Fashion is a global industry that creates jobs from designers sketching new collections to tailors crafting each individual garment to retail workers helping consumers find the perfect outfit. It is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise that influences the economy and culture worldwide.
Fashion reflects our cultural beliefs, values and attitudes. It changes and develops over time and can be seen in art, music and film. For example, Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress in the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” exemplified the class and elegance of her character Holly Golightly. It can also be used as a tool to distinguish between different social groups. In the 1700s, French people were known to spend hours poring over fashion magazines to learn about the latest trends and styles. This is a prime example of the “trickle-down” theory, which says that those in higher socioeconomic classes set trends that trickle down to those lower in class.
Ultimately, fashion is a medium for self-expression. It can be an understated whisper or a high-energy scream depending on the wearer and their attitude. It can communicate a sense of status, mood or role, like the way judges wear robes or military personnel wear uniforms. It can also serve as a form of identification and tradition, as in the case of maternity clothing or wedding dresses.
Moreover, the fashion industry is an incredibly social enterprise. Unlike other industries, it requires a certain degree of mass acceptance in order to be considered fashionable. This can be achieved through either peer or media influence. The latter is more likely to happen when celebrities or public figures adopt a style that then becomes popular amongst the masses.