Fashion is a broad term used to define a specific style of dressing, footwear, jewelry, clothing, makeup, hairstyles, body posture and attitude at a certain time and venue and in a certain social context. The word also suggests a look typically defined as what is fashionable in a particular culture or society. The popularity of various fashions, trends, and clothes among different age groups and cultural groups has led to many articles on this popular yet elusive concept. This article presents an introduction to the world of fashion.
Haute couture is one branch of the fashion industry that has grown considerably over the past few decades. In the 1970’s, “haute” (French for “bad”) was defined as a mixture of styles with coarse, disheveled cuts, worn mainly by street kids and musicians. It represented an alternative to the more rigid, orderly clothes worn by the French in that era. As it evolved and became more widely accepted, it also became identified with delinquency, crime, rock and roll, and even punk. Today, however, most young people would associate “haute couture” with expensive, elite, designer clothes that are specifically worn by celebrities and other well-known people.
The world of high fashion is characterized by an influx of new, innovative and cutting edge designs. High fashion trends usually occur during a period of great change in the social and business circles of a country. For example, during the late eighteen hundreds to early nineteenth century, high fashion began to focus on clothing that was practical and made from quality materials. The dresses that were produced during this period were made in solid colors with high necklines. At about the same time, men began to wear more suits and dress shirts rather than tuxedos. In addition, the sleeves of these clothing items were shorter than before and they had little to no ornamentation.
The haute couture movement, which was begun in the late eighteenth century by some French artists that were considered artists, spread through European countries and eventually had an impact on America. The popularity of the fashions of this era resulted in the founding of the first American clothing industry. High fashion fashions in the United States initially focused on the appearance of wealth and style. However, by the end of the nineteenth century, many fashions had become highly popular and clothing designers began to focus on providing clothing for the working class and lower class individuals.
Many clothing manufacturers began to use ethical methods of production in the late nineteenth century. During the late nineteenth century, women were no longer considered second class citizens because of their gender. They were able to participate in the economic and political system of the nation and many developed a sense of respect for working class women. This new attitude toward women, which was largely a result of high fashion fashions and mass production, changed the way people thought about clothing and also changed the way that clothing was manufactured. People no longer believed that poor quality clothes were suitable for women and high fashion became an industry that manufactured clothes for all different types of people and lifestyles.
The haute couture style of dress continued to influence the clothing of the masses for decades and the styles remained popular throughout the twentieth century. Today, clothes designed by the haute couture fashion designers are highly respected and their popularity has increased as time has passed. People wear these new styles not only because of their fashion sense but also because the clothes make them feel good about themselves. The clothes are affordable, stylish, beautiful and comfortable. High fashion clothing from designers such as Christian Dior and Christian Lacroix are now very sought after and are often worn by celebrities and other famous people.