Fashion (ファッション)

Fashion (described as fashion in English, mode in French) refers to the style of clothes, hairstyle, the manner of make-up or outfits. Among them, it especially refers to clothes that are trendy among people.

The origin of the word

It originated from the word; "fashion," which means 'style' or 'trend' in English.

Fashion shows which showcase fashion trends are held around the world.

Fashion terms

Haute couture

It is a French word, and refers to 'tailored clothes for special orders.'
This is the so-called made-to-order, and in the fashion industry, it generally refers to the items of stores called the 'La Chambre Syndicate de la Couture Parisienne,' which belong to the associations in Paris that specialize in classy clothes.

Haute couture collections,' which are held in January and in July in Paris and Rome, are fashion shows in which only the members of La Chambre Syndicate de la Couture Parisienne and a few other maisons are allowed to attend and showcase their fashions.

Pret-a-porter

It means 'ready-made clothes' in French. In general, it is a word which refers to ready-made clothes designed and tailored by name designers.

Fashion shows called 'collections' are held between February and April, and between September and December, in order of Tokyo, New York, London, Mirano, and Paris.

Maison (fashion)

It means 'house, building' in French, but in the fashion industry, it is used in the sense of a company or shop. The shop of Haute couture ' is especially called "maison de couture."

Real clothes

Clothes that can be worn as everyday attire in contrast to artistic clothing that are far from everyday scene. This trend was not the trend created by designers but a big movement in the early 90's to create fashion that would be more familiar with consumers, focusing on clothes to be worn by common people. They have been associated with fast fashion, and global chain companies such as 'HM' or 'ZARA' started emerging.

Fashion color

This refers to the latest color trend in fashion and is the color which many people adopt for their fashion.

In a narrow sense, it refers to the color selected by the Intercolor (International Study Commission for Color) or the Japan Fashion Association. One year after the selection, the information on the fashion color is provided to the fashion industry or publishing companies. Then, products using these colors are manufactured.

Upstream sectors
The stage during which fabrics or yarns are produced from raw materials such as cotton, to be used as materials for products. Material manufacturers, textile manufacturers, fabric manufacturers and dyers are involved in this stage.

Middlestream sectors
It refers to the apparel makers that produce clothes from yarns and fabrics or manufacturers of other garments.

Retail sales
It refers to retail sellers displaying and selling products manufactured by apparel makers in store.

OK

It refers to clothes which were once available on the market, and after the purchaser gives up its ownership, second-hand clothes dealers collect and sell these clothes. It mainly refers to clothes produced within the last 50 years.
Clothes produced more than 50 years ago but less than 100 years ago are called 'vintage.'

Outlets

To sell goods with minor defect and surplus products at a price lower than that of regular products.
Goods sold in such stores are called 'outlet goods,' and shopping malls where such goods are sold are called 'outlet malls.'

Ura-Harajuku (Harajuku Back Street)

Ura-Harajuku is one of trendsetting areas in Japan which creates fashion trends. It is the common name of the area in the vicinity of Jingu-mae, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo (Shibuya Ward).

Hiroshi FUJIWARA is known as a trend setter.

Trad

Trad stands for traditional style, and is a generic term of styles including the American style, British traditional style, and sometimes the new traditional style unique to Japan.
It means 'traditional, orthodox.'
It often refers to the clothes with a basic design, which are not affected by trends, such as tailored suits or trench coats, or traditional materials that are used in clothes, such as wool or cashmere.

Fast fashion

A clothing style, in which timely fashion trends are adopted ahead of the times, yet provided at a low price as real clothes which can be worn every day. It is often used to refer to global inexpensive clothes chains like 'HM,' 'ZARA,' 'FOREVER 21,' which emerged around 2005, (and they tend to be compared with UNIQLO of Japan, which deals with inexpensive real clothes, but their business scale is larger than UNIQLO). Therefore, it can be said to be the fashion equivalent of fast food.

Western culture and fashion

As for the history of western clothes, refer to the history of clothes

Japan

As for the history of Japanese clothes (wafuku [Japanese traditional clothes]), refer to the history of wafuku

Westernized clothing style is widely available in Japan, and some people say it was directly brought about by the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States and Japan in 1858.

According to this theory, westernized clothing style became widespread mainly among officers or interpreters who had negotiations with foreigners in person after ports throughout Japan were opened due to the treaty.

For some period from when the Portuguese ship was tossed ashore on Tanegashima Island in 1543 to the closing of the country, western clothes were given to some feudal lords (daimyo). During the period of national isolation few western clothes were available, and in the end of the Edo period, they were not so rare in Dejima island in Nagasaki (the sole trading spot with foreign countries).

In 1864, the shogunate government, which raised an army for the Choshu Conquest due to Kinmon Incident, decided that military uniforms would be made in a western style. Jihe MORITA, a merchant of Kodenma-cho, took the order of 2,000 military uniforms, and created them through trial and error.

Manufacturing western clothes in a large number had never happened before this according to existing records. Besides, the hairstyle changed from the mage (topknot) style into a cropped head due to the free-hairstyle ordinance (danpatsu-rei).

For a while afterwards, rental shops or sales stores for western clothes appeared little by little across Japan. After the imperial instruction to change the uniforms for the army and bureaucrats into western style uniforms (edict of Dajokan [Grand Council of state] Number 399 'the western clothes shall be used as formal wear') was issued in 1871, the clothes of police officers, railway employees, and teachers were also westernized sequentially.

Among the victims of the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, the number of women wearing traditional Japanese kimono, which limited free movement, stood out. For that reason, 'Tokyo Clothes Association for Women and Children' was founded in the following year, 1924, and women's clothes were also westernized.

On September 21, 1927, the first fashion show in Japan was held at then Mitsukoshi Ginza Store. For this fashion show, designs were solicited from the public.

In addition, when the massive fire broke out at 'Shirokiya department store' (the predecessor of the former Tokyu Department Store Nihonbashi shop, and present day 'COREDO Nihonbashi') in Nihombashi (Chuo Ward, Tokyo), victims were mainly people wearing kimono. From here onwards, more and more department stores adopted uniforms in the western style for their employees. Furthermore, western clothing came to be spread among the common people little by little.

From the latter half of 1930's until the first half of 1940's, fabrics and clothes were strictly controlled under wartime regime, and the sales of department stores were sluggish.

In 1945, the ration ticket system of clothes was established. Clothes with unified standards, which were called kokuminfuku (national uniform [such as mandated for Japanese males in 1940]), were rationed, and people were forced to live with few clothes that were rationed. The supplied amounts were so few that many people made monpe (women's work pants) from kimono.

Japan, which was devastated by the war, came to be dependent on aid from the Allied Forces such as the United States after the defeat. On top of shortages of basic commodities such as food, common people, who didn't have enough clothes even in the black market, started to wear old clothes released from the General Headquarters of the Allied Powers in 1948. With the feeling of having been liberated from the war, people became attached to the old American clothes and the 'occupation force fashion' occurred, which was the first fashion trend after the war.

It was around 1951 when the control on chemical fibers including nylon was removed that clothes made from chemical fibers started being produced. The Japanese textile industry began to develop and manufacture chemical fibers including vinylon, Tetoron (the product name of polyester), and rayon from scratch.

In 1953, Christian Dior, who was a fashion designer and very successful in Europe at the time, visited Japan, and started to introduce fashion trends abroad. The clothes at the time were basically made-to order, and was haute couture centered on the made-to order clothes. However, due to the slump in the textile industry, it was difficult for common people to obtain the latest fashion.

In 1958, Pierre Cardin visited Japan. His visit was heralding the advent of of the mass production of pret-a-porter. At that time, the ratio of made-to order clothes to mass-produced ready-made clothes became close to 7:3. Thereafter, the age of mass consumption of clothes began in the 1960's. However, it was an age in which many people commonly wore mended clothes with patches as casual wears or work clothes at home.

Classified list of fashion items

Classified list of main items of clothes and outer wear (mainly for ladies)