The notion of fashion is tightly interwoven with the development of our society. It tenderly reacts to the slightest change in the mood of society, trying to satisfy all demands of the present generation.
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This is why each period of the history of humanity is usually connected with some kind of clothes which were in fashion. Everyone remembers Roman togas, Scottish kilts, and top hats of gentlemen. However, this bond can also have a converse effect. Fashion can sometimes determine the following development of society, dictating its rules to people.
A great designer cannot ignore society and be just a viewer of the occurring processes. He must be an active participant in them. Coco Chanel was of that kind. She influenced the development of fashion greatly, created a new brand that became generic in the fashion world. She had started her creative work at the beginning of the 20th century. It was the era of great changes. During the period of the first world war, women often had to do male work.
This fact, of course, influenced their conscience and further development of fashion greatly. Working on a level with men, they understood their equality and the right to obtain the desirable occupations. They refused to return home and doing some traditional womens businesses. “They had gained new freedom working outside of homes with set hours and comradeship and respect that they relished” (Thomas para. 19).
However, their old clothes were too feminine and uncomfortable to perform a new role. They underlined womens unequal character. That is why some brand new design for clothes was needed. Coco Chanel was one of the first designers to understand and provide necessary changes. “Her designs were revolutionary for the time—borrowing elements of men’s wear and emphasizing comfort over the constraints of then-popular fashions.
She helped women say good-bye to the days of corsets and other confining garments” (“Coco Chanel” para. 7). Her famous black dress, which was much shorter than anyone could imagine, made a revolution.
Having obtained new clothes, women started acting more confident, realizing themselves as a part of social life, and not being afraid of participating in it. Women wearing them had to be courageous and self-confident in order to challenge traditional stereotypes of womens clothes appreciated in society. The era of feminism had come.
With the course of time, the main trends in fashion have changed. However, history is cyclic, and main ideas which were actually for the beginning of the 20th century obtained new actuality in the 1960s. Women again realized the convenience of loose clothes, which we’re able to guarantee freedom of movement. Pierre Cardin became one of the most popular fashion designers of that time, creating loose dresses that were tightened at the waistline.
These dresses were called bubble and “became an international success” (“Pierre Cardin.” para. 7). Experiments with the length of a skirt peculiar for the 1920s now resulted in a concept of mini. Andre Courreges was a designer who was responsible for “mini-revolution” (Schneider para. 2), introducing skirts that could hardly cover hips.
Fashion is constantly developing, obtaining some new ideas, or returning to the old ones, giving them some new vision. There is a great number of modern designers who follow the ideas of Coco Chanel or Pierre Cardin. Among them is Phoebe Philo, who also creates some manlike womens clothes for women to feel comfortable. The development of fashion continues.
“Coco Chanel”. Bio. 2014. Web.
“Pierre Cardin.” Bio. 2014. Web.
Schneider, Karen. “Up, Up and Hooray! Designer Andre Courreges Celebrates 25 Years of Miniskirt Fame“. People. 1990. Web.
Thomas, Pauline. 1914-1920 Towards Dress Reform Fashion History. Web