Fashion | Katie
A little encyclopedia about Fashion and why we love it!
Fashion is a popular style or practice, especially in clothing, footwear, accessories, makeup, body, or furniture. Fashion is a distinctive and often constant trend in the style in which a person dresses. It is the prevailing styles in behaviour and the newest creations of textile designers. Because the more technical term costume is regularly linked to the term “fashion”, the use of the former has been relegated to special senses like fancy dress or masquerade wear, while “fashion” generally means clothing, including the study of it. Although aspects of fashion can be feminine or masculine, some trends are androgynous.
The most dramatic early change in fashion was a sudden drastic shortening and tightening of the male over-garment from calf-length to barely covering the buttocks, sometimes accompanied with stuffing in the chest to make it look bigger. This created the distinctive Western outline of a tailored top worn over leggings or trousers.
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. Art historians are therefore able to use fashion with confidence and precision to date images, often to within five years, particularly in the case of images from the 15th century. Initially, changes in fashion led to a fragmentation across the upper classes of Europe of what had previously been a very similar style of dressing and the subsequent development of distinctive national styles. These national styles remained very different until a counter-movement in the 17th to 18th centuries imposed similar styles once again, mostly originating from Ancien Régime 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, but still uncomfortably close for the elites – a factor that Fernand Braudel regards as one of the main motors of changing fashion.
In the 16th century, national differences were at their most pronounced. Ten 16th century portraits of German or Italian gentlemen may show ten entirely different hats. Albrecht Dürer illustrated the differences in his actual (or composite) contrast of Nuremberg and Venetianfashions at the close of the 15th century (illustration, right). The “Spanish style” of the late 16th 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 textile colors and patterns 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 were largely derived from military models, and changes in a European male Silhouette were galvanized in theaters of European war where gentleman officers had opportunities to make notes of foreign styles such as the “Steinkirk” cravat or necktie.
The four major current fashion capitals are acknowledged to be Paris, Milan, New York City, and London, which are all headquarters to the greatest fashion companies and are renowned for their major influence on global fashion. Fashion weeks are held in these cities, where designers exhibit their new clothing collections to audiences. A succession of major designers such as Coco Chanel and Yves Saint-Laurent have kept Paris as the center most watched by the rest of the world, although haute couture is now subsidized by the sale of ready-to-wear collections and perfume using the same branding.
Fashion trend goes beyond the aesthetic values, it emerges as an expressive tool for designers to deliver their message about the society. With the influence of social media, celebrities and bloggers, their voice are easily being heard and have impact on fashion and trend at any time. Fashion and music are inseparable. Prabal Gurung highlighted the importance of music to his shows, saying “each season we want to tell a story for 10 minutes…. the perfect harmony between cloths and music allows this”. Music is a representation of fashion that expresses the abstract design concept into relatable harmony for viewers.
Consumers all have different needs and demands that have to be suited. A person’s needs change frequently, which is why fashion trends even exist. An important factor to take into consideration when thinking of consumers’ needs is the key demographics of the customer. Gender, age, income, and even profession can help a company better understand the needs of their customers.
For example, a woman who is pregnant could be looking for diapers, baby strollers, and maternity clothes. Her needs would differ greatly from a woman with children that just went off to college or a teen entering high school.