Fashion is the art or practice of designing and using clothing, materials, and other accessories to make a particular look or style of dressing. The word “fashion” itself has two different meanings: one refers to the artistic and fashionable mode of dress while the other indicates the mode of dressing with particular end results, such as an endearing or appealing appearance, a trend seen in masses or a fashion for a certain age group or gender. The word “fashions” also refers to particular types of styles or designs.
Fashion is a unique form of autonomy and self-expression in a certain situation and time and in a certain context, expressed by the dress, footwear, fashion, cosmetics, hairstyle, body posture, and accessories. The word “fashions” also means a style defined by the fashion business as what is fashionable at the time. What is considered fashionable varies widely from situation to situation and what may be fashionable for teens may not necessarily be fashionable for older people. Trends are a product of culture and are influenced by social mores, assumptions, and expectations. Fashion designers, buyers, importers, and sellers interact in the market place, each playing his/her part in the development of the fashion design.
The profession of fashion design began as a result of the popularity of the Fashion Machines of the late eighteenth century. These were the first inventions of the industrial revolution, and were intended to create a uniform dress which could be mass produced, thereby increasing the speed and profitability of the clothing manufacturing industry. As time progressed, with the development of machinery to manufacture textiles, apparel became more sophisticated and fashionable. The nineteenth century witnessed numerous great fashion designers such as Bloch, Dior, Balmain, Fath and Givenchy, along with numerous fashion trends, all of which helped to shape the world of fashion.