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Module 1: Storia di Fashion Design

    Study Reminders

    Although apparel was around in the 17th and 18th centuries, we will begin discussing the history of fashion design here, in the 19th century, when dress took a dramatic change. 
    It was at this point in history that sewing machines, electricity, dye formulas, and many other inventions were introduced, which changed the way clothing was manufactured. 
    We will begin by looking at the different dress styles of that era.
    Woman’s Clothing
    During the 19th century, women’s dress saw a significant shift, primarily in how much the female figure was shown. 
    The styles began revealing more of the female body and showing thinner silhouettes, which placed emphasis on women having a slim waist. Additionally, the skirts were fuller and often featured heavy ornamentation.
    Although this was over a hundred years ago, you might notice examples of this fashion trend repeated today.
    When women are selecting a bridal gown, many times they will opt for a dress with a tight, cinched waist, heavy ornamentation, and a full skirt.
    Men’s Clothing
    The 19th century was a crucial time period for men because it laid the foundation for gentleman’s clothing for years to come. 
    It was at this point that men began to wear high-collared shirts, vests, trousers, and waistcoats. The colour black was also introduced during this time, which has lasted to this day in the form of suits and tuxedos.
    The work blue jeans are one fashion style that was introduced in the 19th century and went on to become the single most recognised and influential fashion trend today.
    Charles Frederick Worth
    You already learned briefly about Charles Frederick Worth, who was the first fashion designer to dictate design to clothing. 
    However, it is important to explore his contributions to 19th century fashion a little further. When it comes to significant influencers of this era, Worth is at the top of the list.
    Charles Worth was an English fashion designer who made his claim to fame in the French fashion industry. Worth began his career working across several prestigious draper’s shops in London before moving to Paris in 1846.
    Following the move and his marriage to a French model, Charles Worth became a junior partner in a Parisian drapery shop. It did not take Worth long to convince his associates to expand into dressmaking, which led to the dressmaking establishment Worth and Bobergh in 1858.
    With his new shop he dressed actresses, models, and singers, who would travel from other countries to see him. Worth became known as the father of haute couture and is credited as the first designer to put labels on the clothes he manufactured. His work is also associated with a movement that sought to redefine the female shape.
    John Redford
    Another influential designer of the 19th century was an English designer by the name of John Redford, who was the first to design tailor-made, two-piece jacket and skirt garments. 
    This designer operated under the name “John Redford and Sons” in Paris and was most popular among active women of the late 1800s.
    Redford’s tailor-made styles led to a dress revolution at the end of the 19th century, which paved the way for a more comfortable clothing in the 20th century.
    We have covered a couple of the greatest fashion designers of the 19th century, and with their influence, more designs and fashions were created. 
    Now it is important to understand where they drew inspiration from, and as it turns out, there were quite a few influences in that era.
    Regency Influence
    Fashion in the early 19th century was inspired by Britain’s George, Prince Regent and is characterised by empire waist dress lines, classic Greek lines, and thin, fine fabrics. 
    This particular style is still worn over two hundred years later.
    Victorian Influence
    We covered Regency style, which includes the earlier part of the 19th century, however, after 1837, when Queen Elizabeth rose to the throne in 1837, fashion evolved, and things changed. 
    The Victorian style primarily influenced the latter part of 19th century fashion; however, there were other influences throughout the century.
    The Victorian style ushered in more ornate woman’s clothing with high necks, fitted bodices, lavish lace embroidery, and lace designs. For men, the designs were quite the opposite in comparison with other eras; the style became more understated.
    Men’s clothing in this era was simple with no loud or colourful designs. In fact, it was considered in poor taste for men to be seen in anything other than black and white, and most men dressed alike. However, some men added details like pocket watches to display their wealth.
    Gothic Influence
    The gothic influence of clothing is yet another example of how fashion styles can emerge and re-emerge. 
    You might wear this style yourself or have seen it on television or the big screen.
    It might be surprising to learn that the gothic fashion is not a 21st century fashion style. In fact, it originated in the 19th century when Britain and France were feuding.
    Since both countries’ styles varied, women did not know what the enemy was wearing, so each country developed their own style. Thus, the Gothic style was developed in 1811 and drew influence from medieval garments.
    The Romantic Movement
    The gothic influence continued through the next few years, but slowly the fashion began changing, beginning with the empire waist, which began dropping to the standard waist length. 
    Also, bodices developed a V-shape, women began to wear corsets, and men wore frock coats with tails.
    This era, known as the Romantic Movement, influenced fashion from the late 18th century to the mid-19th century.