Friday, 16 October 2015

Fashion X History

If history did not go the way it has, what would fashion be?
Fashion for me is the way someone can present themselves, identify themselves and be the unique individual we are all meant to be. Many people may not be interested in fashion or think it's worth learning much about but the fact of the matter is everyone is involved.

There is a small individual book store in Nottingham called “Ideas on Paper” which specialise in individual books, magazines and journals…if you are ever in Nottingham be sure to go and check it out, there's something for everyone guaranteed!

I bought a book called ‘100 ideas that changed fashion’, and since reading it I've begun to think about the huge impact history has had on fashion.

From the beginning of couture, which would not have started if it was not for Charles Frederick Worth and his fashion house that he set up at the age of 20 in 1858. Pastel colours to bold prints, as a method for women to show self expression. Global influences made a big impact on fashion and broadened people horizons on the possibilities that garments could hold. With affordable airline flights in the 70s becoming more accessible, world travel led to fashion influences and cultures to flourish in fashion around the world. Ideas such as layering clothes, embroidered waistcoats led to the luxury hippie aesthetic. Now this one surprised me the most, it was a scandal and shocking for women to wear trousers in the 30s and 40s. (Girls imagine no jeans, leggings or work trousers….what would we wear!!) During world war two it was acceptable for women to wear trousers for work in the fields and factories but after that, no trousers for women-it was unnatural and unattractive. It was not until Yves Saint Laurent came to the rescue in 1966 and came out with Le Smoking ( sleek tailored trouser suit), which was controversial at first but with the elegant style it became acceptable for women to embrace the comfort clothes could bring. 

Wars lead to changes in trends, as citizens became more exposed to images of the military, of course the influence trickled into catwalk shows… we all are guilty of owning a military style item of clothing! it was not just design and pattern, but also practicality of clothing. More pockets for storage, belts and zip jumpsuits for quick access to put on over nightwear in the event of an air raid.

So its now hard to tell if fashion is ‘new’ anymore or just a simple act of recycling the old and adjusting to become an adaption of the past. The clothes we wear today are a consequence and inspiration of the culture, events, music and people of the past. Trends have become smaller over the last decade in comparison to the ground breaking fashion trends of the past. I’d say without history and those involved, where would we be now. So next time you buy a new top, jacket or pair of shoes, think were they would have been inspired from or who inspired them!


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