Fashion is a system of cultural symbols and signifiers that communicates a complex set of personal and social meanings. It includes clothing, accessories and makeup that can symbolise and reinforce traditional gender roles, mood and emotion, group membership, social status and milestones in life such as a wedding or job interview.
It can also be an expression of individuality or a form of art. Fashion is ever-changing and cannot be pinned down to one thing, as it encompasses all areas of culture. It can be defined as a blend of change and inspiration, and it can be applied to any aspect of human culture such as sport, art, and even music.
The media plays an important role in fashion, with magazines, newspapers and television shows providing critique and guidelines. Fashion can also be influenced by popular culture and celebrities, with the public often paying close attention to what they wear.
Throughout history, fashion has been influenced by many factors such as political and economic climates, war and peace, technological progress, and social change. For example, during the 1700s people pored over fashion magazines to see what fashionable looks were being worn by their favorite celebrities and royalty. Once rail travel became commonplace, the fashion cycle accelerated to a yearly basis and fast-fashion retailers made clothes that could be designed in one country, manufactured in another, and sold in a third. This rapid pace of fashion has a number of causes, including changing lifestyles, increasing globalization, and the growing influence of celebrity culture.