Fashion pertains to the customs and styles that are popular at certain periods of time. This may involve anything from hair, clothing, jewellery, language, entertainment, technology, politics, religion and more. However, fashion more popularly pertains to customs and styles of clothing. As such, fashion has come to mean dressing style, or negatively, fads, trends and the like. At the same time, this has given rise to so-called fashion centers. Globally, some of the recognized fashion centers include, Paris, New York, Milan and London.
History of clothing fashion
Historians credit the Western civilization for introducing the practice of changing fashion per season. Prior this, even when fashion changed in Ancient Rome and other nations, these were seldom and were brought about mostly by economic or social changes, not by annual seasonal changes.
Changing fashion was said to have begun around the 14th century, according to respected historians, such as Fernand Braudel and James Laver. This was the time when the men's over-garment began to vary in length, from calf length to hip length. Sometimes, these garments even had stuffed chest areas to give the men a bigger look.
This moved in a more rapid pace in the following centuries. While fashion changes were adhered to mostly by the elite, the so-called peasants also followed suit. Many historians had said that this "following" was one of the instigators of fashion changes. Rapid changes in fashion became the norm such that art historians have sometime relied on fashion accessories on portraits and paintings to date some art works.
While dressmakers and tailors take some credit in changes in fashion, the textile industry has also been one of the major forces in its changes. It was only in 1858 when it is said that professional designers took reign of fashion trends. This came with the opening of the first high fashion house in Paris by designer Charles Frederick Worth.
In time, fashion changed and the drive that changed fashion developed. Now, one can see fashion that's defined by social class, age, sexual orientation and geography.
Today, media has played a big part in the trends in fashion. Celebrities are now seen as high-profile consumers who may dictate the direction of current fashion. Likewise, media print giants, such as Vogue, have continually influenced the tastes and preferences of the masse. Vogue has been around since 1902. A new addition to what influence fashion trends is the new media, particularly blogs and other similar websites. Bloggers and online writers have been able to influence new fashion trends, especially among the computer-savvy generation.
In any case, the development of fashion can only be classified as revolutionary. These not only reflect the changing tastes and trends. Fashion has also reflected changing social realities.