March is Women’s History Month. Here, one contributor celebrates the rebellious fashion designer lost to history, Emilie Flöge.
I loved the Art Nouveau unit of my art history course not only because of its early 1900s surrealistic glamour, but because that class led me to my new icon: gender norm-defying fashion designer Emilie Flöge.
Most fashion shows last less than 10 minutes, but have the power to transport an audience to another world. There’s an intensity to a great show, a distillation of a designer’s extraordinary vision.
Once upon a time, though, things were a lot humbler. The intimate salon shows of Chanel in the 1950s bear no resemblance to Karl Lagerfeld’s fully-stocked supermarket in the vast Grand Palais in 2014. The main change is scale – along with location, set production, and budget.
If you ask someone why they wear blue jeans and they reply “because they’re comfortable,” they are lying to you in a way that is so total and complete I suspect they are also lying to themselves. Denim is a tough, rugged material meant to withstand time and the elements. Literally any other fabric would feel better against your skin.
Generally, when people say that something they wear is “comfortable,” they mean it is psychologically comfortable, not physically comfortable. We wear blue jeans because everyone else wears blue jeans, and it’s our nature to want to be part of a group.
Blue jeans were actually an accidental discovery in the 18th century, when people in Nimes, France attempted to replicate a sturdy Italian fabric called serge. What they created was “serge de Nimes” or, as it’s been shortened to, “denim.”
The buzz around New York Fashion Week is always exciting. It’s wonderful to see people from all over the world gather together for their love of fashion.
It makes you realize how important fashion is. One of the first things we do in the morning is decide what to wear. Whether we’re heading out for a day of leisure or getting ready to make a big sales pitch, our clothes help us tell our story throughout the day.
Fashion has always been key to how women have presented themselves to the world, and how society has wanted to present women to the world. From panniers that emphasized wide hips to shoulder pads that emphasized “power,” the fashion of the time tells our history in great detail.
From humble beginnings to present day, we chart the history of haute couture.
1858: English couturier, Charles Frederick Worth established the first haute couture house in Paris, championing exclusive luxury fashion for the upper-class woman and coining the term ‘fashion designer’ – an artist in lieu of the basic dressmaker.
1868: Le Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture was first established as the safeguard of high-fashion. Designers were required to earn the right to label themselves a couture house according to certain specifications. These were later outlined in 1945.
1908: The phrase “haute couture” was used for the first time.
Men and women alike have been piercing their ears for cosmetic and ritualistic purposes since time immemorial. When did people first start piercing their ears? What reasons have different cultures had for engaging in the ancient practice of ear piercing? How is it that ear piercings have remained one of the most popular types of body piercings throughout time? What types of ear piercings can you get today? We answer these questions and more in this History of Ear Piercings.
The skirt may be a mainstay in the closet of any fashion girl, but the essential wardrobe piece has one of the longest histories in the category of clothing. After the loincloth, the skirt is the second-oldest garment known to mankind. In ancient times, both men and women wore what we recognize today as a skirt, but over the years, it became predominantly a women’s garment in Western cultures. While its endless iterations can be traced back to the first days that humans decided to dress by tying cloths around themselves, the past hundred or so years are rife with dramatic changes to the skirt from decade to decade.