Thursday, April 8, 2010


the term 'fashion' originally came from the Latin facio or faction which means making or doing (Barnard 1996; Brenninkmeyer 1963: 2). In Old French it became fazon; in Middle French facon then facon and faconner in French led to the Middle English word 'fashion,' meaning to make or a particular make or shape.

could garment shadows be considered the processes around the making of clothing? like the shadows cast by an object, it's dependent upon the direction in which the light is shone. The cut, the patterns, the fabric, marketing, merchandising, photography, etc.

The New Oxford Dictionary on Historical Principles published in 1901 defines the word 'fashion' primarily as the action/process of making, manner, a prevailing custom, a current usage, conventional usage in dress and mode of life. As 'the fashion,' it is defined as the mode of dress, etiquette, furniture and style of speech adopted in society for the time being.

Despite 'etiquette, furniture and style of speech' not being 'clothing' specifically they all play their role in 'dressing' us to a certain extent.

"In 1904, Simmel, an expert in seeing the dualistic side of social phenomena, saw fashion as the desire for imitation and differentiation."

"Clothing and dress are the raw material from which fashion is formed. Fashion as a belief is manifested through clothing. Fashion-ology debunks the myth that the creative designer is a genius. Fashion is not created by a single individual but by everyone involved in the production of fashion."
"trying to define a particular item of clothing as fashion is futile because fashion is not a material product but a symbolic product which has no content substance by/in itself." "Fashion as an intellectual topic has been perceived as, on the one hand, too trivial and not worth spending time on and, on the other, a legitimate topic of analysis."
"'Costume' means mode of personal style or dress belonging to a nation, class or period."

The clothing choices we make are, in a way, a costume we assume in order to be viewed and/or perceived in a particular way. Particular dress elements are used as symbols which, when placed along side one another, send a certain message.

"On the basis of social psychological research, as well as on the points of agreement found in some early writings concerning the interpretation of clothing behavior, we see that clothing is a symbol of crucial importance to the individual. As a non-verbal language, it communicates to others an impression of social status, occupation, role, self-confidence, intelligence, conformity, individuality and other personality characteristics. (Horn and Gurel 1975)

"French writer Honore de Balzac (1799 - 1850) personally experienced the importance of the smallest nuances of behavior and ornament - for instance, the way a cravat was tied, how shoes were polished, the type of cigar smoked or how a cane was held - and understood how they were regarded with utmost seriousness by bourgeois consumers."

"Fashion and clothing have for a long while remained scholarly unmentionables. The unwillingness of social analysts to recognise the power of how people - of how they themselves - clothe, decorate, inscribe, perform and otherwise gesture with their bodies and avoidances ..." (Niessen and Brydon 1998)

"The question of fashion is not a fashionable one among intellectuals ... Fashion is celebrated in museums, but among serious intellectual preoccupations it has marginal status. It turns up everywhere on the street, in industry, and in the media, but it has virtually no place in the theoretical inquiries of our thinkers. Seen as an ontologically and socially inferior domain, it is unproblematic and undeserving of investigation; seen as a superficial issue, it discourages conceptual approaches (Lipovetsky 1994)

"People cover or decorate their bodies fora variety of reasons and modesty is one of them, Other reasons include protection, the desire to be sexually attractive and adornment."

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