Fashion is one of the few things that make the human race unique. It is not something new but rather dates back thousands of years. Throughout this period, fashion has undergone all kinds of changes. The interesting thing is that some of these changes are unique to various world cultures as fashion developed independently for communities worldwide.
Are you wondering how did fashion evolve? When fashion started out, it was seen as a way of proclaiming wealth and fashion. Take the ancient Roman and Greeks as an example. Dressing for them was more than clothes. It was characterized by perfumes, jewelry, accessories, cosmetics, hairstyles, and beards. These would set apart the wealthiest members of the community.
Even though fashion still retains some of those things to a great extent, today it has evolved into something more powerful. The main role of fashion in the modern world is self-expression. Here is a brief look at how fashion has evolved over thousands of years.
The Egypt era fashion
We kick off with Egypt in our quest to find out how fashion has changed since this was amongst the earliest civilization recorded. Most of the clothes in the Egyptian period were made of cotton, mainly to keep cool in the scorching sun. According to historical records, there is evidence that the Egyptians applied makeup as a form of sunscreen.
While looking at how fashion trends have changed over the years, it is important to understand that jewelry still made an important part of Egyptian fashion. The jewelry was made out of precious metals and rare gems. The rich were often buried with such jewelry with the belief that they would require them in the afterlife.
The Roman era fashion
Romans were characterized by their strides made in trading with other civilizations across the known world. They imported dyes and spices from the Middle East and silks from China.
Roman society still regarded dressing as a sign of wealth and power. The wealthiest members of the society could spot colored togas. The women were fond of ankle-length garments known as stomas. Any disgraced woman was forbidden from such an outfit.
It was during Ancient Rome that the wig started making its way into fashion. The Emperor and Senators often wore wigs to keep up with the new trend.
The early modern fashion
Many of the fashion elements that we know today trace back to the early modern periods. These were the periods from 1600 to 1700. The period serves as a good look into how women’s fashion has evolved over the years.
The iconic figure in the fashion industry of the 1600s was Queen Elizabeth I of England. The Queen had great control over what the society could wear, and fines were imposed on those who bypassed existing guidelines.
The 1700s to 1800s were characterized by opulence. Mary Antoinette positioned herself as the fashion icon of this era. It was during this time that machines started perfecting fabrics, minimizing the human era. Nobility was also able to start dressing well. As the Industrial Revolution took shape, most people were able to afford to try out the latest fashion trends.
Looking at fashion today can help you comprehend how fashion affects society. Today’s fashion is evolving much faster than it ever did in the past. We note the emergence of high-end designers who release between two to four collections per year. There are also retail giants that continue to list hundreds of new items per day.
The millennials have remained an important generation for understanding how fashion shapes identity. As they demonstrated a pronounced buying power, we are seeing the re-emergence of 90s nostalgia-themed garments.