Fashion is a popular aesthetic expression at a particular time and place and in a specific context, especially in clothing, footwear, lifestyle, accessories, makeup, hairstyle, and body proportions.
Whereas a trend often connotes a peculiar aesthetic expression and often lasting shorter than a season, fashion is a distinctive and industry-supported expression traditionally tied to the fashion season and collections.
Style is an expression that lasts over many seasons and is often connected to cultural movements and social markers, symbols, class, and culture (ex. Baroque, Rococo, etc.). According to sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, fashion connotes “the latest fashion, the latest difference.”
Even though they are often used together, the term fashion differs from clothes and costumes, where the first describes the material and technical garment, whereas the second has been relegated to special senses like fancy-dress or masquerade wear. Fashion instead describes the social and temporal system that “activates” dress as a social signifier in a certain time and context.
PhilosopherGiorgio Agamben connects fashion to the current intensity of the qualitative moment, to the temporal aspect the Greek called kairos, whereas clothes belong to the quantitative, to what the Greek called Chronos.
Exclusive brands aspire for the label haute couture, but the term is technically limited to members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris. It is more aspirational and inspired by art, culture and movement. It is extremely exclusive in nature.
With increasing mass-production of consumer commodities at lower prices, and with global reach, sustainability has become an urgent issue amongst politicians, brands, and consumers
Modern Day Fashion
Celebrities like Rihanna, Lupita Nyong’o, Zendaya, and Michelle Obama have been a few of the many fashion idols in the black female community. For men, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, and Ice Cube have also helped define modern day fashion for black men.
Today’s fashion scene is not just clothes, but also hair and makeup. Recent trends have included the embracing of natural hair, traditional clothing worn with modern clothing, or traditional patterns used in modern clothing styles. All of these trends come with the long existing and persevering movement of “Black is Beautiful”.
“I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker colour.” – Wednesday Addams
“The customer is the final filter. What survives the whole process is what people wear. I’m not interested in making clothes that end up in some dusty museum.” – Marc Jacobs