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fashion, in dress, the prevailing mode affecting modifications in costume. Styles in Asia have been characterized by freedom from change, and ancient Greek and Roman dress preserved the same flowing lines for centuries. Fashion in dress and interior decoration may be said to have originated in Europe about the 14th cent. New styles were set by monarchs and prominent personages and were spread by travelers, by descriptions in letters, and, in costume, by the exchange of the fashion doll. The first fashion magazine is thought to have originated c.1586 in Frankfurt, Germany; it was widely imitated, gradually superseding fashion dolls. Godey's Lady's Book, established in the United States in 1830, remained popular for decades. In interior decoration the influence of designers, such as Chippendale, Sheraton, and Robert and James Adam, was apparent in the 18th cent., but in costume the only influential designer at that period was Rose Bertin, milliner and dressmaker to Marie Antoinette.

In Paris—the leading arbiter of fashion since the Renaissance—the fading influence of celebrities was coincident with the rise of designer-dressmakers in the mid-19th cent. Paris haute couture has remained preeminent in setting fashions for women's dress. Designers such as Charles Frederick Worth, Coco Chanel, Lucien Lelong, Elsa Schiaparelli, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Christian Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent have had fashion houses in Paris. In the latter part of the 20th cent. such American designers as Norman Norell, Mainbocher, James Galanos, Bill Blass, and Pauline Trigère competed successfully with Parisian designers. London, in the early 19th cent., became the center for men's fashions under the leadership of Regency dandies such as Beau Brummell. In the mid-1960s, London was again for a time the center of fashion influence.

The 1970s and 80s saw the beginning of more divergent trends in fashion. This was the result of the increasing popularity of ready-to-wear collections by major designers, which made fashionable label-conscious dressing possible for the middle class. Ethnic-inspired looks and the punk style enjoyed a period of popularity. Successful clothing designers such as Ralph Lauren, Georgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Rei Kawakubo, and Geoffrey Beene widened their design horizons, licensed their names, and put their distinctive marks on objects ranging from furniture to cars, fabric, and perfumes. The look of luxuriance that emerged in the 1980s was countered in the 1990s07/01 with the production of classic understated clothes. Fashions are adapted for mass production by the garment industries of New York, Los Angeles, and other cities.


See F. C. C. Boucher, 20,000 Years of Fashion (tr. 1967); R. Lynam, An Illustrated History of the Great Paris Designers and Their Creations (1972); J. A. Black and M. Garland, A History of Fashion (1980); M. and A. Batterberry, Fashion: The Mirror of History, (1982); J. Laver, Costume and Fashion: A Concise History (1982); M. Tranquillo, Styles of Fashion (1984); A. Hollander, Sex and Suits (1994); Editors of Phaidon Press, The Fashion Book (1998); T. Agins, The End of Fashion: The Mass Marketing of the Clothing Business (1999); B. Cosgrave, ed., Sample: Cuttings from Contemporary Fashion (2005); V. Steele, ed., Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion (2005); C. Wilcox, ed., The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947–57 (2007).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


modes of behaviour or dress ‘in which the key feature is rapid and continual changing of styles’ (E. Wilson, Adorned in Dreams: Fashion and Modernity 1985). However, although centred on dress, fashion can be a feature of any area of life. Fashion is associated with three aspects of‘modernity’:
  1. culture of consumerism and perpetual change created by ADVERTISING, and fuelled by the MASS MEDIA OF COMMUNICATION;
  2. conformity and differentiation – as Simmel (1905) suggests, fashion supports the differentiation of self but at the same time lightens the load of responsibility for actions as this is shared with others;
  3. the more accessible affordability of ‘fashion goods’ and 'S tyle’ as an option in choice of clothes, furniture, or similar goods which enables people to exercise an element of control over their immediate social environment and presentation of self and social identity (cf. LIFESTYLE).

D. Hebdige (Subculture: The Meaning of Style, 1979) argues that different subcultures make their own style through the creative juxtaposition – or BRICOLAGE – of different clothes or objects. Thus fashion is subject to the same assessment as other forms of popular culture. It contains elements of both creative expression and manipulation.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000


Brummel, George B. (Beau Brummel) (1778–1840)
set styles for men’s clothes and manners for a quarter century. [Western Fashion: NCE, 926]
Harper’s Bazaar
leading fashion magazine. [Am. Culture: Misc.]
Royal Ascot
annual horserace, occasion for great fashionable turnout. [Br. Cult.: Brewer Dictionary, 49]
leading fashion magazine in France and America. [Fr. and Amer. Culture: Misc.]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
A maneira mais adequada de medir esse nivel de altruismo e atraves das assistencias, que necessita de um passe para acontecer, exigindo assim uma acao unificada entre dois componentes da equipe.
D'Alessandro--VitOria 2 x 2 Internacional 1a Rodada--25/05 Tempo jogado 90 min Tempo de posse 2 min 09 s 73 c Acoes com a bola 99 Acoes com a bola cronometradas 68 (68%) Media por acao cronometrada 1 s 90 c Passes Certos 76 (92%) Passes Errados 6 (8%) Passes de 1a 27 (33%) Lancamentos Certos 6 (100%) Cruzamentos Errados 1 (100%) Conducoes de Bola 14 Assistencias 1 Dribles 3 Finalizacoes p/ fora 4 (80%) Caracteristicas Extremamente participativo, precisao nos passes e lancamentos, da ritmo para sua equipe.
Passe has conducted blindfolded drives on several occasions but never tackled a route more than ten miles long.
Dans une phrase depourvue d'adverbe designant le passe, le temps peut etre signale par la marque de l'aspect du passe indefini guo (3)?, qui a pour fonction originelle de signaler une action passee, repetee ou non.
The first 50 persons that complete their transactions will be offered the opportunity to opt-in for the Lifetime Pasta Passes for an additional $400 plus tax.
Castlehead High School in Paisley and Johnstone High School are placed joint sixth in the local authority area, where 32 per cent of pupils achieve passes in five or more subjects at SCQF level six.
Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner both play more passes forward - the ratio for each is 30% - although the duo also play a far greater number of passes backwards.
Loke said his ministry expected 45 per cent of Rapid Rail service users and 100 per cent of Rapid bus services to benefit from the passes, which will be launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in early December.
Got to the ball ahead of Rebic as he looked to shoot Accurate passes: 12 Total passes: 17 Pass accuracy: 70.6%
Showed great leadership qualities when England under the cosh Accurate passes: 41 Total passes: 55 Pass accuracy: 74.5%
He's enjoying a terrific tournament Accurate passes: 41 Total passes: 54 Pass accuracy: 75.9% 8