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Fashion is something we cope with everyday. Even people who say they don’t care what they wear choose clothes every day that say a lot about them and how they are on that day.

One certain thing within the fashion world is change. We are constantly being bombarded with new fashion ideas from music, videos, books, and television. Movies furthermore have a big effect on what individuals wear. Ray-Ban sold more sunglasses following your movie Men In Black. Sometimes a trend is world-wide. Back inside the 1950s, teenagers everywhere dressed like Elvis Presley.

Who dictates fashion?

Musicians along with other cultural icons have always influenced that which you’re wearing, but so have political figures and royalty. Newspapers and magazines directory what Hillary Clinton wears. The recent death of Diana, the Princess of Wales, was obviously a severe blow for the current fashions world, where her clothes were daily news.

Even folks inside 1700s pored over fashion periodicals to find out the newest styles. Women and dressmakers outside of the French court used sketches to determine what was occurring. The famous French King Louis XIV declared that fashion is a mirror. Louis himself was renowned for his style, which tended towards extravagant laces and velvets.

Clothes separate people into groups.

Fashion is revealing. Clothes reveal what groups people are in. In high school, groups have names: “goths, skaters, preps, herbs.” Styles show whom you are, in addition they create stereotypes and distance between groups. For instance, a businessman might examine a boy with green hair and multiple piercings as a freak and outsider. But to another person, the boy is a strict conformist. He dresses a particular method to deliver the message of rebellion and separation, but within that group, the appearance is uniform. Acceptance or rejection of an style is a reaction to the society we reside in.

“A little of the items you call frippery is quite necessary towards looking like other world.”
-Abigail Adams, letter to John Adams, May 1, 1780

Fashion can be a language which tells a narrative about the person who wears it. “Clothes create a wordless means of communication that individuals all understand,” as outlined by Katherine Hamnett, a high British designer. Hamnett shot to popularity when her t-shirts with large messages like “Choose Life” were worn by a few rock bands.

There are many reasons we wear what we wear.

  • Protection from cold, rain and snow: mountain climbers wear high-tech outerwear to stop frostbite and over-exposure.
  • Physical attraction: many styles are worn to inspire “chemistry.”
  • Emotions: we dress “up” when we’re happy and “down” when we’re upset.
  • Religious expression: Orthodox Jewish men wear long black suits and Islamic women cover every aspect with their body except their eyes.

Identification and tradition: judges wear robes, people in the military wear uniforms, brides wear long white dresses.

“The apparel oft proclaims the man.”
-Shakespeare, Hamlet

Fashion is very large business. More everyone is involved inside buying, selling and creation of clothing than another business inside the world. Everyday, an incredible number of workers design, sew, glue, dye, and transport clothing to stores. Ads on buses, billboards and magazines provide us with ideas in what to use, consciously, or subconsciously.

Clothing works extremely well as being a political weapon. In nineteenth century England, laws prohibited people from wearing clothes created in France. During last century communist revolutions, uniforms were used to abolish class and race distinctions.

Fashion is definitely an endless popularity contest.

High fashion will be the style of a small group of males and females with a specific taste and authority in the fashion world. People of wealth and position, buyers for major stores, editors and writers for fashion magazines are common part of Haute Couture (“High Fashion” in French). Some of these expensive and often artistic fashions may triumph and grow the fashion for your larger majority. Most remain on the runway.

Popular fashions are impossible to follow. No one can tell how a mini skirts and boots worn by teenagers in England in 1960 managed to get towards the runways of Paris, or how blue jeans became so popular in the U.S., or how hip-hop caused it to be in the streets of the Bronx on the Haute Couture fashion shows of London and Milan.

It’s easy to view what’s popular by watching sit-coms on tv: the bare mid-riffs and athletic clothes of 90210, the baggy pants of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But the direction of fashion depends on “plugged-in” people to reply to events, and trends in music, art and books.

“In the perspective of costume history, it's plain how the dress of any given period is precisely suited for the actual climate of the time.” according to James Laver, a noted English costume historian. How did bell-bottom jeans fade to the designer jeans and boots look with the 1980s into the baggy look from the 1990s? Nobody really knows.

Once identified, fashions start to change.

International Fashion Editor Cynthia Durcanin answers the question, “What is fashion?”

Fashion is a mind-set. A spirit, an extension box of one’s self. Fashion talks, it can be an understated whisper, a high-energy scream or perhaps an all knowing wink and a smile. Most of all fashion is about being more comfortable with yourself, translating self-esteem into a personal style.

Why can it be important?

Fashion is a means of self-expression that allows visitors to test many roles in daily life. Whether that suits you hip-hop or Chanel-chic, fashion accommodates the chameleon in all of the people. It’s a method of celebrating the diversity and variety in the world by which we live. Fashion is around change that's important to keep life interesting. It’s another mirror of sorts on society. It’s a means of measuring a mood that can be useful in many aspects, culturally, socially even psychologically. At the same time, fashion shouldn’t be taken too seriously or else you lose the fun of it.

How are you aware what will be hot inside the future?

The collections in Paris, New York and Milan, and after this London, typically set takes place for your industry one full year ahead of time. Though, I think the path will be the real barometer of favor. More and more designers are drawing their inspiration from life on the path. So again, there is a url to personal style and fashion. A teenager can throw something together without considering it therefore it may trigger a whole new trend.

How can you choose what to put on in the morning?

It is determined by my day, mood and what’s clean. If I provide an important meeting or presentation, I put more thought into what I will wear. But on my own most days, I dress to my mood that may cover anything from funky to retro to classical. Then again, you can find days when my laundry basket dictates what I ultimately wear.

–Cynthia Durcanin works well with Elle Magazine

For further exploration…
The Museum of Costume traces fashion from your 17th for the 20th centuries.

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