Fashion has always been an exciting aesthetic expression in a certain context and at a certain time, especially in clothes, shoes, fashion, hair, makeup, body proportions, and hairstyle. In the past fashion was primarily localized, with local designers producing and displaying items for a given locality or social group. But fashion trends have become much more globalized in the last decades. A significant change in fashion trends can be seen not only in the popularity of certain designers, brands, and patterns, but also in the way people interpret and identify fashion styles. Fashion has become a sort of universal art form that transcends borders, social status, and economic class.
High fashion, or fashionable clothes and accessories, and low fashion, or uncool clothing, are categories on a continuum, representing different levels of fashion sensibility. High fashion designers like Gucci, Christian Dior, Versace, Chanel, Celine, Alexander Wang, among others, create and produce high fashion items. These designers usually specialize in a particular style or sub-style, which they promote and sell in their respective labels or websites. High fashion stores, boutiques, and showrooms feature exclusive collections of clothing and accessories produced by these high fashion designers.
Elegant and feminine, the style known as Viennese Couture, emerged during the late nineteenth century. The main influence from previous fashion styles came from France, where sophisticated dress codes prevailed. Viennese-Couture clothing frequently featured long skirts, breeches, cuffs, ribbon, lace, silk, velvet, bows, belts, tassels, brooches, and other decorative details. In fact, Viennese Couture was often misinterpreted as a revivalist style, since its fabrics were quite lightweight compared to the heavy materials used in the earlier periods of French fashion.
The name ‘haute fashion’ refers to the cutting edge designs and shapes introduced by French fashion designers during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Haute fashion clothes frequently lacked the frills and embellishments normally seen in typical haute couture clothes, yet their overall elegance and sophistication made up for the lost bits. Common materials used during the late nineteenth century included linen, corduroy, chenille, velvet, satin, and chenille, although silk was also becoming more prominent. These materials were combined with natural dyes, as well as artificial fibers and synthetic fabric materials.
Paris is one of the world’s most visited cities, with millions of tourists checking out the city’s famous fashion districts. The fashion trends seen in Paris include a fusion of traditional styles with contemporary and innovative styles. Classic haute fashion designers such as Balmain, Dior, Fath and Givenchy, among others, regularly exhibit their clothes in major fashion shows all around the world. In line with current fashion trend, Parisian clothing often incorporates comfortable, loose-fit pieces that are easy to wear, both for work and for leisure.
However, the haute couture fashion world can also be considered the fashion world of the late twentieth century. Many designers in this era experimented with new fabrics, color schemes, cuts, and silhouettes, in an effort to create the ‘ultimate fashion statement.’ Women who wore these kinds of clothes soon became famous, as images of these empowered women wearing daring clothes in iconic fashion shows spread around the world.
By the early part of the next decade, dresses were no longer just meant for everyday wear, but could also be worn for special occasions. This new wave of fashion trends helped to transform the image of the female body, making it more attractive and fashionable. Special dresses for cocktail parties, beachwear, or for special occasions were designed, as were tops, dresses, and skirts. Women could now choose from a wide variety of styles, designs, colors, and patterns, to find a dress that would flatter their body type and personal preferences.
After the late nineteen seventies, when women began to return to school to study, more changes occurred in the world of fashion. The first wave of changes came about because of the opening of more boutiques, shops, and clothing lines. These shops showcased bolder and more unique styles, which were more colorful and more revealing than the elegant and conservative fashions of the previous decades. Another important trend that emerged was the rise of haute couture fashion shows, where designers would showcase their latest designs and creations, along with sales of new clothes.