What Is Fashion?
Fashion is a broad term that encompasses a myriad of activities that focus on the evaluation, creation, appreciation, or critique of fashionable items. As such, fashion is an art form and self-expression in a certain context and at a certain time, in a certain venue and with a certain degree of autonomy and subjectivity. The term also means a particular look defined by the fashion industry when what is fashionable is what is most popular. Thus, the world of fashion is constantly changing and evolving, taking into consideration the social changes and the changing consumer base. Fashion may be considered as a mode of thinking, in that it is essentially an ongoing process, where one’s culture is continuously transformed by what is deemed as fashionable.
Fashion as a whole has its roots in the history of the ancient Greek and Roman societies. Fashion becomes an important and influential cultural marker of these societies. One can trace its evolution back to the Indus Valley Civilisation that produced sandals, bangles, jewelry, fabrics, textiles, and clothes that were woven from natural fibers. In the Classical period, things such as hairstyles became highly regulated and prescribed dress codes where the concept of individualism was rejected. Fashion in the Roman world diverged from this trend, focusing more on form and function, as opposed to emotions and feelings. The influence of the Roman Empire can still be seen in things such as their language (Rome has the word for fashion, which today is more commonly referred to as ‘giraffe’) and their art.
Fashion has had quite a colorful history throughout the world. With the passing of time it has become even more crucial to maintain a healthy level of competitiveness in the world of fashion as it continues to depict societal trends. While some people may view fashion as nothing more than an elaborate dress, it is much more. Fashion is important because it is the embodiment of societal expectations and the mirror of values, showing what is considered to be desirable or not.