Whether you believe it’s the signified leading to the signifier or vice versa, one thing is for sure- semiotics/semiology- the study of signs & symbols is still a relevant concept today- long after the days of Saussure and Barthes.
The true question that I believe we are continually creating the notion as whether a visual can ultimately supplement for language? Linguistically, one is capable of creating these series of visuals to verbiage. I believe that as we continue to develop our technological advancements in image editing, vector art, & animation, among other mediums, cross referenced with marketing, graphic design, and branding. Companies today are able to appeal to the consumer with idealism- so much that it can be a certain color or font that is associated with classicism or related to as an icon. ( Such as Coca Cola)
I feel the current state of the fashion climate reveals a new stage of development that closely mirrors the poststructuralist (http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3045790?uid=3739560&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21101671076883) movement in where the sign, signifer, and signified no longer correlates the same way anymore. Fashion is ultimately a dynamic art and architecture that we communicate each other with every day. It once differentiated us from different levels of society, now it determines mainly what subculture that we associate with. Whether it be Converses, Jimmy Choos, or Uggs, you convey a message by the signifiers you adorn yourself with. The codes that lead to the overall picture that you either consciously or subconsciously portray create a bio of yourself within a glance- what mood you are in, what part of your day you are in , etc.
Our sense of iconographic clues leads to these messages or non-messages the wearer is eluding to. Since the beginning of civilization, technology and clothing have heavily relied on each other. Adding functionality such as pockets, buttons, and zippers is a prime example of that while one could also argue color and fabric innovation as key to the development of technology in all aspects.