Ciara Greaney, 105674247.
Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening. – Coco Chanel
New York City is arguably the fashion capital of the world. The heart of that industry is found in the Fashion District, a square mile where the majority of the city’s major fashion labels operate showrooms and execute the fashion process from design and production to wholesaling. No other city in the world has a comparable concentration of fashion businesses and talent in a single district.The early 20th Century saw the emergence of women’s fashion as we know it. In the 1910’s and 1920’s, memberships of women clubs increased immensely. We also saw women beginning to work outside the home and participate in sporting activities – clothes needed for these activities helped to push and modify existing styles. No longer are females interested in the restrictive styles of the past.
Fashion tells us much more about the city than just what people are wearing. It tells us a story of politics, of revolutions, of modernity. The emerging modern woman tells the stories of her new-found liberties through her fashion choices. She is no longer restricted. She has the capacity to be as powerful as man. She is equal.
Paul Poiret, who became known in America as “The King of Fashion”, was the originator of fashion branding as we know it today. He was the first designer to sell a lifestyle – taking advantage of the growing media, hosting lavish parties and fashion shows, creating an image that people wanted to belong to. Even if you couldn’t afford the high-end clothing, you could buy the bag, hat, scarf or fragrance. He liberated women from the corset, introducing vibrant colour to the female wardrobe. We begin to see fashion and art merge.
The social practice of fashion allows us to follow the move from traditional to new; the many representations of the female form and femininity & who we have become as women in the modern city.