Fashion is a cultural phenomenon that takes shape in clothing, footwear and accessories. It is a reflection of social and cultural values and attitudes. It also serves as an outlet for creativity and expression. It is often a fad that passes by quickly, however, there are styles and trends that stay longer. Fashion is influenced by a number of factors including social changes, the economy, and popular culture. It is also influenced by the media and by designers.
While many people believe that fashion is just a matter of taste, there are some who take it seriously. These people are called fashionistas and their behavior is often characterized by a desire to follow the latest styles and trends. They may try to create their own style or modify existing ones. Fashion is an important part of the entertainment industry and is often portrayed in movies, TV shows, music and advertising hoardings.
The term “fashion” can refer to a particular style or a trend of clothing, but it is more often used in reference to the multibillion-dollar global enterprise that makes designer clothes. Some observers distinguish between the “high fashion” of Paris and New York and the more casual, mass-produced styles that are sold in malls around the world.
Changes in the way that people dress can reflect major social or political changes, such as wars or new discoveries. Other times they may be driven by a desire to express a particular mood or attitude. For example, the 1920s saw a return to the past, with dresses made of opulent fabrics and featuring corseted waists and swirling skirts that reached mid-calf. This was partly a reaction to the social disarray caused by the First World War, which had made women more aware of their own mortality.
During the 1950s, the glamorous style of movie stars like Rita Hayworth and Katharine Hepburn had a great influence on fashion. The couturier Christian Dior created a tidal wave with his 1947 collection, which featured dresses with accentuated busts and tiny waists. Hemlines began to rise from the ankle, and pointy heels gave way to flatter styles with chisel-shaped toes. The era also saw the introduction of feathered hairstyles for women and bell-bottomed pants for men.
A number of designers created styles that were based on classic proportions, such as the Frenchman Guy Paulin and the American Mainbocher. These styles were less flamboyant but no less elegant, and they influenced a generation of fashionistas. After the 1990s, people were no longer afraid of overdressing and a general trend towards minimalism began to take hold. Many styles that had once been considered to be fashionable, such as boleros and bell-bottomed pants, were dismissed as unfashionable. This may have been due to the fact that they had become too familiar and worn out. Nevertheless, some older styles returned to favor during the 2010s, and there is speculation that these trends will continue into the future. However, some experts argue that they will eventually fade away, and that fashion is cyclical, rather than revolutionary.