When, how and why do clothes become fashion? Fashion is more than mere clothing. It is a moment of invention, a distillation of desire, a reflection of a zeitgeist. It is also a business relying on an intricate network of manufacture, marketing and retail. Fashion is both medium and message but it does not explain itself. It requires language and images for its global mediation. It develops from the prescience of the designer and is dependent on acceptance by observers and wearers alike. When Clothes Become Fashion explores the structures and strategies which underlie fashion innovation, how fashion is perceived and the point at which clothing is accepted or rejected as fashion. The book provides a clear theoretical framework for understanding the world of fashion - its aesthetic premises, plurality of styles, performative impulses, social qualities and economic conditions.