Fashion is in many ways an extreme of cultural activity. Although fashion is almost synonymous with arbitrary, short-term changes, long-term trends can be discerned which are indications of cultural conditions. Fashion is therefore influenced strongly by all three factors: social norms, individual self-expression, and technology. Within the latitude given by these norms, fashion also gives a place for individual expression. Fashion in modernism depends on social norms, individual self-expression, technical opportunities, and the initiative of the fashion designer. The effort of modernism has been to break tradition, leading to claims of the priority of the individual over social norms. The use of labels for display is also an example of another aspect of modernism in fashion design the obliteration of the distinction between visual and verbal presentation. Social identity manifested in a wealth of messages corresponds better to the social conditions of modernism than the older sumptuary conditions based on social class.