What Is Fashion and How Does It Change?

Fashion is a way of expressing your personal style. It can be an understated whisper, a high-energy scream or a wink and a smile. Fashion is also a cultural and social statement that changes continuously. It is often led by a relatively insular and esteemed aesthetic elite who design a look exclusive to them, influenced by subcultures and social groups that are not considered part of the ‘elite’ but who have influence over the direction of a particular trend.

Fashion has been used throughout history as a form of identity and social solidarity. For example, judges wear robes, people in the military wear uniforms and brides wear white dresses. Fashion is also about status and reflects the culture and era of the time. It can be influenced by events in politics and popular music. For example, the miniskirt was invented by British designer Mary Quant in the 1960s and it reflected youth culture and the rise of feminism.

The development of a fashion trend usually starts in one country or region and then spreads throughout the world. In the modern world this is facilitated by globalization with designers working across national boundaries and clothing being manufactured in countries where it is cheaper to do so. Fashion is a massive industry and it employs millions of people around the world. Many of them are involved in the designing, manufacturing and marketing of clothing and other products such as shoes and bags. The media is also important in influencing the direction of a fashion trend. It can be influenced by magazines, newspapers, television shows, websites and TikTok videos.