The notion of global fashion industry is a product of the modern age. Prior to the mid-19th century, most clothing was custom-made. It was handmade for individuals, either as home production or on order from dressmakers and tailors. By the beginning of the 20th century—with the rise of new technologies such as the sewing machine, the rise of global capitalism and the development of the factory system of production, and the proliferation of retail outlets such as department stores—clothing had increasingly come to be mass-produced in standard sizes and sold at fixed prices.
Not only did political events make a huge impact on fashion trends but also the political figure played a critical role in forecasting the fashion trend. For example, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was a fashionable icon of the early 1960s who led formal dressing trend. By wearing a Chanel suit, a structural Givenchy shift dress or a soft color Cassini coat with huge buttons, it created her elegant look and led a delicate trend.
Runway show is a reflection of fashion trend and a designer's thought. For designer like Vivienne Westwood, runway shows are a platform for her voice on politics and current events. For her AW15 menswear show, according to Water, "where models with severely bruised faces channeled eco-warriors on a mission to save the planet." Another recent example is a staged feminist protest march for Chanel's SS15 show, rioting models chanting words of empowerment with signs like "Feminist but feminine" and "Ladies first." According to Water, "The show tapped into Chanel's long history of championing female independence: founder Coco Chanel was a trailblazer for liberating the female body in the post-WWI era, introducing silhouettes that countered the restrictive corsets then in favour."
Though different textile colors and patterns changed from year to year, the cut of a gentleman's coat and the length of his waistcoat, or the pattern to which a lady's dress was cut, changed more slowly. Men's fashions were largely derived from military models, and changes in a European male silhouette were galvanized in theaters of European war where gentleman officers had opportunities to make notes of foreign styles such as the "Steinkirk" cravat or necktie.
Furthermore, political revolution also made much impact on the fashion trend. For example, during the 1960s the economy had become wealthier, divorce rate was increasing and government approved the birth control pill. This revolution inspired younger generation to rebellion. In 1964, the leg-baring miniskirt has become a major fashion trend of the 1960s. Given that fashion designers began to experiment with the shapes of garment, loose sleeveless, micro-minis, flared skirts, and trumpet sleeves. In this case, mini-skirt trend became an icon of the 1960s.
Celebrities like Rihanna, Lupita Nyong'o, Zendaya, and Michelle Obama have been a few of the many fashion idols in the black female community. For men, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, and Ice Cube have also helped define modern day fashion for black men. Today’s fashion scene is not just clothes, but also hair and makeup. Recent trends have included the embracing of natural hair, traditional clothing worn with modern clothing, or traditional patterns used in modern clothing styles. All of these trends come with the long existing and persevering movement of “Black is Beautiful”.
The four major current fashion capitals are acknowledged to be Paris, Milan, New York City, and London, which are all headquarters to the greatest fashion companies and are renowned for their major influence on global fashion. Fashion weeks are held in these cities, where designers exhibit their new clothing collections to audiences. A succession of major designers such as Coco Chanel and Yves Saint-Laurent have kept Paris as the center most watched by the rest of the world, although haute couture is now subsidized by the sale of ready-to-wear collections and perfume using the same branding.
Although tailors and dressmakers were no doubt responsible for many innovations, and the textile industry certainly led many trends, the history of fashion design is normally understood to date from 1858 when the English-born Charles Frederick Worth opened the first true haute couture house in Paris. These fashion houses have to adhere to standards such as keeping at least twenty employees engaged in making the clothes, showing two collections per year at fashion shows, and presenting a certain number of patterns to costumers. Since then, the idea of the fashion designer as a celebrity in his or her own right has become increasingly dominant.
The fashion industry is seeing how 3D printing technology has influenced designers such as Iris Van Herpen and Kimberly Ovitz. These designers have been heavily experimenting and developing 3D printed couture pieces. As the technology grows, the 3D printers will become more accessible to designers and eventually consumers, which could potentially shape the fashion industry entirely.
^ Experian. (2012). Getting the most from social: An integrated marketing approach. Retrieved from www.experian.com.au/assets/social/getting-the-most-from-social.pdf in Cassidy, L. & Fitch, K. (2013) Beyond the Catwalk: Fashion Public Relations and Social Media in Australia, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 14, No. 1 & 2, Murdoch University.
1mode; fad, rage, craze. Fashion, style, vogue imply popularity or widespread acceptance of manners, customs, dress, etc. Fashion is that which characterizes or distinguishes the habits, manners, dress, etc., of a period or group: the fashions of the 18th century. Style is sometimes the equivalent of fashion, but also denotes conformance to a prevalent standard: to be in style; a chair in the Queen Anne style. Vogue suggests the temporary popularity of certain fashions: this year's vogue in popular music.