Notebook, 1993-



Shape . . . . Act of Making . . . . To Fit . . . . Adapt . . . . Contrive . . . . Style . . . . To give shape or form to . . . . Mode of action or operation . . . . Manner . . . . Method . . . . Custom, usage, or style . . . . Fashion is the general term and applies to any way of dressing, behaving, writing, or performing that is favored at any one time or place [the current fashion].

The Columbia Encyclopedia
Fashion, in dress, [is]the prevailing mode affecting modifications in costume. Styles in Asia have been characterized by freedom from change, and Greek and Roman dress preserved the same flowing lines for centuries. Fashion in dress and interior decoration may be said to have originated in Europe about the 14th cent. New styles were set by monarchs and prominent personages and were spread by travelers, by descriptions in letters, and, in costume, by the exchange of the fashion doll. The first fashion magazine is thought to have originated c.1586 in Frankfurt, Germany; it was widely imitated, gradually superseding fashion dolls. Godey's Lady's Book, established in the United States in 1830, remained popular for decades. In interior decoration the influence of designers, such as Chippendale, Sheraton, and Robert and James Adam, was apparent in the 18th cent., but in costume the only influential designer at that period was Rose Bertin, milliner and dressmaker to Marie Antoinette. In Paris - the leading arbiter of fashion since the Renaissance - the fading influence of celebrities was coincident with the rise of designer-dressmakers in the mid-19th cent. Paris haute couture has remained preeminent in setting fashions for women's dress. Designers such as Charles Frederick Worth, Gabrielle Chanel, Lucien Lelong, Elsa Schiaparelli, Cristobal Balenciaga, Christian Dior, and Yves Saint-Laurent have had fashion houses in Paris. In recent years such American designers as Norman Norell, Mainbocher, James Galanos, Bill Blass, and Pauline Trigère have competed successfully with Parisian designers. London, in the early 19th cent., became the center for men's fashions under the leadership of Regency dandies such as Beau Brummell. In the mid-1960s, London was again for a time the center of fashion influence. Fashions are adapted for mass production by the garment industries of New York, Los Angeles, and other cities. The 1970s and 80s saw the beginning of more divergent trends in fashion. This was the result of the increasing popularity of ready-to-wear collections by major designers, which made fashionable label-conscious dressing possible for the middle class. Designers began to license their names and put their marks on objects ranging from clothes to cars to perfumes. Ethnic-inspired looks and the punk style enjoyed a period of popularity. The look of luxuriance that emerged in the 1980s is being countered in the 1990s with the production of classic understated clothes.

Bibliography: See F. C. C. Boucher, 20,000 Years of Fashion (tr. 1967); Ruth Lynam, An Illustrated History of the Great Paris Designers and Their Creations (1972); J. Anderson Black and Madge Garland, A History of Fashion (1980); Michael and Airane Batterberry, Fashion: The Mirror of History, (1982); James Laver, Costume and Fashion: A Concise History (1982); Mary Tranquillo, Styles of Fashion (1984).

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Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary:
n [ME facioun, Fasoun shape, manner, fr. MF Faccedilon, fr. L faction-, factio act of making, faction, fr. facere to make - more at Do] [14c] 1a: the make or form of something b archaic: Kind, Sort 2a: a distinctive or peculiar and often habitual manner or way [he will, after his sour __, tell you -Shak.] b: mode of action or operation [assembled in an orderly __] 3a: a prevailing custom, usage, or style b [1]: the prevailing style [as in dress] during a particular time [2]: a garment in such a style [always wears the latest __s] c: social standing or prominence esp. as signalized by dress or conduct [men and women of __] -after a fashion: in an approximate or rough way [became an artist after a fashion]. -Syn. Fashion, Style, Mode, Vogue, Fad, Rage, Craze mean the usage accepted by those who want to be up-to-date. Fashion is the general term and applies to any way of dressing, behaving, writing, or performing that is favored at any one time or place [the current fashion]. Style often implies a distinctive fashion adopted by people of taste [a media baron used to traveling in style]. Mode suggests the fashion of the moment among those anxious to appear elegant and sophisticated [slim bodies are the mode at this resort]. Vogue stresses the wide acceptance of a fashion [short skirts are back in vogue]. Fad suggests caprice in taking up or in dropping a fashioin [last year's fad is over]. Rage and Craze stress intense enthusiasm in adopting a fad [Cajun food was the rage nearly everywhere for a time] [crossword puzzles once seemed just a passing craze but have lasted]. -Syn see in addition Method.

2 Fashion vt Fashioned; fashioning 1a: to give shape or form to: Mold b: Alter, Transform c: to mold into a particular character by influencing or training d: to make or construct usu. with the use of imagination and ingenuity [__ a lamp from an old churn] 2: Fit, Adapt 3 obs: Contrive - Fashioner

[Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition. Springfield, MA, USA: Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1995.]



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