Fashion is the art of expressing oneself through clothing. It is also a reflection of society, as clothes have long been used as a way to express emotion or solidarity with others.
The term fashion originated in 1804 when Austrian philosopher Martin Simmel defined it as a form of “custom, style of dress, or speech.” As the definition suggests, it is a prevailing mode of expression within a culture.
As a cultural phenomenon, fashion is inherently social and consists of a cycle where trends are created, spread, and adopted by consumers. Theories of fashion explain how and why styles and fashions diffuse across time and across cultures.
Trickle-down theory: The upper class sets the fashion, and people of lower socioeconomic status follow the trends.
Fads: The fad is an idea, concept, or style that quickly becomes popular and may be short-lived. Examples of fads include glitter eyeshadow and Google Glass (Doyle, 2016).
Classics: The classic is an idea, concept, or style that has sustained popularity and does not easily go out of style. Examples of classics include the little black dress, Converse sneakers, denim jeans, and white button-down shirts.
Gatekeepers: The gatekeeper is an individual who influences what is fashionable at a particular time. These individuals often include designers, buyers, and other members of the fashion industry.
Balance: A great dress is made perfect by the right combination of colors, fabric texture, and body shape of the model. If these are not in perfect balance, the whole dress will look unattractive.
Accessories: Accessorizing is essential in the design of a great dress, as it will not only add color and texture but also compliment the outfit.
The fashion industry is a multibillion dollar global enterprise devoted to making and selling clothes. Initially, the industry was based in Europe and America, but today production is highly international. In addition to designing, manufacturing, and selling the clothes themselves, fashion houses also provide styling services for clients.