Fashion History

Fashion is described in many ways, referring to different things in our lives. Most often, when we are discussing fashion, we are talking about the way we dress and the style in which we dress.

Fashion actually began in Europe in the 14th century. Styles of clothing worn by monarchs were discussed via letters or travelers and then imitated in other countries. Many years later, fashion dolls became the trends followed by fashion magazines. In 1830, Godey’s Lady’s Book, a fashion magazine, was created in the United States and was popular for a few decades. The only real fashion, at that time, designed by Rose Bertin, a milliner and dressmaker for Marie Antoinette. Everyone wanted to close that imitated her line of fashion. From that point, the world of fashion began worldwide.

In the 1950s, McCall’s magazine started Betsy, a cutout doll that was a favorite of little girls everywhere. Betsy wore all the latest fashionable clothing. Betsy’s existence spanned over ten years.

The 19th century found Paris with many new designers such as Charles Frederick Worth, Coco Chanel and Christian Dior. Shortly after that period, the United States gave Paris some fashion competition with designers of their own such as Norman Norell, Mainbocher, Bill Blass and Pauline Trigére. Paris was, at that time, the leader in dressmaking in the world of fashion. Shortly after this time, London became the leader in men’s fashion.

In the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, fashion took on a completely new and different trend. Many new fashionable ready-to-wear designs were created and were an instant success. Along with these, the younger generation was into ‘trendy’, ethnic looking and the punk look. It was during this same period that successful designers such as Ralph Lauren, Georgio Armani, Gianni Versace, and Geoffrey Beene began making their trademark labels and putting them on their clothing items. This began a trend with the public that is still very prominent today. Wearing clothing with designer labels on them became a fashion in itself.

The last thirty years fashion has almost come full circle. It turned much more conservative for a short period around the 90s and then many of the fashions from the 60s and 70s became very popular again. This seems to be a consistent pattern with fashion. The items of clothing that children laugh at in pictures today are the same styles they find themselves wearing 20 years later and being ‘in style’.

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