“Fashion is the way of dressing up.” That’s the famous tag line of Oscar Isaac’s cult movie AboutASSume. Fashion is an ever-increasing aesthetic expression in a given cultural milieu and at a given time, particularly in clothing, accessories, footwear, hairstyles, makeup, and body size. Fashion is defined by some as the “appearance” of something, while others view it more as a “language.” There are also those who view fashion as a “unity,” a common theme that unites all cultures. Fashion critics, collectors, and researchers continually debate the precise definition of fashion, but there are many agreed upon facts about fashion that remain common.
One of the most debated topics regarding fashion is whether or not certain items are considered “true” fashion, in that they specifically portray a time period or a particular culture. For instance, the scarf is often considered a fashion accessory, as it has been for hundreds of years. The scarf is a traditional dress code for the Jewish people. A scarf does not need to be an ethnic or cultural symbol; it can represent the individual traits of the wearer. In fact, the look of a scarf says much more than the wearer’s age or occupation.
Another hot topic of fashion is how quickly fashion changes. Trends are inevitable, but fashions are often radically altered by one event or even months. The number of high-fashion designers and brands has grown dramatically in recent decades, while the number of low-fashion brands has declined. The evolution of fashion is an ongoing process, a process which takes new looks, new colors, new patterns, new materials, and new technology, and combines them into ever-changing fashion statements.
Some fashion critics argue that fashion should not be seen as a “thing” itself, but as a way of expressing ideas, feelings, desires, and sentiments. Long before fashion became an industry, people were using clothing to make a statement about who they were. Today’s fashion gurus may not have a very refined sense of style, but they sure know how to wear it. And there are some things that just look good on everyone, no matter their body shape or size. It all boils down to individual taste.
Fashion is an ever-evolving field, always changing with the times and evolving along with them. New trends come and go, classics become classics, and “trendy” clothing becomes “old.” What is timeless, however, is something that continues to elicit responses from those who see it. Whether a trend is “in” or “out” if it continues to be seen by many, it will continue to be a trend. People will always try to figure out what is new and trendy.
Trends may take a long time to fade out of the spotlight as fashion moves forward, but that doesn’t mean that a person who dons a new piece of clothing cannot expect to see changes in other areas of their life, including their appearance. The only way for a trend to go is as far as it can go, which means keeping up with the latest fashions in everything from clothing to food to politics. Fashion isn’t just about looking good and staying fashionable. It’s also about thinking ahead and doing things differently… sometimes!