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.
The 66 years old diva, Donna Karan is one of the most influential fashion designers in the world. Her line of cloths was created for women to where when they are going to a cocktail party straight from work. Sleek and practical basics are mixed with glamorous and feminine pieces. To sum up, Donna Karan has left a lasting impact on the world of clothing, bringing uptown New York chic into the mainstream.
Everyone knows this guy, and I bet you do, too. He’s one of the international fashion icons. Yves Saint Laurent became popular as a designer who re-designed menswear into feminine, beautiful garments for women. His name is also closely associated with the phenomenon of ‘ready-to-wear’ fashion clothing, ‘power suits’ for women and ‘smoking jackets’ for men.
Today, A-list stars such as Michelle Pfeiffer and Jodie Foster often opt for his evening suits and gowns when they walk the red carpet. Armani delivers elegance that is never overtly sexual or brash. For today’s power brokers and celebrities, owning Armani suits and separates is a status symbol – his clothes always send a message of quiet confidence.
Ready-to-wear, or prêt-à-porter, clothes are a cross between haute couture and mass market. They are not made for individual customers, but great care is taken in the choice and cut of the fabric. Clothes are made in small quantities to guarantee exclusivity, so they are rather expensive. Ready-to-wear collections are usually presented by fashion houses each season during a period known as Fashion Week. This takes place on a citywide basis and occurs twice a year. The main seasons of Fashion Week include: spring/summer, fall/winter, resort, swim, and bridal.
Yves Saint Laurent became popular in fashion circles due to his creativity in redesigning the clothes considered to be masculine into beautiful, feminine wardrobe for women. Perhaps, one of the most famous fashion designers in France, Yves was the first one to introduce power dressing for women in the form of “power suits” in the year 1966. He is also credited with designing the men’s smoking jacket. The most important fashion legacy which he has left behind is the “ready-to-wear” fashion clothing.
After working for renowned fashion house Nino Cerruti, he branched out on his own, delivering his first women’s wear collection in 1974. Armani’s designs were always influenced by menswear, and his immaculate tailoring and cutting gave his pieces a timeless air. He is famous for his deconstructed jackets, which feature a softer shoulder and a longer line.
A designer with a notorious past, Christian Dior was also known for being in cahoots with the enemy during WWII, when he dressed Nazi wives and French collaborators in his designs. Despite this questionable choice, he still rose to prominence during the late-forties when the war was over…primarily due to his unparalleled mastery of line and shape. He gave women a desirable “flower silhouette” which always featured a nipped-in waist, a full, voluminous skirt, and a feminine, corseted bodice. Often, the hips of his suits and dresses were padded to balance the bust line and accentuate the wasp-waisted effect.
When you hear ‘casual’, you probably think ‘frumpy’; and the casual fashion style could really be ANYTHING but frumpy! Women who indulge in the casual fashion style don’t grab the exotic and bold items off the shelves. They would much rather prefer a simple white tee and a pair of black pants with a coordinating and trendy purse. The entire look is very modern and uncluttered with an extra touch of subtle elegance.