From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Fashion (disambiguation).
"Menswear" redirects here. For the musical group, see Menswear (band).
In Following the Fashion (1794), James Gillray caricatured a figure flattered by
the short-bodiced gowns then in fashion, contrasting it with an imitator whose
figure is not flattered.
Fashion is a popular style or practice, especially in clothing, footwear, access
ories, makeup, body, or furniture. Fashion is a distinctive and often constant t
rend in the style in which a person dresses. It is the prevailing styles in beha
viour and the newest creations of textile designers.[1] Because the more technic
al term costume is regularly linked to the term "fashion", the use of the former
has been relegated to special senses like fancy dress or masquerade wear, while
"fashion" generally means clothing, including the study of it. Although aspects
of fashion can be feminine or masculine, some trends are androgynous.[2][3]
Clothing fashions[edit]
Main article: History of Western fashion
Early Western travelers, traveling whether to Persia, Turkey, India, or China, w
ould frequently remark on the absence of change in fashion in the respective pla
ces. The Japanese Shogun's secretary bragged (not completely accurately) to a Sp
anish visitor in 1609 that Japanese clothing had not changed in over a thousand
years.[4] However, there is considerable evidence in Ming China of rapidly chang
ing fashions in Chinese clothing.[5] Changes in costume often took place at time
s of economic or social change, as occurred in ancient Rome and the medieval Cal
iphate, followed by a long period without major changes. In 8th-century Moorish
Spain, the musician Ziryab introduced to Córdoba[6][unreliable source][7] sophisti
cated clothing-styles based on seasonal and daily fashions from his native Baghd
ad, modified by his own inspiration. Similar changes in fashion occurred in the
11th century in the Middle East following the arrival of the Turks, who introduc
ed clothing styles from Central Asia and the Far East.[8]
The beginning in Europe of continual and increasingly rapid change in clothing s
tyles can be fairly reliably dated. Historians, including James Laver and Fernan
d Braudel, date the start of Western fashion in clothing to the middle of the 14
th century,[9][10] though it should be noted that they tend to rely heavily on c
ontemporary imagery[11] and illuminated manuscripts were not common before the f
ourteenth century. The most dramatic early change in fashion was a sudden drasti
c shortening and tightening of the male over-garment from calf-length to barely
covering the buttocks,[12] sometimes accompanied with stuffing in the chest to m
ake it look bigger. This created the distinctive Western outline of a tailored t
op worn over leggings or trousers.
The pace of change accelerated considerably in the following century, and women
and men's fashion, especially in the dressing and adorning of the hair, became e
qually complex. Art historians are therefore able to use fashion with confidence
and precision to date images, often to within five years, particularly in the c
ase of images from the 15th century. Initially, changes in fashion led to a frag
mentation across the upper classes of Europe of what had previously been a very
similar style of dressing and the subsequent development of distinctive national
styles. These national styles remained very different until a counter-movement
in the 17th to 18th centuries imposed similar styles once again, mostly originat
ing from Ancien Régime France.[13] Though the rich usually led fashion, the increa
sing affluence of early modern Europe led to the bourgeoisie and even peasants f
ollowing trends at a distance, but still uncomfortably close for the elites – a fa
ctor that Fernand Braudel regards as one of the main motors of changing fashion.

French styles decisively took over leadership. The Venetian lady's high chopines make her look taller. and changes in a European male Silhouette were galvanized in the aters of European war where gentleman officers had opportunities to make notes o f foreign styles such as the "Steinkirk" cravat or necktie. Albrecht Dürer illustrated the differences in his actual (or composite) c ontrast of Nuremberg and Venetian fashions at the close of the 15th century (ill ustration.[15] Though textile colors and patterns changed from year to year.Albrecht Dürer's drawing contrasts a well turned out bourgeoise from Nuremberg (le ft) with her counterpart from Venice. Men's fashions were largely derived from m ilitary models.[16] the cut of a g entleman's coat and the length of his waistcoat. In the 16th century. a process complet ed in the 18th century. changed more slowly. The "Spanish style" of the late 16th century began the move b ack to synchronicity among upper-class Europeans. right). or the pattern to which a lady' s dress was cut. and after a struggle in the mi d-17th century. Ten 16t h century portraits of German or Italian gentlemen may show ten entirely differe nt hats. . national differences were at their most pronounced.