a popular or the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration, or behaviour
It seems somewhat strange that an industry worth £21bn a year to this country alone can be defined in just twelve words.
The monotonous manner in which people swarm over the latest trends like there is no tomorrow can’t help but make me wonder: is that all it really is, a limited fascination with this pair of ankle boots, or that slogan T-shirt that will duly be worn to death until the birth of the next disposable craze?
If not, what really is fashion? It’s a question that every blogger or self-confessed fashionista is asked at some point. The subject itself frequently generates an immediate babble of overstated language as the answerer struggles to articulate just how important a role fashion plays within their life, and cue the clichéd declarations of “fashion is what I live for” and “it’s just not what you wear, it’s how you wear it”, etc.
I wouldn’t consider myself a fashion-fanatic, but sure, I do like clothes. I like the soft ripples of silk, and the smell of buttery leather. I like to pour over the skilful tailoring or the delicate drapery of the dresses as they glide down the runway. I like the bearing of a new pair of shoes and the comfort of my oldest, most worn jeans, which familiarly slip on, whispering "hello, old friend".
But what I really, really like about fashion is how it makes me feel. Or more specifically, who.
Because some days I can be Cher Horowitz in a tartan skirt, or Marty McFly in an orange body warmer; I can be a Spice Girl in a crop top and high ponytail, or Cinderella in a satin gown. The volatile nature of the changing trends is what I hate, and love, about fashion. It's a cult of buying, wearing and discarding over and over, but it’s always evolving. Always exciting. Always seeing into the future and delving back into the past.
For me, what is fashion? Fashion is a form of escapism, a way to be alive through a thousand different times and characters whilst keeping my feet firmly on 21st century English ground. It’s a constantly adapting bridge that has been woven and stitched to connect the abstract and the tangible. It can be an art form, a mask or a safety blanket. Fashion is whatever you want it to be.
So, what does fashion mean to you?