London has long been the capital of the United Kingdom fashion industry and has a wide range of foreign designs which have integrated with modern British styles. Typical, British design is smart but innovative yet recently has become more and more unconventional, fusing traditional styles with modern techniques. Vintage styles play an important role in the British fashion and styling industry. Stylists regularly 'mix and match' the old with the new, which gives British style that unique, bohemian aesthetic that many of the other fashion capitals try to imitate. Irish fashion (both design and styling) is also heavily influenced by fashion trends from Britain.
Until the 1950s, fashion clothing was predominately designed and manufactured on a made-to-measure or haute couture basis (French for high-sewing), with each garment being created for a specific client. A couture garment is made to order for an individual customer, and is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric, sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Look and fit take priority over the cost of materials and the time it takes to make. Due to the high cost of each garment, haute couture makes little direct profit for the fashion houses, but is important for prestige and publicity.
Christian Lacroix directs his devotion and talent for fantasy and theatrics to create true design spectacles. Lacroix arrived in the 80s with the opening of his fashion house and immediately set the world on fire with unexpected mixes of colors and patterns. “The idea of seeing everybody clad the same is not really my cup of tea“. This is one of the best quotes of Lacroix, fighting for unique and irreverent pieces in the world of fashion.
Fashion design is generally considered to have started in the 19th century with Charles Frederick Worth who was the first designer to have his label sewn into the garments that he created. Before the former draper set up his maison couture (fashion house) in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by largely anonymous seamstresses, and high fashion descended from that worn at royal courts. Worth's success was such that he was able to dictate to his customers what they should wear, instead of following their lead as earlier dressmakers had done. The term couturier was in fact first created in order to describe him. While all articles of clothing from any time period are studied by academics as costume design, only clothing created after 1858 is considered as fashion design.
Coming from a mid class family from Dominican Republic, Oscar de La Renta moved to Madrid at the early age of 19 wishing to be a painter. In order to make extra money Oscar de La Renta started doing some work as a fashion designer. In 1965, De la Renta took over Arden, the company he was working for at the time and this open the door to start his own brand. The unique tone of red on his dresses became to be known as “De la Renta red”.
A stylist co-ordinates the clothes, jewelry, and accessories used in fashion photography and catwalk presentations. A stylist may also work with an individual client to design a coordinated wardrobe of garments. Many stylists are trained in fashion design, the history of fashion, and historical costume, and have a high level of expertise in the current fashion market and future market trends. However, some simply have a strong aesthetic sense for pulling great looks together.
London designer Mary Quant was not only an iconic fashion design but also the imortal creator of the miniskirt. Mary had an art-school background and had been designing and manufacturing her own clothes since second half of the twentieth century. She was convinced that fashion needed to be affordable to be accessible to the young, she opened her own retail boutique, Bazaar, on the Kings Road in 1955, introducing the “mod” era and the “Chelsea look.”
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In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Belgian fashion designers brought a new fashion image that mixed East and West, and brought a highly individualised, personal vision on fashion. Well known Belgian designers are the Antwerp Six: Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck and Marina Yee, as well as Maison Martin Margiela, Raf Simons, Kris Van Assche, Bruno Pieters, Anthony Vaccarello.
Women who enjoy the artsy style tend to stay away from the traditional ‘trends’ of the fashion world and love to make a statement with their clothing. Oftentimes they will be the creator of their own fashions, designing and creating their own blouses, hats, and jackets. Each artsy style will be different per woman, as everyone has their own idea of what ‘art’ truly is. That’s what makes this particular fashion style so unconventional and interesting.