I have been absolutely intrigued by how fascinating fashion can be when one really delves into its history. In my fashion, having knowledge of fashion history empowers personal style. If you have been following #IMFblog for the past two months learning about Diana Vreeland’s accomplishments at the Costume Institute, hopefully you have gained a plethora of insight into how costume history has influenced our modern views of what we find beautiful. Through DV’s point of view, and her flare for presentation, she introduced new ways of thinking about the importance of fashion in a societal context through time. Her work mostly helped to bring inspiration and aspiration to the high fashion designers of the industry, and their work would go on to become revolutionary in their respective points in time. In these past months I have really began to ponder the reason why the Couture houses maintain their high standards, and how they run their business as the leaders of fashion ingenuity. I recently came across a BBC documentary which followed its reporter, Margy Kinmonth, as she met various members of “The Secret World of Couture” from the point of view of an outsider being allowed access to a heavily guarded insider club of sorts.
|"Unique is Chic!"|
While anyone can become a part of the couture festivities, one must have made their way up the social latter quite high before couture regulars will acknowledge your presence. I wondered why it is that people like Karl Lagerfeld, and Alber Elbaz, Riccardo Tisci, and most recently Alexander Wang are inspired to provide garments to the world of which a body may never feel the inside of. Clothes that are so special, they only need one outing to be burned into the mental images of those that see the woman in that dress (and these days with the internet, everyone is able to see the woman as soon as she steps out into the daylight). In my fashion, the couture shows are so magical just to see on live-streams. I can only imagine being present during these events (can you imagine the goose bumps). Watching the BBC documentary one gains an understanding of the level of the fashion industry that is responsible for bring fashion to the rest of the world through wildly imaginative and expensive pieces in the couture, down to the ready-to-wear collections and mainstream fashion.
This month I am inspired by the magic of “The Secret World of Couture”. Diana Vreeland adored Paris, and was alive during a time when designers of the great couture houses of today were making their beginnings for the fashion industry. She socialized and was friends with the designers Cristobol Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, Hubert Givenchy, and Christian Dior. So this month I am going to be looking into the point of views of the current couture design house heads, and how they help individuals assert the power of the imagination through clothes. One fashion expert whose book I have been reading of late speaks on the influence of these design houses, and much more on fashion history, in his book “Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible”. Tim Gunn maintains that fashion is all about context—societal, cultural, historic, economic, and political. To him, dismissing fashion as silly or unimportant seems like a denial of history and frequently a show of sexism. I support this notion, and that is why I work to understand fashion in its entire context within our world. As feminist, Elizabeth Wilson postulated, “immense psychological and material work goes into the production of the social self, and clothes are an indispensable part of that production.” As Vogue says in its July 2013 issue, “Life is an endless costume party,” and when one thinks about it, the fashion industry is actually quite young, but inventive costume and adorning oneself has always been an innate aspect of the human experience. In July, we will delve into why, “Unique is Chic.”
|"Life is an endless costume party!"|