Portal:Fashion

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The Fashion Portal

Victorian fashion
Swinging London, 1969
Fashion design is the art of the application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. The term fashion refers to a distinctive and often habitual trend in the style with which a person dresses, as well as to prevailing styles in behaviour. Fashion design is influenced by cultural and social latitudes, and has varied over time and place. Fashion designers work in a number of ways in designing clothing and accessories. Some work alone or as part of a team. They attempt to satisfy consumer desire for aesthetically designed clothing; and, because of the time required to bring a garment onto the market, must at times anticipate changing consumer tastes.

Fashion design is generally considered to have started in the 19th century with Charles Frederick Worth who was the first designer to have his label sewn into the garments that he created. Before the former draper set up his maison couture (fashion house) in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by largely anonymous seamstresses, and high fashion descended from that worn at royal courts. Worth's success was such that he was able to dictate to his customers what they should wear, instead of following their lead as earlier dressmakers had done. The term couturier was in fact first created in order to describe him. While all articles of clothing from any time period are studied by academics as costume design, only clothing created after 1858 could be considered as fashion design.

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Woman wearing bikini in Chicago (1973)
The history of the bikini is a checkered one. Though the bikini shocked when it appeared on French beaches in 1947, its origins date back millennia. Depictions of bikini-like garments appear at the Chalcolithic site of Çatalhöyük, and two-piece bikini-like garments were worn by women for athletic purposes in Ancient Greece as far back as 1400 BC. Roman mosaic artwork in Sicily, dubbed "Bikini Girls" and dating back to the reign of Diocletian (286-305 AD) gained significant archeological renown, and Roman statues of Venus in a bikini were found elsewhere. In the modern era, the first functional two-piece swimsuit was designed in 1913 by Carl Jantzen. Australian swimmer-performer Annette Kellermann was arrested in 1907 for wearing a two-piece. Later it was made popular by pin-up girls like swimmer-actress Esther Williams, and actresses Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, and Lana Turner. The modern bikini was invented by French engineer Louis Réard in 1946. He named it after Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, the site of an atomic bomb test on July 1, 1946. Réard hoped that the burst of excitement it caused would be as explosive as an atomic bomb.

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Lillian Gish
Credit: Bain News Service

A portrait of Lillian Gish from 1921. Gish was one of the first female movie stars, called "The First Lady of the Silent Screen", starting in 1912 and continuing to appear in films until 1987. The American Film Institute named Gish 17th among the greatest female stars of all time and awarded her a Life Achievement Award, making her the only recipient who was a major figure in the silent era. Remarkably, she never won an Academy Award for her work, although she did receive a Special Academy Award in 1971.

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Victoria Beckham
Victoria Caroline Beckham (née Adams; born 17 April 1974) is an English businesswoman, fashion designer and singer. In the late 1990s, Beckham rose to fame with the all-female pop group Spice Girls and was dubbed Posh Spice by the July 1996 issue of the British pop music magazine Top of the Pops. Since the Spice Girls split, she has had a solo pop music career, scoring four UK Top 10 singles. Her first single to be released, "Out of Your Mind", reached Number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and is her highest chart entry to date. During her solo career, she has been signed to Virgin Records and Telstar Records. Beckham has found more success as an internationally recognised and photographed style icon. Her career in fashion includes designing a line of jeans for Rock & Republic and later designing her own denim brand, dVb Style. Beckham has brought out her own range of sunglasses and fragrance, entitled Intimately Beckham, which has been released in the UK and the US. In association with the Japanese store Samantha Thavasa and Shiatzy Chen, she has produced a range of handbags and jewellery. In addition, Beckham has released two best-selling books; one her autobiography, the other a fashion guide.

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Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's

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Karl Lagerfeld
Like poetry, fashion does not state anything. It merely suggests.
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Fashion design HistoryHaute coutureReady-to-wearCostume designJewelry designGermanFrenchItalianSouth AmericanPatternTailorTextileStylistBuyerDressmakerIllustrationForecastingModelFitting modelJournalism

History of Western fashion Ancient worldEgyptianBiblicalGreekRomanByzantineEarly MedievalAnglo-Saxon12th century13th century14th century15th century1500–15501550–16001600–16501650–17001700–17501750–17751775–17951795–18201820sVictorian1830s1840s1850s1860s1870s1890s1900s1910s1920s1930-19451945-19561960s1970s1980s1990s2000s2010s

MaterialsCottonFurLeatherLinenNylonPolyesterRayonSilkSpandexWool

Dresses Ball gownCocktail dressDébutante dressEvening gownGownJumper dressLittle black dressPetticoatSariShirtdressSundressTea gownWedding dressWrap dress

FootwearStockingTightsToe TightsLeg warmerLeggingsAthletic shoeBootCourt shoeDress shoeFlip-flopsHosierySandalShoeSlipperSockToe Sock

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Tops BlouseCrop topDress shirtHalterneckHenley shirtHoodieJerseyGuernseyPoet shirtPolo shirtShirtSleeveless shirtSweaterSweater vestT-shirtTube topTurtleneckTwinset

Trousers or pants Bell-bottomsBermuda shortsBondage pantsCapri pantsCargo pantsCulottesCycling shortsDress pantsJeansJodhpursOverallParachute pantsPhat pantsShortsSweatpantsWindpantsYoga pants

SkirtsA-line skirtDenim skirtLeather skirtMen's skirtsMicroskirtMiniskirtPencil skirtPrairie skirtRah-rah skirtSkortWrap

Suits and uniformsAcademic dressBlack tieCleanroom suitClerical clothingCourt dressGymslipJumpsuitKasayaLab coatMorning dressPantsuitRed Sea rigRomper suitScrubsStrollerTuxedoWhite tie


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