Why: Since stumbling across this gorgeous blog, our lives have been so much more colourful. Jess goes beyond the standard #OOTD posts and her site’s a sartorial treasure trove full of styling advice, galleries and even some tips for budding bloggers if you’re thinking of making this list some day. Her masterfully saturated and unique photography is what sets her apart from the rest of the pack and we still can’t stop thinking about her guide to wearing colour this spring…
^ Park, Jennifer. "Unisex Clothing". Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion. Ed. Valerie Steele. Vol. 3. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005. 382–384. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. Document URL http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CCX3427500609&v=2.1&u=fitsuny&it=r&p=GVRL.xlit.artemisfit&sw=w&asid=6f171eb2ab8928b007d0495eb681099c
Additionally, there is a long history of fashion in West Africa. Cloth was used as a form of currency in trade with the Portuguese and Dutch as early as the 16th Century. Locally produced cloth and cheaper European imports were assembled into new styles to accommodate the growing elite class of West Africans and resident gold and slave traders. There was an especially strong tradition of cloth-weaving in Oyo and the areas inhabited by the Igbo people.
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The pace of change accelerated considerably in the following century, and women and men's fashion, especially in the dressing and adorning of the hair, became equally complex. Art historians are therefore able to use fashion with confidence and precision to date images, often to within five years, particularly in the case of images from the 15th century. Initially, changes in fashion led to a fragmentation across the upper classes of Europe of what had previously been a very similar style of dressing and the subsequent development of distinctive national styles. These national styles remained very different until a counter-movement in the 17th to 18th centuries imposed similar styles once again, mostly originating from Ancien Régime France. Though the rich usually led fashion, the increasing affluence of early modern Europe led to the bourgeoisie and even peasants following trends at a distance, but still uncomfortably close for the elites – a factor that Fernand Braudel regards as one of the main motors of changing fashion.
In the 16th century, national differences were at their most pronounced. Ten 16th century portraits of German or Italian gentlemen may show ten entirely different hats. Albrecht Dürer illustrated the differences in his actual (or composite) contrast of Nuremberg and Venetian fashions at the close of the 15th century (illustration, right). The "Spanish style" of the late 16th century began the move back to synchronicity among upper-class Europeans, and after a struggle in the mid-17th century, French styles decisively took over leadership, a process completed in the 18th century.
Internet technology such as online retailers and social media platforms have given way for trends to be identified, marketed and sold immediately. Styles and trends are easily conveyed online to attract the trendsetters. Posts on Instagram or Facebook can easily increase awareness about new trends in fashion, which subsequently may create high demand for specific items or brands, new "buy now button" technology can link these styles with direct sales.