All the Rage
A History Of Fashion And Trends
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Denmark's Prince Hamlet, the melancholy hero of Shakespeare's tragic play, was described by the maiden Ophelia as 'the glass of fashion' - the mirror from which fashion takes its cues. What the Bard implied, and what historians regard as axiomatic, is that fashion follows power.
The pace of fashion in every age has been set by the deft, often powerful touch of men and women who, by virtue of place, personality or some special resonance with the spirit of the time, are widely emulated. Monarchs have always driven fashion before them.
The stylistic dictates of a potent king or queen once had the force of meteor strikes, and even modern royals have exerted great influence on prevailing notions of what is fashionable.
Today, legions of trend setters clamour for attention, their myriad offerings less like the blazing passage of a heavenly body than the shards of brilliance in a kaleidoscope - intermittent, shattered, and ephemeral.