Human beings are regarded to be the most beautiful creation of God. Man is the most intelligent creature on the Earth possessing the sense of aesthetics. Aesthetic man always tries to make his surrounding look good.
At the same time it is his constant effort to look good that drives him to dress properly or have a nice hairdo. This innate sense of beauty, coupled with innovation, gave rise to the concept of fashion.
One may think that fashion is a twenty-first century phenomenon. But a close look at the subject will reveal that fashion has come into being since man started leading a civilised life.
One can cite plenty of examples of fashion in the ancient period if he carefully inspects the sculptures excavated from the remnants of the riparian civilisations throughout the world. From the seals and figurines found in the ruins of our very own Harappan civilisation a definite conclusion can be drawn that at that time people used to wear clothes having different designs.
Again, the women used to wear jewellery, both men and women used to flaunt different hair-styles.The same feature is in way off Mesopotamia. Hence, it concludes that ancient people did have a craze for fashion and they imbibed the fashion of the other civilisations with whom they had trade relations.
The legendary Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, is said substitute water with milk for bathing. The trend gradually experienced changes with the passage of time.
Later the kings and queens were seen wearing colorful, beautifully decorated clothes, various accessories and ornaments, studded with precious stones. The portraits of the European queens do show how beautiful \v the flowing gowns they used to wear.
The nineteenth and twentieth centuries do speak of the fashionable Indians. Can anybody imagine Raja Rammohan Roy without that impressive headgear, or Rabindranath Tagore wearing something else other than that famous long flowing gown? To be precise the Tagores were the pioneers in the field of fashion in the nineteenth century, others used to follow the trend set by them.
Fashion does not only speak of the dress, but also the accessories. The Japanese fan and umbrella, the pocket watch of the Europeans or the decorative, trendy walking sticks of the Indians are examples of fashionable accessories. The Nagra shoe was once in vogue among the elite Bengalis.
The reference of the decorated palanquins, the Bajras or the horse-drawn carriages marks the essence of the age.
After a long discussion about our fashionable ancestors one must sneak peek into the greenroom of today’s fashion-what people understand by the term fashion. The trend has experienced a whole lot of changes.
Ethnic wears have given way to a fusion of the fashion of the East and the West. Again, the emergence of unisex clothes is noteworthy-the same dress can be worn by both the male and the female.
An important point of difference between today’s fashion and the fashion of the yesteryear is the commercialisation of fashion. Previously, it was one choice to follow a trend. But today fashion has come up as an industry where the designers create new fashions every other day. Fashion shows are frequently arranged in the cities to make people aware of the fashion in vogue.
This has given birth to a new form of profession and modelling. The models are tin professional persons who catwalk in the ramp wearing the dresses prepared by the fashion-designers. As a result, fashion designing as well as modelling are nowadays being taught in different institutes as formal courses.
The media gives prime importance to this industry which is implied from the regular fashion updates in the weekend supplements of almost every single newspaper. Even some television channels have been launched, just to grow a sense of awareness about fashion in the national as well as international level.
The fashion icons are no less important in the discussion on fashion. Mostly actors and actresses become the style icons because of their appeals. At times they turn out to be trend-setters of fashion. A funky hairdo or a weird beard often drives the youth to follow them and hence start a trend. But a thing that requires attention is the speed with which the trend in fashion is changing today.
It is so volatile that yesterday it was fashionable to keep o long hair, today it is considered to be outdated and a shaven head is the go of the day. So, it is better to have original style, not fashion as all around us. As Tagore said, Fashion is the mash, style is your original beauty (Sesher Kabita).