Fashion, or clothing style, is always changing. Fashion is never permanent. Long skirts, short skirts, pants for women, make-up for men — these are some of the fashions that come in and out of style. A style that is popular one year is out of style the next.
In the middle of the eighteenth century some of the most fashionable rich young men in Britain copied the latest Italian fashions. They wore extravagant clothes, lots of make-up to look pale and high wigs that were powdered and tied with ribbons.
In Europe at the end of the eighteenth century women's dresses began to get wider and their hair began to get longer. The widest dresses measured nearly two metres, making it difficult to move around and sit down. To make themselves prettier, some women had enormous hairstyles. These were often decorated with flowers, feathers and even fruit!
After the First World War the clothes of the swinging 1920s shocked many people. Fashfans for women became more relaxed and freer than before. Their hair became much shorter and dresses were not as long and wide as before. Their clothes became brighter and less formal, to match the new music and dances like the Charleston.
Punk fashions were as aggressive as punk music, which arrived in the 1970s. Punks chose the less conventional hairstyles possible. They cut their hair in strange ways and often dyed it brightly. They usually wore large boots, torn jeans and painted leather jackets.
In many countries today people wear modern fashions most of the time. They sometimes wear their traditional clothing on special days such as holidays. For example, in Japan people often wear kimonos, or long silk dresses on New Year's Day. Yet fashion is more than clothing. If you look at fashion magazines, you see many tall, slim models. These models show that height and weight are an important part of fashion. Many people admire fashion models and wish that they could look more like them. As long as people have the desire to be beautiful, there will be fashion. There will always be people who follow the latest styles because they want to look their best and be more attractive. These people think that their appearance is very important. They will spend much of their time and money trying to look like the ideal man or woman.
Many people, especially young people, take no notice of the clothes the designers produce. They wear things which express their ideas and feelings about life. If a boy has very short, almost shaven hair, people expect him to have right wing politics. But boys with very long hair are thought to have left wing politics. A boy who wears a leather jacket covered in bits of metal will probably ride a motorbike. A girl who wears Laura Ashley dresses will probably have middle-class ideas.
Some young people, of course, have fun with all the latest "street styles". They cut their hair into strange shapes, wear lots of cheap jewellery or paint their lips blue. These "street styles" come and go. But a lot of young people try to look as clean and tidy as possible. Clothes with a sporty look are popular. They make people look healthy and energetic.
Street styles are not created by the fashion designers. In fact, the fashion designers often use ideas from street fashions when their own designs are made. But some leaders of British fashion have enough ideas of their own. One of them is Jean Muir, whose designs let her be one of the best designers.
|pants — брюки|
permanent — постоянный
make-up — макияж
pale — бледный
wig — парик
to be powdered — быть напудренным
ribbon — лента
enormous hairstyles — огромные прически
feather — перо
to match — подходить
silk — шелковый
height and weight — рост и вес
|appearance — внешность |
shaven hair — выбритые волосы
left wing — левое крыло
leather jacket — кожаная куртка
middle-class ideas — идеи
strange shape — странная форма
cheap jewellery — дешевые украшения
sporty look — спортивный вид
to come and go — приходить и уходить
fashion designer — модельер
1. Why is fashion never permanent?
2. What happened to women's dresses at the end of the eighteenth century in Europe?
3. Why did women have enormous hairstyles at the end of the eighteenth century?
4. What do you know about fashion after the First World War?
5. What do you know about punk fashion?
6. Why are fashion magazines published?
7. What do you know about teen fashion?
8. What sort of clothes do you like to wear and why?
9. What do you know about "street styles"?
10. Are there any victims of "fashion victimization" among your friends?