Fashion is an ever-changing field, a dynamic entity characterized by its fluid nature. It is, however, often misrepresented in popular culture for the static, one-dimensional image of what fashion is. This misperception can actually hinder progress in fashion design and the depiction of fashion on people’s skin.
Fashion is the study of dress and clothing as a social process. Fashion is a form of autonomy and self-expression in a certain cultural moment and context and at a certain time, in a certain environment. In its broadest sense, the word fashion essentially means a style defined by the fashion business as what is fashionable at that moment. Throughout history, there have been numerous definitions of fashion. In the late nineteenth century, high fashion was associated with French Symbolism, whereas in the early twentieth century, it was criticized by German Expressionists for being over-stated and overly ornate.
High fashion was founded in nineteenth century France by a group of designers and artists called haute couture. The term haute couture is now commonly used to describe any type of fashion that is both feminine and elaborate, and is aimed at women. Some of the earliest designs were created by a small group of women who were known as the “maison rouge”, or fashionable women. They were closely connected to salon practices, which were prevalent in the fashionable, intellectual circles of the time and were attended by members of the haute couture elite.
In the late nineteenth century, the name “high fashion” began to be used to describe fashions that were more popular among the elite, and which began to cater to middle class citizens who were interested in fashion for more than vanity reasons. The word high fashion became synonymous with wealth and opulence and was adopted by wealthy women who sought out these elite fashion trends to improve their social status and raise their economic status. These fashions became especially popular with middle-class women during the late Victorian era.
The term “high fashion” was applied to a number of different clothing styles that were common during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. These fashions included dresses, trousers, suits, cuffs, shoes, stockings, scarves, gloves, hats, lingerie, camisoles, corsets, cuffsocks, gowns, tuxedos, evening gowns, suits, and tuxedos. There was a vast variety of materials, colors, sizes, cuts, patterns, and designs that were used in order to create and maintain the fashionable looks that were characteristic of the haute couture style. The most popular colors for these fashions were light yellow, white, off-white, pink, red, burgundy, blue, mauve, beige, dark green, cream, and light blue.
The fashion industry has changed quite a bit since Victorian times when it started, but there are still many beautiful and timeless fashions that are popular among fashionable women. High fashion clothing is also not gender defined as it is commonly worn by both men and women. All types of people, regardless of social status or financial means, wear high fashion clothing to look their best.