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Fashion Cycle in Semiotics

Fashion Lifecycle Digital Academy

#Dressing, #style, #fashion

This article explains the fashion trends as seen in from a Semiotics perspective

The history of fashion goes back a long time. The meaning of clothes  has changed during the centuries, from pure representation of status to expression of self #secondskin.

However the fundamental meaning behind the style we adopt have remained unchanged and as of today it can be traced back to one single word “belonging“.

Whether you are a teenager, a rich entrepreneur, a fashionista, an engineer or else, what you want from your dress is to make you acceptable among your peers.

In other words we can say that what makes you accepted by your group of reference is IN and what makes you not acceptable is OUT.

The other variable in this scenario is time

As technology, climate, cultural and political situation changes,  fashion design and taste changes accordingly and consequently. Therefore what was IN six months ago will probably be OUT in twelve months.

At the same time there will be some classic pieces that will never go out of fashion, although I would say this is pretty rare. More likely some clothes in your wardrobe will go out-of-fashion and then come back IN and if you are lucky you will be able to wear them again.

In the diagram below, the fashion lifecycle is explained with the aid of a semiotic square in which the horizontal elements are opposites (or contrary), the vertical elements are complementary and diagonal elements are contradictory. 

Fashion is the eternal return of the new —  Walter Benjamin

Another use of the Semiotic Quadrant is to analyse the motivation behind choices of fashion. In the below quadrant we analyse the different use of fashion from protection from cold and weather to self expression.

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