Fashion is a general term that encompasses a variety of styles that change rapidly from day to day. It has been characterized as an expression of cultural values and social attitudes, often involving clothing. It is a form of art and can be expressed in many different ways from understated whispers to high energy screams. It can also be an extension of self-esteem and an expression of individuality.
Fashions may vary widely within a culture depending on age, gender, social class, generation, occupation, and geography, with even more variation over time. A person who slavishly follows current fashions is referred to as a fashionista or a fashion victim. Fashions may also be cyclical and trends that were popular in the past are expected to return into fashion again, such as bell-bottom jeans that have re-appeared after decades of obscurity.
People who are considered fashionable often inspire new fashions and can have a large impact on the way other people dress. This is especially true in the case of celebrity or other people with a high cultural status. Their style can influence those lower in their cultural status who will copy them, either as a sign of approval or simply to keep up with the latest trends.
The media plays an important role in the development of fashion, with magazines such as Vogue (founded in Manhattan in 1892 and still in publication) providing editorial critique, guidelines, and commentary on trends and fashions. More recently, the Internet and social media have provided new channels through which individuals can share their personal fashions with a wide audience.