Fashion is a part of our day-to-day life. It affects the way we lead our lives. These days fashion has become a part of our personality and individuality. In today’s world fashion is a big business employing thousands of people. However one must know the meaning of fashion and it’s terminology. What is the difference between fashion, stye and design? Just what do high fashion, mass fashion, taste, classic and fad mean? To avoid confusion when discussing fashion, we must first understand the meaning of fashion and it’s terminology.
Here are the fashion and its terminology –
The term fashion is all about style. A fashion is a style that is accept and used by the majority of a group at any one time. Not matter how small that group is. A fashion is always based on some particular style. Fashion is always new even when an old fashion is receive, because styles styles are reintroduce with newness for fresh appeal. A fashion is a fact of social psychology. But not every style is a fashion. A style is usually a creation from an artist or a designer.
“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months”. –Oscar Wilde
“Fashion wear out more apparel than the man.” –Shakespeare
The most widely recognized fashion authority defines fashion as –
“Fashion is nothing more or less than the prevailing style at a given time.” – Dr. Paul H. Nystrom
A style may be old or new, beautiful or ugly, good or bad. A style is a style even if it never receives the slightest acceptance. Fashion appeals to many different groups and can be categorize according to the group to which they appeal. As fashion communicates the status of a person in the society and expresses his individuality, it needs to be display and expose to a number of people to be adopt by them. For instance skirts, pants, fit kurtas were in fashion during the 1970s and have attract the fancy of the wearer to be back in fashion.
Fashion always displays something new to attract people’s interest and desire for change, and gain acceptance. Fashion satisfies the need for self-beautification and adornment. It is a reflection of the times in which it is popular. It showcases the lifestyle and thought process of the people adoring the fashion. The value system, class system and activities that prevail during that time can also be known form the styles in fashion.
High Fashion and Mass Fashion –
High fashion or Haute Couture refers to those new styles that are special in their overall appeal. They are manufacture in limited numbers and introduce to exclusive clientele of fashion leaders. In other words it refers to a new style accepted by a limited number of fashion leaders. These fashion leaders want to be the first to adopt changes and innovation in fashion. High-fashion styles are generally introduce and sold in small quantities and at relatively high prices. As they have newness in the design, superfine quality fabric, perfect workmanship and are made as per client size only.
To contrast with high fashion, mass fashion or volume fashion, consists of styles that are widely accepted. High fashion needs wide acceptance from a large number of people for it to become mass fashion. The production and selling of these garments is usually in large quantities at moderate to low prices. These appeals to the greatest majority of fashion-conscious consumers. Mass fashion accounts for the majority of sales in the fashion business. Mass fashion is the “bread and butter” of the fashion banquet !
To understand fashion and it’s terminology one must know the meaning of style.In this world, everything has got a style as style refers to a distinctive characteristics of a thing. The first step in understanding fashion is to distinguish between “fashion” and “style”. These words that most people use interchangeably although there is an immense difference in their meanings. Convertibles, vans,multi-utility vehicles are all automobiles with different styles. Similarly, there is Mughal, European and French style of architecture.
In terms of apparel designing, style is the characteristic or distinctive appearance of a garment. It is a combination of features that makes it different from other garments. For example, dresses are one style of apparel, trousers are another and skirts are another. Riding jackets are different from safari jackets as they are from blazer jackets. At times style there exist a number of styles each very different and individualistic in its looks. For instance, straight skirt, A-line skirt, pleated skirt, circular skirt are all examples of styles within a style.
Although styles come and go as acceptance, specific style remains a style whether it is currently in fashion or not. As style refers to distinctive characteristics, it remains a style, whether it is currently accept as fashion statement or not. Some styles are named after the period of history in they originated such as Roman, Greek. When such styles return to fashion, their basic elements remain the same. They slightly get modifies to conform to the current fashion trends.
There can be many variations of detail within a specific style. A design is a particular or individual interpretation, version, or treatment of a style. In other words, a design is a composition of silhouette, color, texture, details which create specific versions of style. For example, coat is a style; increasing or decreasing its length, adding or reducing it fullness or varying sleeves will give unlimited variety of design. A style may be express in many designs, all different, yet all related because they are in same style.
Once a style gains acceptance, many different designs of same style are develop. This is done by altering its composing elements and introduce in the market by apparel manufacturers.
In the fashion industries, manufacturers and retailers assign a number to each individual design produce. This is style number. The style number of a product identifies it for manufacturing, ordering and selling purposes. In this instance, the term “style number” is use rather than “design number”, even though a design is being identified.
A fashion trend refers to the general course of movement, direction or flow that fashions in clothing follow. For example, you often read in fashion magazines “there is a trend toward longer skirts”. It means that several designers, including some leading ones, are showing longer skirts. Leading retailers are buying them, and fashion-forward customers are wearing them. Though designers are the main force behind the introduction of a design. But its ultimate success depends on the consumer, who decides on the acceptance of a particular design.
The changes in design from one season to the next may be subtle, but they follow a trend. A fashion designer always designs for the forthcoming season. It is vital for him/her to recognize the trends and designs accordingly. The new styles gaining acceptance in the industry are refer to as fashion forward and the experimental and shocking fashions are known as avant garde.
In fashion, taste refers to the outlook of what is and what is not according to a given occasion. Therefore a good fashion taste not only means artistically pleasing but also what is appropriate for a specific situation. A style such as an evening gown, may be beautiful. But wearing it to a morning wedding, it may not be considered in good taste. Many styles are beautiful, but if they are not in fashion, good taste prevents their use. On the other hand, a present fashion may be ugly but its common acceptance means it is in good taste.
Nystrom described the relationship of good taste and fashion as –
“Good taste essentially is making the most artistic use of current fashion… bridging the gap between good art and common usage.”
Classic refers to the style that stay. It consider to be in good taste for long period. They are exceptions to the usual movement of styles through the fashion life cycle. The characteristics are its simplicity of design and suitability to clothing needs of large group. In other words it is a style which satisfies the needs of people. And stay in fashion for an extended period of time.
For example – polo neck sweaters, cardigans, blazers, men’s suit, button down collar shirts, blue denim jeans etc. Among the accessories, the pump-style shoe, the loafer, necklace and the clutch handbag are also classics. For young children overalls and one-piece pajamas have become classics.
Their looks may change at times, but these changes are subtle. Material, texture, design, details, cut and shape of garment use to introduce these changes.
A fad is a short-lived fashion. The fad starts by being quickly accepted and then quickly imitated by others. It is a minor fashion adopted by a group of people for a short period of time. Fads are those designs that are extreme and exaggerating. It often begin in low-price ranges, relatively easy to copy. Therefore floods the market in a very short time. Fads follow the same cycle as fashion do, but their popularity rise is much faster. Their acceptance much shorter, and their decline much more rapid than that of a true fashion.
They are known as miniature fashion because their short stay for a season. Nowadays, it is difficult to draw a line between fads and fashions. As most fads become fashion and stay for several seasons. Hair dye in patches, hot pants, bell-bottoms, patiala salwar are all examples of fads.
It isn’t in fashion and it’s terminology but are related to this topic. French term for business in which original apparel designs are created by designers & the items are manufactured in the design house using exceptionally fine sewing & tailoring and expensive fabrics.
Haute Couture (oat koo-toor)
Haute couture (French for “high sewing” or “high dressmaking”) refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. It is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. As it isn’t come in fashion and it’s terminology but is a related point.
So these were the meaning of fashion and its terminology.