Fashion is a subjective aesthetic expression, in a particular cultural context and at a certain time and location, of style, footwear, clothing, accessories, hairstyles, and body figures. It is the product of artistic sensibilities that are expressed through clothes and other physical expressions of aesthetic consciousness. As a result, fashion is not a uniform form of social expression but varies across cultures and times.
In the United States, fashion has been defined as “the way a person dresses, the variety of articles of personal and institutional dress, and the materials used in their manufacture.” A second definition is “an arrangement of people in society in relation to their relation to the world and their place in it.” In defining fashion as a social activity, commentators have noted, “A great deal of influence, both monetary and nonmonetary, has been exerted on the evolution of modern fashion both in the United States and around the world.” Fashion can be a source of social comment, as it often reflects the values and attitudes of the people who are wearing it.
Social critics point out that fashion tends to parallel the changing patterns of power and oppression. The rich and powerful dominate the media, while the poor are portrayed as exploiting and undesirable. Fashion critics also note that, as one trends changes, other styles change with it. This is especially true for women’s fashion, which has been changing significantly over the past fifty years.
The experience of being in the spotlight of fashion can be very consuming and traumatic for some people. Fashion critics have cited that this process can make people depressed, while others may react with excitement about what they are seeing. Being in the spotlight or the center of attention can be very disheartening and cause ones to subconsciously worry about their personal appearance. Those who try to hide behind clothing or makeup may feel self-conscious about how they look, which leads to a cycle of self-inflicted stress and emotional pain.
For an individual who desires to be a part of this changing trend, there are a number of ways to find creative ways of expressing themselves through the medium of fashion. There are many social, political, and economic reasons that one would choose to wear fashionably. One can consciously choose to express oneself through fashion in order to defend the self from the negative social judgement and public scrutiny.
An important part of becoming part of the social consciousness through fashion is learning how to cultivate one’s talents in the business world. There are numerous ways of becoming a successful fashion designer, and there is no reason why an individual should stop at just one type of fashion design. There are numerous design schools and universities that can teach an individual how to use fashion to its utmost best, while still expressing themselves creatively. Becoming a successful fashion designer may be complicated, but with hard work and creativity, any fashion designer can accomplish great success.