Fashion is an independent form of autonomy and self-expression in a given time and location and in a given context, of clothes, footwear, accessories, makeup, haircut, and other body postures. The word also means a fashion determined by the fashion industry as what is fashionable at any given point of time. It usually describes clothes of mass production for commercial purposes, as in fashion magazines, or of a popular culture generally. However, it can also be applied to describe fashions pursued by people who consider themselves as artists or who have artistic ambitions.
For instance, high fashion which is expressed in the work of designers such as Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, or Cartier is a relatively static form of fashion, one in which the design cycle is generally the same. High fashion designers do not move beyond the boundaries of what has been popularised as high fashion over time. Consequently, there is a tendency for high fashion designers to have a rather static aesthetic or style, whereas new talents to express themselves more explicitly and freely in new materials, with consequences that are both surprising and disconcerting for those who are used to fashionable garments being both fashionable and highly stylised. High fashion designers may, for example, adopt a rather haughty and metropolitan style of dressing, whilst new voices may be bolder, more playful, or more adventurous in their designs.
New designers working in the field of fashion generally have very little or no experience of design for commercial applications. They may have textile designs, for example, but it is rare to see fashion designers that have designed textile products for industrial applications. Commercial fashion shows are designed to present a range of designs made from a range of materials, in order to present a full palette of garments, accessories and so on, that can be used for advertising and marketing purposes. At fashion shows, it is always possible to get designers to test out their own designs. This can give a designer a better feel for the commercial market and help them to make better commercial decisions.