Modern Influence of Fashion
La mode is the French word for fashion, and many scholars believe there is a link between la
mode (fashion) and la modernité (modernity, or the stylistic qualities of what is modern). Certainly, the
number of people following fashion increased greatly in the modern era, especially beginning in the
nineteenth century, due to the spread of democracy and the rise of industrialization. The later
nineteenth century witnessed both the mass-production of ready-to-wear clothing and also the
development in Paris of the haute couture. Although most dressmakers then were women, some of the
most famous early couturiers were men, such as Charles Frederick Worth. Other famous Paris couturiers
of the twentieth century include Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent.
Fashion Through the Ages
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Fashion is most often thought of as a phenomenon of the Western world from the late Middle Ages
onward; but fashion-oriented behavior existed in at least some other societies and historical periods,
such as Tang Dynasty China (618-907) and Heian Period Japan (795-1185). For example, at the eleventh-
century Japanese court, it was a term of praise to describe something as imamekashi ("up-to-date"
or "fashionable"). A regular pattern of stylistic change with respect to dress and interior decoration
existed in Europe by the fourteenth century. The first fashion magazine is thought to have appeared in
about 1586 in Frankfurt, Germany. By the seventeenth century, Paris was the capital of European
fashion, and the source of most new styles in women's dress. By the eighteenth century, however,
fashions in men's clothing tended to originate in London.
Ready to Wear Vs Haute Fashion
It is popularly believed that there is a great difference between high fashion and