There has been great debate about politics' place in fashion and traditionally, the fashion industry has maintained a rather apolitical stance. Considering the U.S.'s political climate in the surrounding months of the 2016 presidential election, during 2017 fashion weeks in London, Milan, New York, Paris and São Paulo amongst others, many designers took the opportunity to take political stances leveraging their platforms and influence to reach the masses.
Additionally, there is a long history of fashion in West Africa. Cloth was used as a form of currency in trade with the Portuguese and Dutch as early as the 16th Century. Locally produced cloth and cheaper European imports were assembled into new styles to accommodate the growing elite class of West Africans and resident gold and slave traders. There was an especially strong tradition of cloth-weaving in Oyo and the areas inhabited by the Igbo people.
Although aspects of fashion can be feminine or masculine, some trends are androgynous. The idea of unisex dressing originated in the 1960s when designers such as Pierre Cardin and Rudi Gernreich created garments, such as stretch jersey tunics or leggings, meant to be worn by both males and females. The impact of unisex expands more broadly to encompass various themes in fashion including androgyny, mass-market retail, and conceptual clothing. The fashion trends of the 1970s, such as sheepskin jackets, flight jackets, duffel coats, and unstructured clothing influenced men to attend social gatherings without a tuxedo jacket and to accessorize in new ways. Some men's styles blended the sensuality and expressiveness despite the conservative trend, the growing gay-rights movement and an emphasis on youth allowed for a new freedom to experiment with style, fabrics such as wool crepe, which had previously been associated with women's attire was used by designers when creating male clothing.
Modern Westerners have a wide number of choices available in the selection of their clothes. What a person chooses to wear can reflect his or her personality or interests. When people who have high cultural status start to wear new or different clothes, a fashion trend may start. People who like or respect these people become influenced by their personal style and begin wearing similarly styled clothes. Fashions may vary considerably within a society according to age, social class, generation, occupation, and geography and may also vary over time. If an older person dresses according to the fashion young people use, he or she may look ridiculous in the eyes of both young and older people. The terms fashionista and fashion victim refer to someone who slavishly follows current fashions.
The pace of change accelerated considerably in the following century, and women and men's fashion, especially in the dressing and adorning of the hair, became equally complex. Art historians are therefore able to use fashion with confidence and precision to date images, often to within five years, particularly in the case of images from the 15th century. Initially, changes in fashion led to a fragmentation across the upper classes of Europe of what had previously been a very similar style of dressing and the subsequent development of distinctive national styles. These national styles remained very different until a counter-movement in the 17th to 18th centuries imposed similar styles once again, mostly originating from Ancien Régime France. Though the rich usually led fashion, the increasing affluence of early modern Europe led to the bourgeoisie and even peasants following trends at a distance, but still uncomfortably close for the elites – a factor that Fernand Braudel regards as one of the main motors of changing fashion.
In the mid to end of the 1900s, African American style changed and developed with the times. Around the 1950s is really when the black community was able to create their own distinct styles. The term “Sunday attire” was coined, communities emphasized "Correct" dress, it was especially important when "stepping out" for social occasions with community members, a habit that continues in the early 2000s. Hair-dos and hairstyles also became a fashion statement, for example the "conk" which is hair that is slightly flattened and waved. Afros also emerged and they were often used to symbolize the rejection of white beauty standards at the time. Around the 1970s is when flashy costumes began to appear and black artists really started to define their presences through fashion. Around this time is also when movements started using fashion as one of their outlets.
Indeed, for the master bath, Sui chased down poppy-patterned tiles from a company in New Zealand; a shower curtain was fashioned out of black lace sample fabric left over from one of her collections. — Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "Tour Anna Sui’s Stunning Greenwich Village Apartment," 7 Aug. 2019 Particles of moon rock were fashioned onto plaques that included the flag of the recipient country or U.S. state and delivered in the early 1970s. — Dallas News, "How Ross Perot put up $5 million so U.S. agents could stage a sting to recover a stolen moon rock," 14 July 2019 When the home was first built, its rooms were fashioned with only a handful of windows, all quite small, in the name of keeping in heat during the cold months. — Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "Entrepreneur, and beekeeper, Claire Marin opens the door to her home near New York’s Catskill Mountains," 8 July 2019 The wooden statue was fashioned out of a tree with a chain saw by a local folk artist, Ales Zupevc, known as Max. — Palko Karasz, BostonGlobe.com, "Melania Trump gets a statue near her hometown, carved by chain saw," 6 July 2019 Toile de Jouy, a house staple, was fashioned into zip-front jumpsuits and shorts with matching button-front shirts. — Roxanne Robinson, The Hollywood Reporter, "Inside the Red Carpet-Ready Dior Spring Men's Show," 22 June 2019 Cannabidiol oil, extracted from hemp seeds, has been fashioned into pills, infused lotions and other over-the-counter products. — Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "Boulder company’s new 400,000-square-foot facility in Broomfield “will be the center of the CBD world”," 20 June 2019 Her hair was expertly fashioned to look like Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. — Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "From Kylie Jenner to Kiernan Shipka, Here's The Best Celebrity Style You Missed This Weekend," 17 June 2019 Obsidian, highly prized for its smooth finish, was fashioned in this room and used to create numerous objects, including mirrors. — National Geographic, "This Stone Age settlement took humanity's first steps toward city life," 26 Mar. 2019