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How Fashion Transforms Across Cultures

Hillary Cyril | Editor, TechAnnouncer




What is Fashion? Fashion is a mode of autonomy and self-expression in a certain context and at a certain time, of clothes, footwear, life, makeup, hairstyles, and posture. The word “fashion” means a definite appearance defined by the fashion business as what is fashionable at that time. In other words, if you are wearing jeans today, then it is considered fashionable to wear jeans on a spring or summer day. If you are wearing sneakers instead, then it is deemed fashionable to wear sneakers for a cold winter day.

In the past, the meaning of the term “fashion” was very different from the meaning commonly used today. For instance, the nineteenth century would not have been a time that would have made sense to use the term “fashion” with reference to clothing. Clothing at that time was seen as something done for utilitarian reasons. It was not a social statement or a show of vanity. Clothing was seen as something worn for practical reasons, as clothing was thought to protect the body from the harsh elements of nature.

As time passed and as fashion became more of a lifestyle choice than a mere utilitarian concern, the meaning of “fashions” changed somewhat. In the twentieth century, the term “fashion” came to be seen as something that was fashionable for particular periods of time – especially for women. “Fashions” began to refer to trends. Thus, instead of being seen as being merely utilitarian in origin, fashion was looked upon as having an independent and creative component that would evolve and change over time. This shift in the understanding of what the word “fashions” meant has had a large impact on the way in which the fashion world understands and practices fashion.


The first major influence on the meaning of fashion was the French Revolution. After the deposition of the Dauphine kings in 17 Macron, the nobility and other French citizens who had been granted the right to vote decided that the new style of dress that they wanted to see in public was to be in accordance with their newly created “republic” style. The style that was common for these new leaders of the revolution was something that was in keeping with the clothing that they themselves were wearing during the late seventeen hundreds. The fashion of the period was characterized by heavy fabrics, frills on the clothing, and by a highly fashionable design on the cuffs of the sleeves.

Following the French Revolution, the fashion for the period did not stay restricted to the upper classes of France. A new trend developed amongst middle-class citizens, where clothing became more comfortable, lightweight, and easy to wear. The development of cotton clothing allowed manufacturers to mass-produce clothing at much lower costs than they had in previous years. With the popularity of the new style of dress also came the prevalence of lower-cost manufacturing methods, which allowed lower-cost tailors to offer clothing that was better designed than ever before.

Today’s fashion trends continue to evolve with many different styles being introduced all the time. People from across cultures are now able to dress fashionably. We no longer have the type of clothing that was worn in the French Revolution or during the Golden Age of the 1700s. However, fashions that have survived the test of time can be seen in the styles of today. The best fashion depends on what you want it for.

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