Fashion designer

Fashion designers in 1974 in Dresden.

Fashion design is the art of applying design, aesthetics, clothing construction and natural beauty to clothing and its accessories. It is influenced by cultural and social attitudes, and has varied over time and place.

About the fashion designers[]

Fashion designers work in a number of ways in designing clothing and accessories such as rings, bracelets and necklaces. Because of the time required to bring a garment onto the market, designers must at times anticipate changes to consumer tastes.

Designers conduct research on fashion trends and interpret them for their audience. Their specific designs are used by manufacturers. This is the essence of a designer's role; however, there is variation within this that is determined by the buying and merchandising approach, and product quality; for example, budget retailers will use inexpensive fabrics to interpret trends, but high-end retailers will ensure that the best available fabrics are used.[1]

Fashion designers attempt to design clothes which are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. They consider who is likely to wear a garment and the situations in which it will be worn, and they work within a wide range of materials, colors, patterns and styles. Though most clothing worn for everyday wear falls within a narrow range of conventional styles, unusual garments are usually sought for special occasions such as evening wear or party dresses.

Some clothes are made specifically for an individual, as in the case of haute couture or bespoke tailoring. Today, most clothing is designed for the mass market, especially casual and every-day wear are called ready to wear.

Structure[]

Fashion designers may work full-time for one fashion house, as 'in-house designers', which owns the designs, or they work alone or as part of a team. Freelance designers work for themselves, selling their designs to fashion houses, directly to shops, or to clothing manufacturers. The garments bear the buyer's label. Some fashion designers set up their own labels, under which their designs are marketed. Some fashion designers are self-employed and design for individual clients. Other high-end fashion designers cater to specialty stores or high-end fashion department stores. These designers create original garments, as well as those that follow established fashion trends. Most fashion designers, however, work for apparel manufacturers, creating designs of men's, women's, and children's fashions for the mass market. Large designer brands which have a 'name' as their brand such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Justice, or Juicy are likely to be designed by a team of individual designers under the direction of a design director.

Designing a garment[]

Fashion designers work in different ways. Some sketch their ideas on paper, while others drape fabric on a dress form, another term for mannequine. When a designer is completely satisfied with the fit of the toile (or muslin), he or she will consult a professional pattern maker who then makes the finished, working version of the pattern out of card or via a computerized system. Finally, a sample garment is made up and tested on a model to make sure it is an operational outfit.

History[]

The Chéruit salon on Place Vendôme in Paris, 1910

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 is considered as fashion design.[2]

It was during this period that many design houses began to hire artists to sketch or paint designs for garments. The images were shown to clients, which was much cheaper than producing an actual sample garment in the workroom. If the client liked their design, they ordered it and the resulting garment made money for the house. Thus, the tradition of designers sketching out garment designs instead of presenting completed garments on models to customers began as an economy.

Types of fashion[]

Garments produced by clothing manufacturers fall into three main categories, although these may be split up into additional, more specific categories

Haute couture[]

Until the 1950s, fashion clothing was predominately designed and manufactured on a made-to-measure or haute couture basis (French for high-sewing), with each garment being created for a specific client. A couture garment is made to order for an individual customer, and is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric, sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Look and fit take priority over the cost of materials and the time it takes to make.[3][4] Due to the high cost of each garment, haute couture makes little direct profit for the fashion houses, but is important for prestige and publicity.[5]

Ready-to-wear (prêt-à-porter)[]

Ready-to-wear, or prêt-à-porter, clothes are a cross between haute couture and mass market. They are not made for individual customers, but great care is taken in the choice and cut of the fabric. Clothes are made in small quantities to guarantee exclusivity, so they are rather expensive. Ready-to-wear collections are usually presented by fashion houses each season during a period known as Fashion Week. This takes place on a citywide basis and occurs twice a year. The main seasons of Fashion Week include: spring/summer, fall/winter, resort, swim, and bridal.

Half-way garments are an alternative to ready-to-wear, "off-the-peg", or prêt-à-porter fashion. Half-way garments are intentionally unfinished pieces of clothing that encourages co-design between the "primary designer" of the garment, and what would usually be considered, the passive "consumer".[6] This differs from ready-to-wear fashion, as the consumer is able to participate in the process of making and co-designing their clothing. During the Make{able} workshop, Hirscher and Niinimaki found that personal involvement in the garment-making process created a meaningful “narrative” for the user, which established a person-product attachment and increased the sentimental value of the final product.[6]

Otto von Busch also explores half-way garments and fashion co-design in his thesis, "Fashion-able, Hacktivism and engaged Fashion Design".[7]

Mass market[]

Currently, the fashion industry relies more on mass-market sales. The mass market caters for a wide range of customers, producing ready-to-wear garments using trends set by the famous names in fashion. They often wait around a season to make sure a style is going to catch on before producing their versions of the original look. To save money and time, they use cheaper fabrics and simpler production techniques which can easily be done by machines. The end product can, therefore, be sold much more cheaply.[8][9][10]

There is a type of design called "kutch" originated from the German word kitschig, meaning "trashy" or "not aesthetically pleasing". Kitsch can also refer to "wearing or displaying something that is therefore no longer in fashion".[11]

Income[]

Median annual wages for salaried fashion designers were $61,160 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $42,150 and $87,120.[12] The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,150, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $124,780. Median annual earnings were $52,860 (£40,730.47) in apparel, piece goods, and notions - the industry employing the largest numbers of fashion designers.[13] As of 2016,a fashion designer's median annual salary was $65,170. High end designers can earn around $92,550. In 2016, 23,800 people were counted as fashion designers in the United States.[14]

World fashion industry[]

Men pulling carts of women's clothing in Garment District, New York, 1955

Fashion today is a global industry, and most major countries have a fashion industry. Seven countries have established an international reputation in fashion: France, Italy, United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Germany and Belgium. The "big four" fashion capitals of the fashion industry are Paris, Milan, New York City and London with Paris often being considered as the World's fashion capital.[15][16]

United States[]

Fashion show at a fashion designing college, US, 2015

Most fashion houses in the United States are based in New York City, with a high concentration centered in the Garment District neighborhood. On the US west coast, there is also a significant number of fashion houses in Los Angeles, where a substantial percentage of high fashion clothing manufactured in the United States is actually made. Beverly Hills, particularly on Rodeo Drive, is globally renowned for its fashion design and prestigious shopping. Burgeoning industries in Miami, Chicago, Dallas, and especially San Francisco have developed as well. A semi-annual event held every February and September, New York Fashion Week, is the oldest of the four major fashion weeks held throughout the world. Parsons The New School for Design, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan in New York City, is considered one of the top fashion schools in the world. There are numerous fashion magazines published in the United States and distributed to a global readership. Examples include Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan.

American fashion design is highly diverse, reflecting the enormous ethnic diversity of the population, but is largely dominated by a clean-cut, urban, hip aesthetic, and often favors a more casual style, reflecting the athletic, health-conscious lifestyles of the suburban and urban middle classes.

Famous American brands and designers include Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Coach, Nike, Vans, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, Tom Ford, Caswell-Massey, Michael Kors, Levi Strauss and Co., Estée Lauder, Revlon, Kate Spade, Alexander Wang, Vera Wang, Victoria’s Secret, Tiffany and Co., Converse, Oscar de la Renta, John Varvatos, Anna Sui, Prabal Gurung, Bill Blass, Halston, Carhartt, Brooks Brothers, Stuart Weitzman, Diane von Furstenberg, J. Crew, American Eagle Outfitters, Steve Madden, Abercrombie and Fitch, Juicy Couture, Thom Browne, Guess, Supreme, and The Timberland Company.

Belgium[]

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Belgian fashion designers brought a new fashion image that mixed East and West, and brought a highly individualised, personal vision on fashion. Well known Belgian designers are the Antwerp Six: Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck and Marina Yee, as well as Maison Martin Margiela, Raf Simons, Kris Van Assche, Bruno Pieters, Anthony Vaccarello.[17]

United Kingdom[]

Models at an event in UK, wearing (from left to right)- shorts, trousers, mini skirt.

London has long been the capital of the United Kingdom fashion industry and has a wide range of foreign designs which have integrated with modern British styles. Typical, British design is smart but innovative yet recently has become more and more unconventional, fusing traditional styles with modern techniques. Vintage styles play an important role in the British fashion and styling industry. Stylists regularly 'mix and match' the old with the new, which gives British style that unique, bohemian aesthetic that many of the other fashion capitals try to imitate. Irish fashion (both design and styling) is also heavily influenced by fashion trends from Britain.

France[]

Most French fashion houses are in Paris, which is the capital of French fashion. Traditionally, French fashion is chic and stylish, defined by its sophistication, cut, and smart accessories. French fashion is internationally acclaimed.

Spain[]

Madrid and Barcelona are the main fashion cities of Spain. Spanish fashion is often more conservative and traditional but also more 'timeless' than other fashion cultures. Spaniards are known not to take great risks when dressing.[18] Nonetheless, many are the fashion brands and designers coming from Spain.

Germany[]

Berlin is the centre of fashion in Germany (prominently displayed at Berlin Fashion Week), while Düsseldorf holds Europe's largest fashion trade fairs with Igedo. Other important centres of the scene are Munich, Hamburg, and Cologne. German fashion is famed for its elegant lines as well as unconventional young designs and the great variety of styles.

Italy[]

Red carpet fashion: Italian actors Gabriel Garko and Laura Torrisi wearing designer formal wear at Venice Film Festival, 2009

Milan is Italy's fashion capital. Most of the older Italian couturiers are in Rome. However, Milan and Florence are the Italian fashion capitals, and it is the exhibition venue for their collections. Italian fashion features casual and glamorous elegance.

Japan[]

Most Japanese fashion houses are in Tokyo. The Japanese look is loose and unstructured (often resulting from complicated cutting), colours tend to the sombre and subtle, and richly textured fabrics. Famous Japanese designers include Kenzo Takada, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo.

China[]

Hong Kong clothing brand Shanghai Tang's design concept is inspired by Chinese clothing and set out to rejuvenate Chinese fashion of the 1920s and 30s, with a modern twist of the 21st century and its usage of bright colours.[19]

Soviet Union[]

Fashion in the Soviet Union largely followed general trends of the Western world. However, the state's socialist ideology consistently moderated and influenced these trends. In addition, shortages of consumer goods meant that the general public did not have ready access to pre-made fashion.

Switzerland[]

Most of the Swiss fashion houses are in Zürich.[20] The Swiss look is casual elegant and luxurious with a slight touch of quirkiness. Additionally, it has been greatly influenced by the dance club scene.

Mexico[]

In the development of Mexican indigenous dress, the fabrication was determined by the materials and resources that are available in specific regions, impacting the "fabric, shape and construction of a people's clothing".[21] Textiles were created from plant fibers including cotton and agave. Class status differentiated what fabric was worn. Mexican dress was influenced by geometric shapes to create the silhouettes. Huipil a blouse characterized by a "loose, sleeveless tunic made of two or three joined webs of cloth sewn lengthwise"[22] is an important historical garment, often seen today. After the Spanish Conquest, traditional Mexican clothing shifted to take a Spanish resemblance.

Mexican indigenous groups rely on specific embroidery and colors to differentiate themselves from each other.[23]

Mexican Pink is a significant color to the identity of Mexican art and design and general spirit. The term "Rosa Mexicano" as described by Ramón Valdiosera was established by prominent figures such as Dolores del Río and designer Ramón Val in New York.[23]

When newspapers and magazines such as El Imparcial and El Mundo Ilustrado circulated in Mexico, became a significant movement, as it informed the large cities, such as Mexico City, of European fashions. This encouraged the founding of department stores, changing the existent pace of fashion.[24] With access to European fashion and dress, those with high social status relied on adopting those elements to distinguish themselves from the rest. Juana Catarina Romero was a successful entrepreneur and pioneer in this movement.

Malaysia[]

In Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is the major fashion and production city.[25] and Malaysia Fashion Week[26]

Fashion design terms[]

See also[]

References[]

  1. ^ Hebrero, Miguel (2015-10-15). Fashion Buying and Merchandising: From mass-market to luxury retail. Printed in the USA: CreateSpace. ISBN 9781517632946.
  2. ^ "fashion industry | Design, Fashion Shows, Marketing, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-10-14.
  3. ^ "What is Haute Couture?". Haute Couture Hot. HauteCoutureNews.com. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  4. ^ Pauline Weston Thomas. "Haute Couture Fashion History" (Article). Fashion-Era.com. Fashion-Era.com. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Haute couture: Making a loss is the height of fashion". telegraph.co.uk.
  6. ^ a b Hirscher and Niinimaki. Fashion Activism through Participatory Design. 10th European Academy of Design Conference, Crafting the Future, April 2013, Helinski, Finland. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304354045_Fashion_Activism_through_Participatory_Design
  7. ^ von Busch, O. Fashion-able, Hacktivism and engaged Fashion Design, PhD Thesis, School of Design and Crafts (HDK), Gothenburg. 2008, https://gupea.ub.gu.se/bitstream/2077/17941/3/gupea_2077_17941_3.pdf.
  8. ^ Catherine Valenti (1 May 2012). "Designers Flock to Mass-Market Retailers" (Article). ABC News. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  9. ^ Sameer Reddy (31 October 2008). "Out from Underground" (Article). The Daily Beast. Newsweek Magazine. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  10. ^ Stephania Lara (22 June 2010). "Mass market broached by high-end fashion". The Prospector. College Media Network. Archived from the original (Article) on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  11. ^ Bethan Cole (2 May 2012). "Kitsch pickings" (Article). Financial Times Online: Style. The Financial Times Ltd. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  12. ^ "Fashion Designers". Occupational Outlook Handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  13. ^ "Designers". umsl.edu.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-09-10. Retrieved 2018-09-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ The big four fashion capitals of the world
  16. ^ Post, The Jakarta. "Paris once again the world's undisputed fashion capital". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2020-11-30.
  17. ^ Holgate, Mark, ′How Anthony Vaccarello Is Making Saint Laurent His Own′, (Feb. 13, 2018), Vogue March 2018, https://www.vogue.com/article/anthony-vaccarello-interview-vogue-march-2018-issue, Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  18. ^ "En España se viste muy bien". GQ Magazine. December 3, 2018. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  19. ^ Broun, Samantha (6 April 2006). "Designing a global brand". CNN World. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Zurich labels". Zurich labels: Media Information. Zurich Tourism. January 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  21. ^ Anawalt, Patricia Rieff, 1924- (2007). The worldwide history of dress : with over 1000 illustrations, 900 in color. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-51363-7. OCLC 864489266.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  22. ^ Anawalt, Patricia Rieff, 1924- (2007). The worldwide history of dress : with over 1000 illustrations, 900 in color. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-51363-7. OCLC 864489266.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  23. ^ a b Valdiosera, Ramón. “Rosa Mexicano: Moda y Marca.” Artes De México, no. 111, 2013, pp. 60–65.
  24. ^ Chassen-López, Francie. "The Traje de Tehuana as National Icon: Gender, Ethnicity, and Fashion in Mexico." The Americas, vol. 71 no. 2, 2014, p. 281-314. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/tam.2014.0134.
  25. ^ Kuala Lumpur FASHION WEEK
  26. ^ / Malaysia Fashion Week

Bibliography[]