Fashion – Style A Statement
Fashion is the art or process of designing articles of clothing and other articles of personal adornment, for both men and women, and in varying degrees of severity. Fashion is a generic term that applies to the process of influencing consumer decisions about style, taste, and purchasing behavior. In popular use, the word also refers to a style defined by the fashion business as what is most likely to be worn in the current marketplace. By extending the definition of fashion to encompass both the public and the private sphere, it is acknowledged that the process has social and economic elements. Thus, it is acknowledged that fashion can have an influence on consumer choices about leisure, social life, fashion trends, and purchasing behavior.
The modern era of fashion design began with the First World War. It was during this period when fashion started to be recognized as an important influence on consumer purchasing behaviors and the direction of commercial fashion. The Second World War changed all of this. With the advent of the Second World War, production shifted from the private domestic market to the industrialized and highly controlled fashion industries of Europe and North America. Production capacity and the importance of fashion increased dramatically, especially following the shortages and destruction of the clothing items in combat.
As the manufacturing base shifted westward, the boundaries between what is considered to be “real” clothing and what is not expanded, leading to mass manufacture of almost every kind of product in existence. Thus, by the time of the 1960’s the average person wore shoes, jeans, jackets, dresses, and countless other types of clothes. Much of this was done as a result of the increased availability of clothing products, but the major change in fashion occurred because of the widespread social and political organizing that accompanied the shift. People were no longer motivated by necessity but by social and political beliefs and ideals.