Trends come as fast as they go.
Trends are spreading so fast: Starting at the catwalks on Fashion Weeks, seen on celebrities and bloggers in the front row, displayed in magazines, and finally spread to budget brands like H&M, Stradivarius or Zara. A process which got faster and faster. Through social media we are used to see the new trends right when they appear for the first time on the catwalks. I have the feeling, that items get out of trend once we started liking them, because there are new collections in high street stores every week.
The meaning of clothing centuries ago
What if we think back to the roots of clothing? In the 15th century ongoing, clothing was such a valuable ressource. The lower class was wearing their incomplicated clothes such a long period of time, that the clothes already had to remind of rags, with unrepairable holes in it, before they were finally not wearable anymore. The cloth were separated into their original segments and people tried to reuse everything they could, again (eg. buttons and undamaged parts). It was self-evident, that clothing continued to be worn by the next generation. Clothing was expensive and had a unique worth – for the upper as well as the lower class of society.
The meaning of fashion centuries ago
Higher classes, aristocracy and nobility, living in castles and villas, had the privilege of possessing enough money to buy fashionable and individual gowns and costumes with plenty embroidery and details. It was reserved to the higher class to wear “fashionable clothing”. There was hardly anyone to be found from a rich aristocrat family who wasn’t wearing “fashion”. Wearing fashion was the symbol of being rich. You can compare it to Haute Couture which is exclusively designed and produced by a few designer houses, like Elie Saab with his dreamy handcrafted evening gowns.
The difference from past ages compared to nowadays is, that fashion was much more worth the handcraft, time and work wich dressmakers put into it. Preparing a fashionable dress in 1600 for a client, meant weeks of work while every millimeter was measured exactly to the clients body. Fashion was uniqueness!
Did you know?
“Designers” and “Haute Couture” weren’t officially existing until Charles Frederick Worth (1825–1895) came along. He was the first so called “designer” and “couturier”. The one who made the dressmakers be seen as real artists. And can you guess were he lived? In Paris!
The purpose of fashion.
I could write pages about this topic, as it appears so interesting to me. What we learned in university in our fashion history classes was a big mass of words and synonyms, definitions and dates – but the purpose became increasingly clear. Fashion has always been a symbol, a sign of strength and a privilege to those who could afford. Since the industrial revolution it increasingly became an affordable companion which was produced for the masses and doesn’t have a long living purpose anymore. Uniqueness expresses it’s living nature to the principle to “the faster the better”. Street-fashion is the new inspiration and it’s not guided by the rich and wealthy elite only.