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04
Dec

The History of Fashion Design

Written by Fiona Queens. Posted in Fashion

The history of fashion design and the development of the fashion industry began in the 19th century, when Charles Frederick Worth sewed his label into the garments he created. Before becoming successful, Charles Frederick was a draper in Paris. Most of his clothing design and actual creation was handled by anonymous seamstresses and tailors. The designer became so successful that he could dictate his customer what to wear.
The History of Fashion Design The History of Fashion Design Picture

Because the history of fashion started in Paris, most of the designs originated in the city throughout the early 20th century. Fashion magazines from London and many countries sent their editors to Paris fashion shows, while department stores sent buyers to purchase garments and copy them. Back then they would openly steal the trim details and style lines of others. At this time in the history of fashion, there was no defined division between ready-to-wear and haute couture. Moreover, the modes of production were not even close from being competitors and co-existed in houses where seamstresses moved freely between ready-made and made-to-measure.

The first real fashion shows were organized in the 20th century by Jeanne Paquin, one of the first female couturiers. She was also the first couturier in Paris to open branches in Buenos Aires, Madrid and London. Other influential designers of the time were Mariano Fortuny and Jaques Doucet. Doucet was great when it came to superimposing pastel colors. His elaborate gossamer dresses reminded of the Impressionist shimmers, so his customers never lost the taste for his fluid lines and diaphanous materials. Many have tried to become as grand as Doucet, a designer with immense taste, but rarely reached his level of success.

The History of Fashion Design The History of Fashion Design Picture

After the First World War, the history of fashion design changed. Corsets and bouffant coiffures were abandoned, bobs and dresses above-the knee were in. Some women borrowed their clothes from men, and although couturiers were reluctant about this androgynous style, they soon embraced in. Around 1925, a new waistless and bustles silhouette known as the flapper style or the garçonne look became popular among young women. Designers such as Coco Chanel and Jean Patou popularized this sporty, unusual look.

During the 30’s, the public began to feel the effects of the Great Depression, so designers kept their models more modest and sober. The fashion moved away from the daring to the more feminine silhouette, restoring the waistline and dropping dresses to nearly ankle-length. Slim-fitting day dresses and backless evening gowns gave the female body a more neo-classical shape, so toned, athletic bodies were in.

The History of Fashion Design The History of Fashion Design Picture

After the World War II, Paris was no longer the global center of fashion. In the 50s the focus of fashion changed as a new youth style emerged. Between 1960 and 1969 the structure of fashion crumbled. Starting from the 60s onward, there would never be just one prevailing fashion trend, but a great variety of styles linked to all the influenced other areas have on people’s life.

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