Fashion is a broad term which encompasses a variety of styles, fashions, brands, trends, and creative approaches to dressing. It is also used as a term describing a style or look, with sometimes conflicting definitions. For instance, one person’s style may be known as hip hop while another person’s style is called ballet. In a broader sense, fashion can be referred to as the interpretation of the aesthetics of clothing and interaction with the world of fashion.
The history of fashion is marked by many great fashion designers. Just mentioning a few is Dior, Balmain, Givenchy, Fath and Chanel. Throughout time, different styles have emerged such as high fashion, street fashion, casual style, and figure flattering fashion. High fashion, or fashionable upper body wear, includes dresses for women and men designed for higher society such as movie stars, professionals, and royalty. Street fashion, on the other hand, refers to clothing that is sold at low prices and designed for younger audiences by young designers.
The history of fashion can be seen as a social history of dress patterns and representation. Throughout history, groups of people have been marginalized and discriminated against based on their appearance, gender, age, social status, occupation, or cultural identity. As these groups were defined and categorized, their cultural identities were represented through their clothing and dress patterns. These practices gave rise to the concept of fashion which came to refer to a common theme, an appearance, or a dress style that differentiated one group from another and which was deemed to be representative of the group’s identity or group affiliation. These practices were utilized to cast off the members of these groups from the mainstream and render them invisible to the rest of the world. However, by understanding the concepts of fashion and naming these styles, people can engage with, appreciate, and influence these representations in order to create a more tolerant, accepting, and self-aware society.
As a result, fashion trends are determined by economics. Economic factors such as market size, inflation, consumption, and profitability dictate fashion design and create certain trends. Fashionable items and fashions are those that are considered stylish or fashionable. Economic conditions may change, which can affect the popularity and acceptance of particular trends or fashions. For example, during a time when unemployment and economic insecurity are widespread, economic fashion designs may take the form of cutting the unemployment rate down, creating more consumer spending, and improving the economy.
Economic changes also influence the fashion trends that we observe. New trends are introduced when economy is in a state of stability or when the economy is performing well. Then again, economic instability and recession may cause a sudden shift in fashion, which makes older styles look outdated. Another way that economy and fashion relate is that when consumers need to replace their old clothes with newer ones, they tend to buy in bulk. Therefore, when economic conditions are bad, consumers purchase less, creating the need for increased fashion sales.
Economic conditions also affect fashion design because the designs need to be practical for everyday use. When fashions are practical, people wear them and do not spend much money on them, which creates more sales for designers. Designers also implement the economy fashion hierarchy to determine what clothes will become popular or not. This is done by looking at what people are buying for their everyday activities, observing how those items are used, and determining if the trend is one that will sustain long term. Therefore, economic conditions determine not only the trends that come and go, but also the designs that will become classics that will last for many generations to come.