The history of fashion goes back centuries. First, clothing was mass-produced in standard sizes at fixed prices. Its popularity rose and then waned as the industrial revolution took hold. However, today’s booming fashion industry is still based on a few principles. These principles have allowed fashion to evolve and become a profitable business. People used to read fashion magazines in the 1700s to get ideas for what to wear. The sketches were used by dressmakers in France outside of the court to guide their decisions.
Late medieval Europe saw rapid development of European clothing styles. Historians place the beginning of modern Western fashion in the middle of the 14th century. They rely heavily on imagery from that period. Illuminated manuscripts weren’t common during this period. The appearance of men’s over-garments changed dramatically during this period. They were often stuffed to appear larger. These two factors are key to fashion’s history. The evolution of style in the Western world can be traced through the influence of economics and culture.
Contrary to popular opinion, fashion is not a mere material product. It is a cultural phenomenon and has many connections to literature, music, and everyday life. Its fast changes and broad appeal have led to controversy and a critique of democracy. While fast changes in fashion are exciting for younger consumers and their craving for new experiences, they can also enforce uniformity, and create a social environment that is too homogenous. These concerns may not be enough to end fast fashion’s popularity, but designers might consider making their work accessible to the wider community.
Fashions change over time. Historically, clothing was not mass-produced. Before the mid-19th century, clothing was handmade and made on order by tailors and dressmakers. As technology advanced, clothing became more mass produced in standard sizes and sold at fixed prices. This made it possible for more styles and colors to be produced.