Fashion is an art which reflects beauty, elegance and glamour. It also has a negative sense when worn in an inappropriate way. Fashion changes and evolves with time and place; it travels across socio-cultural boundaries. Moreover, it is a social phenomenon which has its roots in the subversive and hidden network of forces that govern human behavior.
In the past, a person’s style was an indication of their wealth and social status. The wealthy had clothes made of the finest fabrics and dyes, while the poor wore rough and patched clothing. The wealthy would hire dressmakers to design outfits for them, while the poor bought ready-made clothes in the local marketplace. In recent times, with the advent of cheaper printing and colour technology, magazines and newspapers began covering fashion in greater detail.
The first fashion magazines were women’s publications; later came the men’s and children’s editions. Then television started covering fashion shows; eventually, dedicated “fashion” segments aired on regular entertainment shows and networks.
For many people, a fashion statement is an expression of their personality and individuality. Often, they will change their look many times over the course of their lives – this is especially common in the adolescent years, when a teenager may experiment with their looks as they try to find their identity.
Fashion is influenced by the media, celebrities and trendsetters. For a trend to be considered fashionable, it must be widely known and followed. This can be done through mass media, such as TV and print advertising, or it can happen organically, such as when a celebrity wears a new designer outfit and it catches on with the public.