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A Modern Definition of Fashion

May 25, 2008
Fashion refers to unique, and often popular trend, especially in dress but may include architecture, literature, art and cuisine which may appeal to different cultures at different time.

Fashion in modern terms also corresponds to styles. Any forms of clothing, art or architecture that have similar characteristics may be recognized as fashion or styles.

Styles may appeal differently to different population and culture, hence the terms "fashionable" and "unfashionable" are coined. A fashion may be acceptable or not acceptable, depending on an individual's taste and other factors such as an individual's age, the popularity of the fashion among the population, the suitability of the style to a particular event and the freshness and nostalgia associated with the style.

"Fashion" is almost always used in a positive sense and is synonymous with style, quality, beauty and glamour. However, there are times when the word is used in a mildly negative sense, for instance bad taste in clothing which becomes latest fads and trends is often simply brushed off as "latest fashion."

Fashion in common tongue is also usually associated with anything new, the latest version of a product. The modern society leans heavily towards materialism and as such, the people are constantly chasing the latest and the better products. This is especially true among teenagers and youngsters. They want to keep in touch with fashion because of peer pressure and ego, and being "fashionable" equals to being popular.

Meanwhile, the older generations are basically more averse to the latest fashion but more and more of them are becoming equally trendy in recent years.

While fashion is applicable in many fields of human social activities, it has been almost exclusively linked with clothing, costume and footwear, anything that decorates a person. This concept is firmly fixated in the general population's heads, so much so that a mere mention of "fashion designer" will usually remind someone of a branded clothing designer rather than an innovative architect.

There are some posh cities which are recognized as global fashion centres. They include New York City, Paris, London and Milan. These cities are famed for their fashion weeks, where designers from all over the world assemble and exhibit their latest designs to audiences. Other less glamorous cities which are known to have large fashion followings are Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Dubai, Sydney and Los Angeles.

Fashion constantly changes. The changes often proceed faster than changes in other fields of human activity such as thought and language. The ebb and flow of fashion is as unpredictable as stock market. A highly popular style may suddenly be 'out of fashion', while other previously 'out of fashion' style may just come back 'into fashion' and remain there for quite some time.

There are also other fashions which are way past their height of popularity, but are somehow retained by some cultures, example being the retro fashion which includes styles like bell-bottoms, miniskirts and Afro hairstyle. Although fashion is constantly changing, it is still affected and limited by factors such as the weather, culture, religion and political climate of a place.
About the Author
Martin Brinkmann runs his own fashion blog at Pastry Shoes which concentrates on news about the Pastry Collection.
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