Even though they are often used together, the term fashion differs from clothes and costume, where the first describes the material and technical garment, whereas the second has been relegated to special senses like fancy-dress or masquerade wear. Fashion instead describes the social and temporal system that "activates" dress as a social signifier in a certain time and context. Philosopher Georgio Agamben connects fashion to the current intensity of the qualitative moment, to the temporal aspect the Greek called kairos, whereas clothes belong to the quantitative, to what the Greek called chronos.[4]

The beginning in Europe of continual and increasingly rapid change in clothing styles can be fairly reliably dated. Historians, including James Laver and Fernand Braudel, date the start of Western fashion in clothing to the middle of the 14th century,[12][13] though they tend to rely heavily on contemporary imagery[14] and illuminated manuscripts were not common before the fourteenth century.[15] The most dramatic early change in fashion was a sudden drastic shortening and tightening of the male over-garment from calf-length to barely covering the buttocks,[16] sometimes accompanied with stuffing in the chest to make it look bigger.
(in clothing: = latest style) → Mode f; (back) in fashion → (wieder) modern; it’s the/all the fashion → es ist Mode/große Mode; to come into/go out of fashion → in Mode/aus der Mode kommen; a man of fashion → ein modischer Herr; the Paris fashions → die Pariser Mode; she always wears the latest fashions → sie ist immer nach der neuesten Mode gekleidet; fashions in women’s clothes → die Damenmode; to set a fashion → eine Mode aufbringen; the fashion world → die Welt der Mode
Anthropology, the study of culture and human societies, studies fashion by asking why certain styles are deemed socially appropriate and others are not. A certain way is chosen and that becomes the fashion as defined by a certain people as a whole, so if a particular style has a meaning in an already occurring set of beliefs that style will become fashion.[62] According to Ted Polhemus and Lynn Procter, fashion can be described as adornment, of which there are two types: fashion and anti-fashion. Through the capitalization and commoditisation of clothing, accessories, and shoes, etc., what once constituted anti-fashion becomes part of fashion as the lines between fashion and anti-fashion are blurred.[63]
There are many examples of cultural appropriation in fashion. In many instances, designers can be found using aspects of culture inappropriately, in most cases taking traditional clothing from middle eastern, African, and Hispanic culture and adding it to their runway fashion.[91] Some examples are in a 2018 Gucci runway show, white models wore Sikh headdresses, causing a lot of backlash. Victoria’s secret was also under fire for putting traditional native headdresses on their models during a lingerie runway show.

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Benefits of primary research is specific information about a fashion brand's consumer is explored. Surveys are helpful tools; questions can be open-ended or closed-ended. A negative factor surveys and interviews present is that the answers can be biased, due to wording in the survey or on face-to-face interactions. Focus groups, about 8 to 12 people, can be beneficial because several points can be addressed in depth. However, there are drawbacks to this tactic, too. With such a small sample size, it is hard to know if the greater public would react the same way as the focus group.[48] Observation can really help a company gain insight on what a consumer truly wants. There is less of a bias because consumers are just performing their daily tasks, not necessarily realizing they are being observed. For example, observing the public by taking street style photos of people, the consumer did not get dressed in the morning knowing that would have their photo taken necessarily. Through observation patterns can be seen, helping trend forecasters know what their target market needs and wants.
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
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