Fashion Designers – What Have They Really Given Us

The history of fashion is the history of its fashion designers, each remembered best for the innovations or new styling that he or she has brought to the industry.Who can think of Chanel without her No. 5 perfume, or Fortuny without his ‘Delphos’ gown or Givenchy without his ‘Sack’ dress? Mary Quant will always be associated with the miniskirt, just as Pierre Cardin will be with the ‘maxi’ and Hermes with scarves and handbags.Just as glamour is synonymous with Valentine, Balenciaga and James, casual lifestyle dressing is inherent in the designs of Armani and Lauren. How can we ever think of jeans without remembering Levi’s, or men’s underwear without thinking about Calvin Klein?Fantasy is synonymous with exotic Poiret, theatrical Galliano and Treacy’s lavish hat creations, while tradition and longevity are the mainstays of Carrier jewelers, Kari Lagerfeld, and the House of Pucci.Fashion has always been a product of its times and must be viewed within a broader cultural context. This context considers the fashion designers’ different ethnic and social backgrounds, changing social mores and attitudes, technological advances and the impact of economic and political events upon fashion trends.There are four areas of fashion design to consider when talking of designers: haute couture; pret-a-porter; contemporary avant-garde; and accessories. Haute-couture (high-fashion) designers are considered the very best, governed in Paris by the Chambre Syndicate de la Couture, fashions trade union, which determines who may be called an ‘haute couturier’.There are currently only 18 official haute couture fashion houses in Paris. Pret-a-porter or ready-to-wear designers mass-produce their fashion ranges instead of creating unique and exclusive ‘one-off’ models. Some designers produce both an haute couture line and a ready-to-wear line and, today, numerous designers offer a diffusion line – an associated brand of less expensive clothing.Over the years, there have been many fashion designers whose work defies classification. These are the designers who have pioneered new styling, techniques and ideas about fashion – in other words, they have broken traditions, smashed conventions and offered clothing that previously would not have been considered serious fashion apparel. These are the contemporary avant-garde designers.

» Tags:

Comments are closed.