Decoding Fashion

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When a fashionable woman or a dapper-looking man walks into a room, all eyes turn in their direction. Ever wondered why?

The answer lies in their demeanour. In other words, despite the in-vogue dressing trends they showcase, their style and how they carry themselves make them the cynosure of all eyes. Therefore, style is integral to fashion, as it is related to possessing a great attitude, conveying self-expression and generally being comfortable in one’s skin. Fashion means different things to different people, but connoisseurs believe it is typically a fine blend of fashion and style that brings out the wearer’s beauty.

Popular and primary types of fashion design

Couture and Haute Couture – Couture is objet d’art (unique), and any fashion piece is made by hand from start to finish or from top to bottom. Alternatively, haute couture is custom-made high-fashion clothing, also called high-dressing, made by the atelier (studio) controlled by the French government.

Luxury Fashion- Premium pricing, high-quality, limited edition, expresses status and is long-lasting due to its futuristic appeal.

Ready-to-wear Fashion – In fashion jargon, it is also known as prêt-à-porter and casually referred to as “off-the-rack” or “off-the-peg.” These are finished garments in standardised sizes displayed on the shelves of retail stores.

Fast Fashion – Trendy and affordable, it has gained popularity in the last couple of decades, and its focus is to produce high volumes of clothing. This permits purchasers to opt for affordable clothes.


Noticeably, fashion has a shelf life (classic clothing is an exception). More so in developed countries, as people like to change their wardrobes every three to four months to keep up with the latest trends. Simultaneously, fashion is also cyclical. For instance, if you ditched your low-waist jeans a few seasons ago, you might regret it now because they are back in fashion. The thumb rule is that the fashion cycle returns after every 20 years.

Want to break free

This falls in the category of avant-garde (experimental and unorthodox) fashion. The designer creates something that has never been worn before. Like a man draped in a saree or a skirt, or go bold in terms of hues. It is all about unconventional clothing.

How pop culture influences fashion

Inspired by art, music, films/TV and icons pop culture fashion has been followed since the 1960s and is evolving. In modern parlance, it elicits the emotional response—FOMO (fear of missing out).

Fashion in India

Global fashion began to emerge in India in the late 1980s and 1990s, although the country has an ancient tradition in clothing design. The trendsetter in fashion was the Hindi cinema, but the pioneers were designers such as Satya Paul, the late Rohit Khosla, Tarun Tahiliani and Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla, to name a few. The latter became prominent Bollywood couturiers creating bespoke luxury clothing.

The beautiful thing about fashion is that it inspires individuals to experiment with silhouettes, raise self-esteem and follow their hearts. Still, a person must remember that he should wear what enhances his personality and not chase the latest trends blindly. All said and done, it is the person who wears the clothes and not vice versa.

By Vasundhara Sanger

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