Fashion is an artistic mode of self Expression and autonomy in a particular time and context and at a certain context, of dressing, footwear, life style, makeup, hair dress, and other bodily postures. The word means a style defined as what is trendy at the time of its creation. In the broad sense, fashion is a generic term for all those elements having to do with the ways of dressing and living. Thus, it includes the ways of dressing one’s self, or ones’ dressing partner, as in the case of marriages.
Fashion as it applies to the whole of human life, may be divided in to three categories: the progressive, the transitional, and the creative/ visionary. In addition, there are many subcategories such as wearable art, workmanship and design, commercial designs, accessory trends, haute couture, and political statements. In terms of human civilizations, fashion styles reflect the cultural progressions: ancient, classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Renaissance, Islamic, or post-modern. The development of new styles and trends help explain the dynamic process of change in cultures.
Fashion styles may be categorized according to the level of complexity they involve: lower, upper, casual, semi-formal, or formal. Fashion styles in the Middle East have to do with traditional social class structure, which can be categorized in terms of the different religious and ethnic groups represented in the region. Common categories include Middle Eastern Style (also called “Eastern”, “Islamic”, or “Iranian”), Tribal Style, and Urban Style. Fashionable fashions may appear at the start of the industrial revolution in England, or during the industrial revolution in Japan, or in the period after World War II, when “antifashionable” behaviors such as recycling or minimizing material waste became common.
Fashion trends reflect the desires of consumers, who usually seek stylish and durable products. However, fashion trends are influenced by society, culture, and the individual personality of the fashion designers. The desire for stylishness varies across cultures and individuals, and fashion trends are flexible and adaptable. The existence of multiple trends simultaneously existing proves that fashion is not static, but always changing.
Social theories also help explain some of the contradictions encountered in fashion. For example, it is not surprising that a culture concerned with appearance practices and maintaining appearances constantly promotes an attitude of beauty that is diametrically opposed to that of the objects of desire. On the other hand, one of the most significant contradictions encountered in modern fashion is the use of gendered forms of dress. Clothing that is meant to appeal to one gender often reinforces the objectification of the opposite gender, and this leads to a situation where the objectified gender is seen as having no individuality or real quality of its own. Women’s clothes, for instance, are often associated with their babies, and the objectifying of the baby in fashion can lead to the objectification of women.
In order to understand the social context of fashion, it is important to gain a broad perspective, including the perspectives of several disciplines, such as art, culture, sociology, and the law. By understanding the different dimensions of fashion, we can begin to formulate ideas and designs that would be in line with the interests of the many categories of people included in the population. Fashion designs that cater to the needs of different segments of the population should be developed so as to promote unity in the face of diversified tastes. Different groups have different fashion preferences, and we must accommodate these tastes in our fashion styles. The development of proper fashion depends on the collective decisions of the various groups represented in society.