AskDefine | Define fashionable

Dictionary Definition

fashionable adj
1 being or in accordance with current fashion; "fashionable clothing"; "the fashionable side of town"; "a fashionable cafe" [syn: stylish] [ant: unfashionable]
2 having elegance or taste or refinement in manners or dress; "a little less posh but every bit as stylish as Lord Peter Wimsey"; "the stylish resort of Gstadd" [syn: stylish] [ant: styleless]
3 patronized by [syn: popular with(p)]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Adjective

  1. Characteristic of or influenced by a current popular trend or style.
  2. Relating to fashion.

Translations

characteristic of or influenced by a current popular trend or style
relating to fashion

Extensive Definition

Of these fields, costume especially has become so linked in the public eye with the term "fashion" that the more general term "costume" has mostly been relegated to only mean fancy dress or masquerade wear, while the term "fashion" means clothing generally, and the study of it. This linguistic switch is due to the so-called fashion plates which were produced during the Industrial Revolution, showing novel ways to use new textiles. For a broad cross-cultural look at clothing and its place in society, refer to the entries for clothing and costume. The remainder of this article deals with clothing fashions in the Western world.

Clothing

The habit of people continually changing the style of clothing worn, which is now worldwide, at least among urban populations, is generally held by historians to be a distinctively Western one. At other periods in Ancient Rome and other cultures changes in costume occurred, often at times of economic or social change, but then a long period without large changes followed. In 8th century Cordoba, Spain, Ziryab, a famous musician - a star in modern terms - is said to have introduced sophisticated clothing styles based on seasonal and daily timings from his native Baghdad and his own inspiration.
The beginnings of the habit in Europe of continual and increasingly rapid change in styles can be fairly clearly dated to the middle of the 14th century, to which historians including James Laver and Fernand Braudel date the start of Western fashion in clothing. The most dramatic manifestation was a sudden drastic shortening and tightening of the male over-garment, from calf-length to barely covering the buttocks, sometimes accompanied with stuffing on the chest to look bigger. This created the distinctive Western male outline of a tailored top worn over leggings or trousers which is still with us today.
The pace of change accelerated considerably in the following century, and women's fashion, especially in the dressing and adorning of the hair, became equally complex and changing. Art historians are therefore able to use fashion in dating images with increasing confidence and precision, often within five years in the case of 15th century images. Initially changes in fashion led to a fragmentation of what had previously been very similar styles of dressing across the upper classes of Europe, and the development of distinctive national styles, which remained very different until a counter-movement in the 17th to 18th centuries imposed similar styles once again, finally those from Ancien Régime in France. Though fashion was always led by the rich, the increasing affluence of early modern Europe led to the bourgeoisie and even peasants following trends at a distance sometimes uncomfortably close for the elites - a factor Braudel regards as one of the main motors of changing fashion.
The fashions of the West are generally unparalleled either in antiquity or in the other great civilizations of the world. Early Western travellers, whether to Persia, Turkey, Japan or China frequently remark on the absence of changes in fashion there, and observers from these other cultures comment on the unseemly pace of Western fashion, which many felt suggested an instability and lack of order in Western culture. The Japanese Shogun's secretary boasted (not completely accurately) to a Spanish visitor in 1609 that Japanese clothing had not changed in over a thousand years. However in Ming China, for example, there is considerable evidence for rapidly changing fashions in Chinese clothing, Fashion, by description, changes constantly. The changes may proceed more rapidly than in most other fields of human activity (language, thought, etc). For some, modern fast-paced changes in fashion embody many of the negative aspects of capitalism: it results in waste and encourages people qua consumers to buy things unnecessarily. Other people enjoy the diversity that changing fashion can apparently provide, seeing the constant change as a way to satisfy their desire to experience "new" and "interesting" things. Note too that fashion can change to enforce uniformity, as in the case where so-called Mao suits became the national uniform of mainland China.
At the same time there remains an equal or larger range designated (at least currently) 'out of fashion'. (These or similar fashions may cyclically come back 'into fashion' in due course, and remain 'in fashion' again for a while.)
Practically every aspect of appearance that can be changed has been changed at some time, for example skirt lengths ranging from ankle to mini to so short that it barely covers anything, etc. In the past, new discoveries and lesser-known parts of the world could provide an impetus to change fashions based on the exotic: Europe in the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries, for example, might favor things Turkish at one time, things Chinese at another, and things Japanese at a third. A modern version of exotic clothing includes club wear. Globalization has reduced the options of exotic novelty in more recent times, and has seen the introduction of non-Western wear into the Western world.
Fashion houses and their associated fashion designers, as well as high-status consumers (including celebrities), appear to have some role in determining the rates and directions of fashion change.

Media

An important part of fashion is fashion journalism. Editorial critique and commentary can be found in magazines, newspapers, on television, fashion websites and in fashion blogs.
At the beginning of the 20th century, fashion magazines began to include photographs and became even more influential than in the past. In cities throughout the world these magazines were greatly sought-after and had a profound effect on public taste. Talented illustrators drew exquisite fashion plates for the publications which covered the most recent developments in fashion and beauty. Perhaps the most famous of these magazines was La Gazette du Bon Ton which was founded in 1912 by Lucien Vogel and regularly published until 1925 (with the exception of the war years).
Vogue, founded in the US in 1902, has been the longest-lasting and most successful of the hundreds of fashion magazines that have come and gone. Increasing affluence after World War II and, most importantly, the advent of cheap colour printing in the 1960s led to a huge boost in its sales, and heavy coverage of fashion in mainstream women's magazines - followed by men's magazines from the 1990s. Haute couture designers followed the trend by starting the ready-to-wear and perfume lines, heavily advertised in the magazines, that now dwarf their original couture businesses. Television coverage began in the 1950s with small fashion features. In the 1960s and 1970s, fashion segments on various entertainment shows became more frequent, and by the 1980s, dedicated fashion shows like FashionTelevision started to appear. Despite television and increasing internet coverage, including fashion blogs, press coverage remains the most important form of publicity in the eyes of the industry.

Intellectual property

Within the fashion industry, intellectual property is not enforced as it is within the film industry and music industry. While brand names and logos are protected, designs are not. Smaller, boutique, designers have lost revenue after their designs have been taken and marketed by bigger businesses with more resources. Some observers have noted, however, that the relative freedom that fashion designers have to "take inspiration" from others' designs contributes to the fashion industry's ability to establish clothing trends. Enticing consumers to buy clothing by establishing new trends is, some have argued, a key component of the industry's success. Intellectual property rules that interfere with the process of trend-making would, on this view, be counter-productive.

References

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Further reading

  • Cumming, Valerie: Understanding Fashion History, Costume & Fashion Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8967-6253-X

External links

fashionable in Arabic: موضة
fashionable in Bulgarian: Мода
fashionable in Catalan: Moda
fashionable in Czech: Móda
fashionable in Danish: Mode
fashionable in German: Mode
fashionable in Estonian: Mood
fashionable in Spanish: Moda
fashionable in Esperanto: Modo
fashionable in French: Mode (habillement)
fashionable in Galician: Moda
fashionable in Korean: 패션
fashionable in Croatian: Moda
fashionable in Icelandic: Tíska
fashionable in Italian: Moda
fashionable in Hebrew: אופנה
fashionable in Georgian: მოდა
fashionable in Lithuanian: Mada
fashionable in Hungarian: Divat
fashionable in Dutch: Mode
fashionable in Dutch Low Saxon: Moede
fashionable in Japanese: ファッション
fashionable in Norwegian: Mote
fashionable in Norwegian Nynorsk: Mote
fashionable in Polish: Moda (styl)
fashionable in Portuguese: Moda
fashionable in Romanian: Modă
fashionable in Russian: Мода
fashionable in Sicilian: Moda
fashionable in Simple English: Fashion
fashionable in Slovak: Móda
fashionable in Slovenian: Moda
fashionable in Finnish: Muoti
fashionable in Swedish: Mode
fashionable in Tamil: ஒய்யாரம்
fashionable in Thai: แฟชั่น
fashionable in Ukrainian: Мода (культура)
fashionable in Vietnamese: Thời trang
fashionable in Yiddish: מאדע
fashionable in Chinese: 时尚

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Beau Brummel, a la mode, advanced, all the rage, all the thing, arbiter of fashion, avant-garde, chic, clotheshorse, clubman, clubwoman, contemporary, current, dandy, dashing, deb, debutante, exclusive, far out, fashion plate, fop, forward-looking, hip, in, in fashion, in style, in vogue, man-about-town, mod, modern, modernistic, modernized, modish, mondain, mondaine, new, newfashioned, now, popular, present-day, present-time, prevalent, progressive, smart, socialite, streamlined, stylish, subdeb, subdebutante, swank, swinger, swish, taste-maker, tone-setter, trend-setter, trendy, twentieth-century, ultra-ultra, ultramodern, up-to-date, up-to-datish, up-to-the-minute, way out, with it, with-it
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