The clothing industry is one of the oldest industries and one of the most successful. It has many different aspects to it. Some garments are especially made for an individual, known as haute couture; other clothes are manufactured for a mass market, and are sold at lower prices, usually as ‘ready to wear’ (RTW). People follow fashion trends, from music stars and film celebrities to politicians and royalty. People have always been fascinated by what they and others are wearing; the 1700s saw women pored over dresses in fashion magazines, and today millions are hooked to Instagram and Twitter to see what other people are wearing.
Fashion is all about creativity, expression and self-expression; it can be an understated whisper or a high energy scream. The way you carry yourself is just as important. Fashion is also about feeling comfortable and confident in what you are wearing; nothing makes you look better than confidence!
Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols; it can help us understand how fashion communicates. The way a garment is worn, the colours it contains, the patterns and materials used can all convey meaning, whether that be wealth, status, cultural values or non-conformity. It can even signal a historical or political context. Changing styles can signal new social norms and can challenge existing ones. The term Fashion can also be used to describe a fad or craze, such as the bell bottom jeans of the 1980s or the ripped denim and leather look of the 1990s.