Fashion is a multi-billion dollar global industry. It is a very diverse and ever-changing phenomenon. Its popularity and relevance depends on the economy and cultural influences. This means that trends can come and go in a blink of an eye. It is important for writers to choose which trends they want to write about carefully. The wrong trend can make an article completely irrelevant in just 2 hours! So, before jumping on the bandwagon of writing about every new trend, take some time to consider its implications and effects on society.
In its most simple form, fashion is an art of expression that showcases a person’s current mood, values, beliefs, and attitudes through their clothes. It reflects cultural, political, and technological shifts over a given period of time. In this way, it acts as a mirror of society, albeit a highly distorted one.
Because fashion is so ephemeral, it can be hard to keep up with. It is often said that a new fashion can be in stores within months of coming down the runway. This makes the need for high-quality raw materials very important. It also highlights the need for speed. Consumers want to see what’s on the runway and then get it in their hands as quickly as possible. This is why fast-fashion retailers have been able to thrive, even as traditional luxury fashion brands struggle.
The current fashion system favours financial and socio-cultural capital over human, natural and environmental capital. It is a system that generates a lot of wealth and power, while at the same time, it is mediated in a very glamourized and reductive manner – like a bright cellophane wrapper. It is not surprising then that people are beginning to look inside this wrapper, to question its contents and ask why.
The beginnings of continual and accelerating change in fashion can be traced back to late medieval times. Historians, such as James Laver and Fernand Braudel, have cited the appearance of the term ‘fashion’ in clothing in illuminated manuscripts. However, it is only in the modern era that we have seen such a large scale and rapid proliferation of fashions. This is partly due to technology, which has enabled mass production and globalization of the fashion industry. As a result, fashions are now influenced by many more factors than just the economy and culture. They are largely shaped by popular and social media. They can also be influenced by celebrities, athletes and other famous people, and are inspired by music and art. All of these elements help shape the trends that are then replicated by consumers all over the world. Fashion is truly a reflection of our culture and our times. It can be creative and destructive, beautiful and ugly at the same time. However, we must remember that it is also a tool of control and subjugation.