Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

We all live in a world where fashion is the center of attraction and even distraction. Fashion is the style and custom prevalent at a given time. In its most common usage however, "fashion" describes the popular clothing style. Many fashions are popular in many cultures at any given time. The terms "fashionable" and "unfashionable" were employed to describe whether someone or something fits in with the current or even not so current, popular mode of expression.
There exist a number of cities recognized as global fashion centers or fashion capitals. Fashion weeks are held in these cities where designers exhibit their new clothing collections to audiences. The main five cities are Tokyo, London, Paris, Milan and New York, all headquarters to the greatest fashion companies and renowned for their major influence on global fashion.

1914-1920 Towards Dress ReformFashion History
In the years between 1905 and 1918 clothing styles emerged that were evolutionary in bridging the gap between the rigid formality of the Edwardian styles and the ultimate changes that led to the knee high dresses of 1926. 1914 Underwear and the First Patented Bra
The fashions of the era needed a new approach to under foundations. The first bra was patented in 1914 by Mary Jacobs an American. It is not thought to be the first bra ever, but it is the patented record that gives her the credit.Several designers including Paul Poiret, Lucille and Vionnet all say they invented the bra as correct underwear for their new dress innovations and admonished clients to abandon their corsets. We will never truly know. What is certain is that a bodice designed separately from the corset had become usual wear by 1905 and Mary Jacobs had the intelligence to patent a design for a bra.

1930s Fashion HistoryStylish Thirties
In the 1930s there was a return to a more genteel, ladylike appearance. Budding rounded busts and waistline curves were seen and hair became softer and prettier as hair perms improved. Foreheads which had been hidden by cloche hats were revealed and adorned with small plate shaped hats. Clothes were feminine, sweet and tidy by day with a return to real glamour at night. Right - Fashionable sleek day dress of 1936.The French designer Madeleine Vionnet opened her own fashion house in 1912. She devised methods of bias cross cutting during the 1920s using a miniature model. She made popular the halter neck and the cowl neck. When it comes to skirts, they were frequently longer at the back than the front. Below the knee pleats and godets fell from panels so gave fullness at the hemline.

Rationing and Utility Clothing of the 1940sFashion History 1940s
During the Second World War Paris produced restrained clothing to match the economic atmosphere. The general wartime scene was one of drabness and uniformity, continuing well after the war finished in 1945. There was an austere atmosphere and people were encouraged to 'make do and mend.'
Uniforms were seen at all civilian social occasions from cinemas, weddings, restaurants to gala events. It was impossible to go anywhere without being aware of war as uniformed men and women in auxiliary services were an everyday fact.

1950s Fashion History, Costume History & 50s Social History
The British 1950s fashion scene used opportunities presented by the Second World War to capture some of the American market.Fashion for women returned with a vengeance and the 1950's era is known mainly for two silhouettes, that of the full skirt and the pencil slim tubular skirt, with both placing great emphasis on the narrowness of the waist. In 1947 Christian Dior presented a fashion look with a fitted jacket with a nipped in waist and full calf length skirt. It was a dramatic change from wartime austerity styles. After the rationing of fabric during the Second World War, Dior's lavish use of material was a bold and shocking stroke.

The 60s Mini Skirt - 1960s Fashion History
By 1966 Mary Quant was producing short waist skimming mini dresses and skirts that were set 6 or 7 inches above the knee. It would not be right to suggest she invented the fashion mini skirt. In 1965 she took the idea from the 1964 designs by Courrèges and liking the shorter styles she made them even shorter for her boutique Bazaar. She is rightly credited with making popular a style that had not taken off when it made its earlier debut.

The 70s Disco Fashion 1970s Costume History
By 1970 women chose who they wanted to be and if they felt like wearing a short mini skirt one day and a maxi dress, midi skirt or hot pants the next day - that's what they did.
For eveningwear women often wore full length maxi dresses, evening trousers or glamorous halter neck catsuits. Some of the dresses oozed Motown glamour, others less so. For evening in the early seventies, either straight or flared Empire line dresses with a sequined fabric bodice and exotic sleeves were the style for a dressy occasion. Trousers and trouser suits were serious fashions in the 1970s.Pants began gently flared and reached wide bell bottom proportions by about 1975. After which they slowly reduced to straight and wide until by the end of the seventies they were finally narrow again.Disco looks began in the 1970s and was memorable for its hot pants look and Spandex tops. Shiny clinging Lycra stretch disco pants in hot strident shiny colours with stretch sequin bandeau tops were often adaptations of professional modern dance wear that found itself making an impact in discos as disco dancing became serious. Gold lame, leopard skin and stretch halter jumpsuits and white clothes that glowed in Ultra Violet lights capture the 70s Disco fashion perfectly.
Right -70s Disco Fashion - Hotpants 1971
Left - 1971 Dressmaking pattern for hotpants worn with mini topcoat.

1980s Fashion History1990s Fashion History and Millennium Dressing Down
Yuppie was a 1980s acronym for 'Young Upwardly Mobile Professional Person'. The word was coined by the advertising industry to capture the essence of a particular type of work hard, play hard, ambitious minded city career person of either sex. The hectic lifestyle of a yuppie meant that after long hours of work, rare free time was spent in a self indulgent way frittering away the cash earned on anything, from expensive make up and perfume, to a bottle of fine champagne. Conspicuous wastage was part of the attitude.For day Yuppies sported wide shouldered jackets and for weekends they wore a Barbour to effect a country aesthetic or a ball-gown to assume the appearance of a more advantaged lifestyle.

1980s Fashion History1990s Fashion History and Millennium Dressing Down
The 1990's Silhouette:
Leftover Shoulder Pads, remnants of the eighties were still around for the first years of the 90s and particularly in provincial areas. Short above knee straight skirts and stirrup ski pants masquerading as a refined version of leggings were worn with long chenille yarn sweater tunics, oversized shoulder padded shirts or big embellished T-shirts. The latter gradually reduced in size to become slimmer fitted and semi fitted garter stitch knits with fake fur collars, darted three-quarter shirts and screen printed t-tops minus the pads often worn with tie waist, easy loose trousers, jeans or boot leg trousers.
The Long Line Jacket,several major silhouettes identify the decade. The decade began with short fitted jackets, a shoulder padded leftover from the eighties that sometimes sported peplums, fluted princess panels or hip basques with fabric swathed bertha style shoulders.Trouser silhouettes included the oversized baggy hip hop look of Adidas windpants and baggy jeans. Young people adopted loose cargo pants and fitness sportswear as a general uniform.
The other major silhouette was the same fingertip length jacket worn with trousers. The trouser suit became a mainstay of every woman's wardrobe. Trousers became straight legged and wider including variations of boot leg slightly flared trousers.
Earlier in the decade in 1992-3 before the trouser suit became a wardrobe staple, black narrow jeans were worn and often teamed with airman's aviator distressed jackets.
Blue jeans were also worn with a navy blazer and classic white or blue shirt.
The classic blazer, a late 80s early 90s fashion, remained popular with women over thirty five, especially with subdued worsted wool straight trousers. Long Cardigan Coats, much longer versions of all straight dress varieties and skirts were usual from 1993. They were often worn with full length fine knitted cardigan coats or over trousers, especially in winter.