Fashion might be a rapidly expanding and glamorous industry today, but it wasn’t always like this in the past. We now see whole shows being dedicated to fashion, with numerous designers and brands coming out and being successful due to the huge market for fashionable items.
The fashion industry owes its present status to several events, many hardworking people, and perhaps some chances of fate. Reading up on these is important in order to fully understand the history of fashion as we know and love it today.
Here are some of the events (and the people involved in them), that have made an indelible mark in the world of fashion
Twiggy, the First Supermodel
At the peak of her fame, iconic 1960s model Twiggy was referred to as a “supermodel” by the New York Times. This term, of course, is now applied to the highly-paid, high-profile, world-famous models of today.
Vivienne Westwood Creates Punk
In the 1970s, British designer Vivienne Westwood brought a style that was totally new and distinct to other styles of the decade. Thus started the popularity of the “punk” style, which is still something that modern generations mimic.
Punk consisted of lots of leather, metal accessories and deliberately ripped clothing. This style reflected the rebellion of the youth and the music associated with it. The punk look outlasted all the other fashion styles of the decade, with its influence is still dominating both the music and the fashion scene.
Swan Dress by Bjork
Bjork wore this iconic swan dress at the Oscars red carpet in 2001. It may not be influential, but it was otherwise unforgettable. This is to remind everyone that fashion need not be classy or stiff, but something that’s actively fun and interesting.
Basically, this dress gave everyone something to talk about. It divided fashion critics, with some calling it an incredible outfit while others saw the dead swan as simply tacky. This is what art is supposed to do, so this piece of fashion is certainly an event to remember.
This particular occurrence took place on the red carpet. It’s worth looking at all the iconic dresses on various red carpets to date, so we’ve already covered them in an article here:
Coco Chanel’s Little Black Dress
Before the ubiquitous “little black dress” became acceptable in fashion and society, black dresses were once reserved solely for women in mourning. In the 1920s, French designer Coco Chanel introduced the “little black dress”, or LBD, which became the staple of every woman’s closet the world over.
Over the years up to the present day, designers continue to come up with their own versions of this classic outfit. One of the successful formulas for the popularity this dress is its accessibility — it can be worn by women from different social backgrounds. Plus, black is always a safe color for formal, semi-formal, and even some casual events, so it’s a versatile garment for every fashionable wardrobe.
“Haute couture” (“high fashion”) can be traced back as early as the 18th century. Its popularity means that this kind of fashion just cannot be bought off-the-rack, nor adapt itself to the prevailing culture. “Haute couture” is proof that fashion can be a work of art as well, where a designer displays all of his or her imagination in the dress he or she makes.
Kate Middleton’s Wedding Dress
Before Kate Middleton (now Duchess Kate) marched down the aisle on her wedding to Prince William in 2011, many people had been anticipating the sight of her wedding dress. Most were pleasantly surprised at her gown, which was not at all ostentatious like everyone expected.
Perhaps the world was expecting a dress like the one Princess Diana wore on her wedding to Prince Charles. That particular dress, while a fashion inspiration in its own way, was one that caused many problems for the wearer due to its size and extra-long train. Fortunately, Kate’s dress came with the right touch of simplicity, elegance, and modesty; qualities which also embody her personality.
Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress
Like her music, Lady Gaga’s sartorial choices never fail to attract people’s attention. One of her most talked -about outfits is the meat dress which she wore at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2010.
Her unusual choice of dress material might have gotten people into wondering, “Why on earth a meat dress?” And that’s the point of Lady Gaga’s bizarre outfit — fashion means never settling on the usual, but being unique and artistic, breaking uncharted territories on the way.
Madonna is known for reinventing herself in several ways, with the mediums ranging from her music to her fashion sense. She created a lot of iconic looks, but the one that stands out the most is probably her Jean Paul Gaultier-designed pointed corset. She wore this creation for her “Blonde Ambition Tour.” It was finally lent to the designer by Madonna herself to include in his exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in 2014.
Marilyn Monroe’s White Dress
Monroe’s then-husband Joe DiMaggio may have been enraged at her “scandalous” famous skirt scene, but the whole world went mad with it; in a positive way that is. The most famous image of this dress is the well-known scene from her movie ‘The Seven Year Itch’ where the famous sex siren’s white skirt (designed by William Travilla) is blown up by a gust while standing over a subway grate. This iconic scene made women realize that yes, they can be sexy in their fashion choices.
Sex and the City
Many women were inspired by the famous TV series ‘Sex and the City’. This is not just because of the female empowerment stuff, but also the outfits the main characters wore.
This is especially true of those clothes and shoes that the protagonist Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) wore. Not only did she take fashion to the next level, but she also helped further bolster high-end names in fashion including Manolo Blahnik, Christian Dior, and Chanel. Without Carrie, women wouldn’t have been as audacious in their fashion choices as they are now.
The Death of Alexander McQueen
The death of venerated British fashion designer Alexander McQueen in 2010 triggered shock and sadness among his fans and peers in the fashion world. It was certainly one of the darkest moments in the world of fashion, and one of the greatest losses of this industry to date.
McQueen was known for his smarts, his legendary friendship with fashion editor Isabella Blow, and for innovative fashion shows that never failed to awe the crowd. His unique work paved the way for future fashion designers.
The Plus-Size Model Movement
The market for the plus-size models has picked up steam in the last five years. Beautiful, fleshy and curvy models can also be just as beautiful as their lithe, thin counterparts. Plus-size models began to rule the runways as well as the fashion magazine pages.
The Very First ‘It’ Bag
Nowadays, we have gotten used to seeing celebrities carrying their own designer totes on and off the red carpet. Not too long ago, though, there was only one “it” bag. This occurred when the French luxury goods designer Hermes created the “Kelly bag.”
This bag was named after Grace Kelly, the well-loved American actress who came from a wealthy family and later married into the Monaco royalty. With the creation of the bag, Hermes single-handedly revolutionized the high-end handbag industry. The “Kelly bag” symbolizes everything luxurious and sophisticated, just like the princess herself.
Understanding Fashion Better
The concept of fashion and its relevant industry is a huge social and economic boon for any country in the world. In order to understand this significance better, you might want to pick up a book called “Fashion, Design and Events “or any similar work. Check it out here:
This particular work will take you on a journey of fashion-related events, examining them for personal, cultural, social, and economic impacts. This will help you understand just why so many people are pouring money into this industry and why fashion shows are going international. You can thus study fashion from an academic point of view, which is probably one of the best ways to fully grasp the subject.
Fashion has an influence on several aspects of life, even when we don’t think of it much on a regular basis. Industries like art, tourism, design, cultural studies, and marketing are just a few fields where knowledge of fashion might come in handy, so you should catch up on the most iconic events like the ones discussed above. There are tons more where those came from, so feel free to keep on researching about fashion!