned out bourgeoise from Nuremberg (left) with her counterpart from Venice. The Venetian lady’s high chopines make her taller

Ten 16th century portraits of German or Italian gentlemen may show ten entirely different hats, and at this period national differences were at their most pronounced, as Albrecht Drer recorded in his actual or composite contrast of Nuremberg and Venetian fashions at the close of the 15th century (illustration, right). The “Spanish style” of the end of the century began the move back to synchronicity among upper-class Europeans, and after a struggle in the mid 17th century, French styles decisively took over leadership, a process completed in the 18th century.

Though colors and patterns of textiles changed from year to year, the cut of a gentleman’s coat and the length of his waistcoat, or the pattern to which a lady’s dress was cut changed more slowly. Men’s fashions largely derived from military models, and changes in a European male silhouette are galvanized in theatres of European war, where gentleman officers had opportunities to make notes of foreign styles: an example is the “Steinkirk” cravat or necktie.

The pace of change picked up in the 1780s with the increased publication of French engravings that showed the latest Paris styles; though there had been distribution of dressed dolls from France as patterns since the 16th century, and Abraham Bosse had produced engravings of fashion from the 1620s. By 1800, all Western Europeans were dressing alike (or thought they were): local variation became first a sign of provincial culture, and then a badge of the conservative peasant.

Although tailors and dressmakers were no doubt responsible for many innovations before, and the textile industry certainly led many trends, the history of fashion design is normally taken to date from 1858, when the English-born Charles Frederick Worth opened the first true haute couture house in Paris. Since then the professional designer has become a progressively more dominant figure, despite the origins of many fashions in street fashion.

Modern Westerners have a wide choice available in the selection of their clothes. What a person chooses to wear can reflect that person’s personality or likes. When people who have cultural status start to wear new or different clothes a fashion trend may start. People who like or respect them may start to wear clothes of a similar style.

Fashions may vary considerably within a society according to age, social class, generation, occupation, and geography as well as over time. If, for example, an older person dresses according to the fashion of young people, he or she may look ridiculous in the eyes of both young and older people. The terms fashionista or fashion victim refer to someone who slavishly follows the current fashions.

One can regard the system of sporting various fashions as a fashion language incorporating various fashion statements using a grammar of fashion. (Compare some of the work of Roland Barthes.)

Media

Fashion shot from 2006

An important part of fashion is fashion journalism. Editorial critique and commentary can be found in magazines, newspapers, on television, fashion websites, social networks and in fashion blogs.

At the beginning of the 20th century, fashion magazines began to include photographs or (PicS) and became even more influential than in the past. In cities throughout the world these magazines were greatly sought-after and had a profound effect on public taste. Talented illustrators drew exquisite fashion plates for the publications which covered the most recent developments in fashion and beauty. Perhaps the most famous of these magazines was La Gazette du Bon Ton which was founded in 1912 by Lucien Vogel and regularly published until 1925 (with the exception of the war years).

Vogue, founded in the US in 1892, has been the longest-lasting and most successful of the hundreds of fashion magazines that have come and gone. Increasing affluence after World War II and, most importantly, the advent of cheap colour printing in the 1960s led to a huge boost in its sales, and heavy coverage of fashion in mainstream women’s magazines – followed by men’s magazines from the 1990s. Haute couture designers followed the trend by starting the ready-to-wear and perfume lines, heavily advertised in the magazines, that now dwarf their original couture businesses. Television coverage began in the 1950s with small fashion features. In the 1960s and 1970s, fashion segments on various entertainment shows became more frequent, and by the 1980s, dedicated fashion shows like FashionTelevision started to appear. Despite television and increasing internet coverage, including fashion blogs, press coverage remains the most important form of publicity in the eyes of the industry.

Fashion Editor, Sharon Mclellan said, “There’s a misconception in the industry that TV, magazines and blogs dictate to the consumer, what to wear. But most trends aren’t released to the public before consulting the target demographic. So what you see in the media is a result of research of popular ideas among the people. Essentially, fashion is a group of people bouncing ideas off of one another, like any other form of art.”

Intellectual property

Within the fashion industry, intellectual property is not enforced as it is within the film industry and music industry. To “take inspiration” from others’ designs contributes to the fashion industry’s ability to establish clothing trends. Enticing consumers to buy clothing by establishing new trends is, some have argued, a key component of the industry’s success. Intellectual property rules that interfere with the process of trend-making would, on this view, be counter-productive. In contrast, it is often argued that the blatant theft of new ideas, unique designs, and design details by larger companies is what often contributes to the failure of many smaller or independent design companies.

In 2005, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) held a conference calling for stricter intellectual property enforcement within the fashion industry to better protect small and medium businesses and promote competitiveness within the textile and clothing industries.

See also

Look up fashion in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Fashion

Fashion accessory

Fashion capital

Fashion Net

Fashion week

Sustainable fashion

List of fashion designers

List of fashion topics

Runway (fashion)

References

For a discussion of the use of the terms “fashion”, “dress”, “clothing” and “costume” by professionals in various disciplines, see Valerie Cumming, Understanding Fashion History, “Introduction”, Costume & Fashion Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8967-6253-X

Braudel, 312-3

Timothy Brook: “The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China” (University of California Press 1999); this has a whole section on fashion.

al-Hassani, Woodcok and Saoud (2004), ‘Muslim Heritage in Our World’, FSTC publisinhg, pp. 38-9

Terrasse, H. (1958) ‘Islam d’Espagne’ une rencontre de l’Orient et de l’Occident”, Librairie Plon, Paris, pp.52-53.

Josef W. Meri & Jere L. Bacharach (2006). “Medieval Islamic Civilization: A-K”. Taylor & Francis. p. 162.

Laver, James: The Concise History of Costume and Fashion, Abrams, 1979, p. 62

Fernand Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Centuries, Vol 1: The Structures of Everyday Life,” p317, William Collins & Sons, London 1981

Braudel, 317-24

Braudel, 313-15

Braudel, 317-21

Thornton, Peter. Baroque and Rococo Silks.

James Laver and Fernand Braudel, ops cit

http://www.Composing-Moments.com

IPFrontline.com: Intellectual Property in Fashion Industry, WIPO press release, December 2, 2005

INSME announcement: WIPO-Italy International Symposium, 30 November – 2 December 2005

Further reading

Cumming, Valerie: Understanding Fashion History, Costume & Fashion Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8967-6253-X

Meinhold, Roman (2008) Meta-Goods in Fashion Myths. Philosophic-Anthropological Implications of Fashion Myths. In: Prajna Vihara. Journal of Philosophy and Religion. Bangkok, Assumption University. Vol.8., No.2, July-December 2007. 1-17. ISSN 1513-6442

External links

Fashion at the Open Directory Project

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History of Western fashion

Ancient

Ancient World in General  Roman

Medieval

Byzantine  Early Medieval  Anglo-Saxon  12th century  13th century  14th century

Renaissance and Reformation

15th century  15001550  15501600  16001650  16501700

Enlightenment to Regency

17001750  17501795  17951820  1820s

Victorian

1830s  1840s  1850s  1860s  1870s  1880s  1890s

Edwardian

1900s  1910s

Between the World Wars

1920s  19301945

Cold War

19451959  1960s  1970s  1980s

Contemporary

1990-2009  20002009 in fashion  2010-present

v d e

Clothing

Materials

Cotton  Fur  Leather  Linen  Nylon  Polyester  Rayon  Silk  Spandex  Wool

Tops

Blouse  Crop top  Dress shirt  Halterneck  Henley shirt  Hoodie  Jersey  Guernsey (clothing)  Polo shirt  Shirt  Sleeveless shirt  Sweater  T-shirt  Tube top  Turtleneck

Trousers or pants

Bell-bottoms  Bermuda shorts  Bondage pants  Boxer shorts  Capri pants  Cargo pants  Culottes  Cycling shorts  Dress pants  Jeans  Jodhpurs  Overall  Parachute pants  Phat pants   Shorts  Sweatpants  Windpants

Skirts

A-line skirt  Ballerina skirt  Fustanella  Hobble skirt  Jean skirt  Job skirt  Leather skirt  Kilt  Men’s skirts  Microskirt  Miniskirt  Pencil skirt  Poodle skirt  Prairie skirt  Rah-rah skirt  Sarong  Skort  Slip  Train  Wrap

Dresses

Ball gown  Cocktail dress  Evening gown  Gown  Jumper dress  Little black dress  Petticoat  Sari  Sundress  Tea gown  Wedding dress

Suits and uniforms

Academic dress  Afrocentric suit  Black tie  Buddhist monastic robe  Clerical clothing  Court dress  Gymslip  Jumpsuit  Lab coat  Mao suit  Morning dress  Pantsuit  Red Sea rig  Scrubs  Stroller  Tangzhuang  Tuxedo  White tie

Outerwear

Abaya  Academic gown  Anorak  Apron  Blazer  Cloak  Coat  Duffle coat  Frock coat  Jacket  Greatcoat  Hoodie  Opera coat  Overcoat  Pea coat  Poncho  Raincoat  Redingote  Robe  Shawl  Shrug  Ski suit  Sleeved blanket  Top coat  Trench coat  Vest  Waistcoat  Windbreaker

Underwear

Boxer briefs  Boxer shorts  Brassiere  Briefs  Compression shorts  Corselet  Corset  Knickers  Lingerie  Long underwear  Men’s undergarments  Panties  Teddy  Trunks  Undershirt

Accessories

Belly chain  Belt  Bow tie  Chaps  Coin purse  Earring  Gaiters  Gloves  Handbag  Leg warmer  Leggings  Necklace  Necktie  Scarf  Stocking  Sunglasses  Suspenders  Tights

Footwear

Athletic shoe  Boot  Dress shoe  Flip-flops  Hosiery  Pump  Sandal  Shoe  Slipper  Sock

Headwear

Balaclava  Cap  Fascinator  Gaung Paung  Hat  Headband  Helmet  Hijab  Hood  Kerchief  Mantilla  Niqb  Sombrero  Turban  Ushanka  Veil

Nightwear

Babydoll  Blanket sleeper  Negligee  Nightcap  Nightgown  Nightshirt  Peignoir  Pajamas

Swimwear

Bikini  Swim diaper  Wetsuit

Clothing parts

Back closure  Buckle  Button  Buttonhole  Collar  Cuff  Elastic  Fly  Hemline  Hook-and-eye  Lapel  Neckline  Pocket  Shoulder pad  Shoulder strap  Sleeve  Snap  Strap  Velcro  Waistline  Zipper

National costume

Abaya  Aboyne dress  o b ba  o di  o t thn  Baro’t saya  Barong Tagalog  Bunad  jbningurinn  Cheongsam  Dashiki  Deel  Dhoti  Dirndl  Djellaba  Gkti  Gho & Kira  Han Chinese clothing  Hanbok  Jellabiya  Jilbb  Kebaya  Kente cloth  Kilt  Kimono  Lederhosen  Sampot  Sarafan  Sari  Sarong  Scottish dress

Historical garments

Banyan  Bedgown  Bodice  Braccae  Breeches  Breeching  Brunswick  Chemise  Chiton  Chlamys  Doublet  Exomis  Farthingale  Frock  Himation  Hose  Houppelande  Jerkin  Justacorps  Palla  Peplos  Polonaise  Smock-frock  Stola  Toga  Tunic

History and surveys

Africa  Ancient Greece  Ancient Rome  Ancient world  Anglo-Saxon  Byzantine  Clothing terminology  Dress code  Early Medieval Europe  Formal wear  Han Chinese clothing  History of clothing and textiles

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