What is the fantastical world of fashion that affects our daily lives even when we pay no heed to it at all? Wikipedia says that fashion is the general term for the current popular style, or trend. Couture fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent said, Fashion has shaped the image of who we are as people. The clothes that we wear do not necessarily make the man, or woman, but they definitely do shape the perceived projected images of ourselves. Fashion designing is an art, an intended lighthearted pleasure that can inspire the way we live or be inspired by the way we live. Either way, we can identify periods of time throughout the ages based on the clothing of the people in a particular photograph, picture, or story. So can we say that fashion helped shape history, or did history shape fashion?
Events throughout history definitely had an effect on fashion, and the liberation of styles, and fashion contraptions. During the World Wars we saw some major revolutions especially women’s clothing in particular with the impracticality of needless frivolity. Excess in Victorian style was unnecessary, due to the movement of equality for servants. This meant that women spent more time doing their own household duties, and less time spending needless hours caring for the flamboyant styles of the day. The iconic, and classic trench coat that is now a staple for every wardrobe, whatever your interpretation, was commissioned by the War Office to a tailor in London named Thomas Burberry during the war in 1914. As women began to work in factories while the men were gone off to war during the forties, acceptance of the wearing of pants began. And as the world saw more travail and liberation, acceptance of skirt length was raised, until the mini came around in the sixties. What was once scandalous in the 1800s for a women to flirt and show an ankle was now ridiculous. Ankle…nothing, skimming bare bottoms was all the rage, women were now liberated. Or were they?
If fashion is the current trend and look that everyone is wearing, wouldn’t it be liberating to show style, and wear your own look. Charles Fredrick Worth opened the first Haute Couture House in Paris 1858. There are many types of fashion categories to get into. Haute Couture is a strictly guarded term protected by law with many requirements for the design house to fulfill. It is the epitome of art in the fashion world and only a few women are privy to enjoy.From these fashion gods, Couture Designers, is the clothing that everyone wears originated. Remember the dialogue between Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway in the movie The Devil Wear’s Prada, when Miranda explains how the path of the inexpensive cerulean blue sweater she was wearing came directly from inspiration off the runways, trickled down through department stores, to her sweater. Designers set the stage and from their creativity, style is born. Style is something that is much more important than purchasing fashion straight from that racks and wearing it. Style is the ability to understand yourself, or someone else, and through clothing and accessories project the interpreted image of you. We now today more than ever have the creative freedom and ability to wear whatever we choose. We are no longer subjected to wearing a particular length of skirt or sleeve, no sleeves or skirt at all! All the rules have been broken and creative freedom and expression is at its peek.
Fashion is something totally fun, and yes there are certain rules or guidelines to follow, but breaking them is so much more exhilarating and liberating! When watching shows, and looking through fashion houses, lines, and magazines, learn to take pieces from different looks and designers and create your own individual style and look. Be creative and think outside the box. Mix masculine and feminine. Wear your boyfriends jeans with a feminine jacket or great sweater. Mix flouncy with the crispness of clean cut wool. Lace and jackets, pink with red, a floral day dress with a herringbone jacket etc. All the things that were a no no…there are no limits to the creativity! Mix designers, never wear a look straight from the runways, show some ingenuity. It is complimentary, and trend setting to create your own individual style.
Fashion is art, style is your own!