The Definition of Fashion


Fashion is a system of symbols that communicates a wide range of personal, cultural and social meanings. Different elements of clothing, such as style, colour, pattern, fabric, accessories, and brand, can symbolise personal identity, social status, culture and beliefs, mood and emotion, group membership, life stages and milestones, and fantasy and imagination. The symbolic value of fashion may vary according to cultural context and historical periods.

Fashion trends can also be influenced by cultural events, and media coverage of specific fashion designers or celebrity styles. Depending on the influence of these factors, fashions can be highly globalized or can remain localised within societies. For example, in modern Western countries, fashion is often inspired by celebrities and models wearing designer clothing on the runway and at other special events, which can lead to a similar effect among consumers.

The definition of fashion is changing and expanding with the growth of the industry. It encompasses not just clothes but also hair, make-up, footwear and art. It can be difficult to define as it consists of constant change, but it can be described as the way that all areas of culture, especially design, art and sport, are combined with each other to create new looks and attract attention.

In the past, people followed fashions that reflected their own cultures and lifestyles. For instance, traditional Japanese dress was inspired by local plants and animals. Today, the world is more interconnected and the differences between cultures are decreasing. This means that different cultures can be influenced by each other’s fashions, and even traditional clothing can be revived into a fashion trend.