Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Miuccia Prada and Arts Centre

Miuccia Prada on conceptual fakes, Italy’s cultural backwardness and what she plans to do with her own arts centre, the "Foundation Prada".

Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli ,the heads of House of Prada and  the most successful husband-and-wife pairing in fashion.

The Iconin brand, PRADA

Prada is more than a fashion house; it is a whole design and cultural outlook. The main stores are not called shops, but epicentres and are by world famous architects Herzog & de Meuron and Rem Koolhaas, who also does Prada’s fashion shows.

Suzy Menkes, the International Herald Tribune’s fashion editor, says: “Miuccia captures the Zeitgeist. She is a conceptual fashion person who realises which way the wind is blowing. She took the family bag company and made those nylon bags in the minimalist 80s. Then she became the leader of the ugly aesthetic of the 90s.” Works of art—not to mention the movie, “The Devil Wears Prada”—have been created around the brand. In 1997, the photographic artist Andreas Gursky produced a series of sleek images of details of Prada stores. Then in 2005, the Scandinavian duo Elmgreen & Dragset made a Prada store (unauthorised, and with no sales) in the middle of the desert at Marfa, Texas. Now the Chinese artist Cao Fei, who specialises in installations about consumerism, wants to open a fake Prada factory in China. “A brilliant idea,” says Ms Prada, “but one that could be dangerous for the firm because the question of fakes is a hot topic”. Not so dangerous though as to cancel out the useful synergy between art and brand, brand and art.

To understand Miuccia Prada, you have to know the haut bourgeois Milan in which she grew up. On her mother’s side, she belongs to an old family firm that made luxury leather goods. She was educated in the revolutionary 1960s and 1970s to be an intellectual at a time when the Italian intelligentsia was almost exclusively left wing. No surprise, therefore, that she was a communist and a feminist. It also explains why she does not hang out with celebs; she is simply too cultivated and too grand for them to add anything to her life.

She had been learning mime with the Teatro Piccolo of Milan for five years when she was called to enter the firm, aged 29. She says she now realises that the world of fashion, despite its absurdity, does contain many open-minded and creative people. She used to be annoyed when intellectuals sneered at Prada’s involvement in art, which began in 1993. “Now I’m very interested in the power of brands, of celebrity, in the absurdity and scandals of that world, because I realise that I can play on many levels, for if culture isn’t appealing, it has no impact. When it’s too high-faluting and fails to communicate with young and ordinary people, it’s equivalent to not speaking at all.” She enjoys the money that comes from her work, but also the fame, which opens doors to her; China is allowing the Prada Foundation to restore old Chinese films precisely because they adore the brand

Prada Advertisment
Miuccia Prada doesn't sew, embroider or knit.I never saw her sketch a skirt or a shoe, nor is she likely to pick up a pair of scissors and cut out a dress.She is not a typical sort of designer, instead she surrounds herself  with talented people whose job is to translate her themes , tastes and art concepts into clothes that bear the Prada name.

In 1978 she met her future husband, the Tuscan leather goods manufacturer Patrizio Bertelli, who is an explosively dynamic entrepreneur, marketing genius and the person who has internationalised the brand. Even though she is the main creator in the firm, Miuccia Prada freely admits that he is responsible for a lot of the cultural mix. It was he who got them involved in art after a friend who was looking at their industrial spaces thought of using them for his sculptures. “That practical experience—very much my way of operating—led me to create the Prada Foundation [1995]. Its activities have become vital to me and my work. It’s a question of learning, of knowledge, of curiosity. My husband asked the art critic Germano Celant, who taught me quality, to become the foundation’s curator, and we took a wonderful trip around America. It was then that we met James Turrell and Donald Judd.

Miuccia Prada, the world's favourite fashion designer, she has shown how fashion can sit next to art.

“For two or three years Germano and I were rather suspicious of each other because he didn’t want to work in the fashion world and I didn’t want him to limit my freedom of expression. Now we’ve become friends and we complement each other. He likes the preparations for the exhibitions, the discussions with young artists; we provide the institutional framework.”

From time to time, the two of them draw up a list of artists and ideas to consider. While earlier exhibitions at the foundation were mostly of heavyweights, as though the foundation was proving that it was not fashionable flim-flam—including artists such as Anish Kapoor, Walter De Maria, Giulio Paolini, Louise Bourgeois, Marc Quinn and David Smith (d.1965)—its recent shows have been less solemn: the campy, satirical videos of Francesco Vezzoli, the violent, clever animations by Nathalie Djurberg, the architectural jokes and slides of Carsten Höller.

In Italy, where museums have not yet cottoned on to the idea of making culture accessible, attendance figures are among the lowest in Europe. A survey carried out by the think-tank  Osservatorio Impresa e Cultura* in 2003 revealed that the young thought museums, even contemporary art ones, were too closed, too elitist for them. Ms Prada, on the other hand, has travelled, has seen the kind of people who visit Tate and MoMA and wants the Prada Foundation to be different. To begin with, unlike most Italian museums, the foundation does not charge for entry. “I don’t have to answer to anybody, seeing that we pay for it all, ” she says. “I’m interested in art that enters into the great world of communication, such as Francesco Vezzoli’s. He did those fake reality shows with us, and his art is about the media obsessions of today. If kids are more interested now in the internet than drawing, then you should invest in something to do with the internet.” She is still waiting, though, for a good internet project to come her way.

Asked what she thinks of the city of Milan’s cultural policies, she says she had better not comment as she gets so cross: “I can say though that culture is absolutely not seen as a priority. We wanted to give a work by Charles Ray to the city of Milan, but ten years later they still haven’t found a square in which to put it.” Of the city’s proposed museum of contemporary art she says: “They don’t realise that culture doesn’t need money, it needs ideas. And they can’t even find room for a museum in
memory of Lucio Font .”

Three or four years ago she had a dry patch in her faith in art. “I realised that instead of doing things spontaneously, we were straining to find the big idea, which was the opposite of how we started out.” She turned to philosophy, financing a number of conferences on the subject and she still funds a university philosophy chair, but what involves her most now is film. She has managed to weave this in with her architectural interests, which began with her husband, who, she says, was responsible for making the Prada stores in New York, Tokyo and San Francisco the extraordinary shopping experiences that they are. Suzy Menkes comments: “These make any conventional retailer wince because most of the items for sale are tucked away below, almost out of sight, while there are huge blank walls for projections and art events.”

It has taken the foundation four years to get permission to put up its current, temporary building called the Transformer next to the 16th-century Gyeonghui Palace in Seoul. It is a tetrahedron covered in stretchy membrane, whose four sides are a hexagon, a rectangle, a cross and a circle respectively. With four cranes its inside and outside spaces can be changed in less than an hour. It started out cross-shaped in April, showing “Waist Down, Skirts by Miuccia Prada”, a kinetic art installation involving all the designs of skirts she has ever done. As a hexagon, until 12 July it will be showing movies, and from the end of July, the animations of Nathalie Djurberg. Its inventor, Rem Koolhaas, calls it a dynamic organism, and it unites all the Prada interests: fashion, architecture, film and art.

Ms Prada looks forward to when the foundation will have its new space in Milan, including a cinema that will seat 200-250 people. This is the most ambitious project yet, the transformation of the 20,500 sq. metre industrial complex in the south of Milan into a centre for the foundation. It will house the 15 large-scale installations the foundation has collected since it started, together with the 500 or so post-1950 works owned by Miuccia Prada and her husband. Rem Koolhaas and his OMA practice are full creative partners in this, as they were given no brief by Ms Prada and Mr Celant for the first conceptual stage. The schematic design phase, working out how many buildings will be new and how many old and what they will be for, ends in August. Only one building will be a museum as such, the others being multi-purpose—for example, there will be four areas where film can be shown.

The project leader, Chris van Duijn, says that Ms Prada is very interested in the relationship between old and new, and hopes to borrow exhibitions from museums such as the Uffizi and Louvre to put with modern work. While OMA has plenty of experience of planning for museums, they have also joined up with the French museum and auditorium designers, dUCKS (sic) to add to the creative mix. They are thinking hard about how to link the complex visually with the city, however ungrateful Milan—and Italy—may have been to Prada hitherto (Miuccia Prada and her husband have not had one Euro in tax breaks since they started).

Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli founded the Prada Foundation in 1993, with the artistic direction of Germano Celante beginning in 1995. The Foundation is a non-profit organization, generated by passion for contemporary art.
AMO, the think-tank of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) was commissioned by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli to design the intervention on and transformation of an early 20th -century industrial site south of Milan to create new experimental spaces for the Prada Art Foundation.

This is an expensive project to build and, above all, to run, and the brakes seem to be going on. Mr van Duijn says that the building (Foundation Prada) will be finished around 2013 or 2015, which has slipped from the initial prediction of 2011. The scheme, estimated to cost €25m, was announced in April 2008, when Prada still hoped to go public, but the share launch was postponed, in part due to the financial climate, and Prada Spa then posted a 22% fall in net profit—€99m on a turnover of €1.6bn—for 2008. The company is also considered to be fairly heavily indebted, with net debt of €537m.

A spokesman for the foundation has, however, assured The Art Newspaper that the cultural complex will go ahead regardless of the financial results of Prada Spa.

* Osservatorio Impresa e Cultura (Enterprise and Culture Observatory) is the laboratory of research and ideas.Its commitment is to monitor the needs of businesses, focus areas where culture can produce tangible results, identify and adapt to the Italian models already proven effective in other countries. All this with the aim of spreading the knowledge of how investment in culture represents a competitive asset for the company and a dynamic factor capable of setting in motion the energies of the territory.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hedi Slimane to Change Name of Yves Saint Laurent

 Hedi Slimane was selected  as the new creative director of YSL in early 2012,Slimane's first big move as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent will be to change the brand's name to Saint Laurent Paris.

The switch was confirmed Thursday after rumors circulated Wednesday. Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve announced the news to his staff in an internal memo:
"I am very pleased to announce an exciting step in the history of our brand and our business. As part of our strategy to become one of the world's true leaders in fashion and luxury, we are transforming the name of our brand from 'Yves Saint Laurent' to 'Saint Laurent Paris.' The new name of our brand has been shared with the media today. The brand identity and visual language will be introduced over the next several months and will be fully in place for Spring/Summer 2013 collection. This name change celebrates our legacy and heritage, while boldly marking our ambition for the future. It will allow us to return to the fundamentals of YSL and revive the spirit and the intentions that reigned over the creation of 'Saint Laurent Rive Gauche' in 1966: principles of youth, freedom, and modernity."

Yves Saint Laurent launched his 
legendary "Saint Laurent Rive Gauche" collection in 1960s.

While the name of the brand will change for ready to wear collection, the house's iconic YSL logo — a French cultural icon — will not disappear. However, Slimane also plans to reintroduce the original fonts that were used when the Rive Gauche line launched in 1966. (At right, an ad announcing the opening of the store.)Slimane, who took over the creative director's chair from Stefano Pilati in March, will present his first two collections — Men's Spring 2013 and Women's Resort 2013 — for the house to buyers only. He intends to make his first big statement to the press with his Spring 2013 collection during Paris Fashion Week later this year. When he assumed control, Slimane was given "total creative responsibility for the brand image and all its collections."

Hedi Slimane

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Modern Italian Fashion

The wonder and phenomenon of Italian fashion has already currently conquered the world so much that many are right, when they talk about Italy as the "new Everest" in world design. Both ladieswear and menswear attract the attention with freshness of forms and contemporaneity of silhouette, with the specific, graceful kind of elegance, with the splendid mixture of eroticism, sex appeal, aesthetics and culture of behaviour.

Italian Renaissance had a lot of influence on the Italian fashion, the paintings and artwork inspired many.The paintings of Titian, Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli, Raphael, Ghirlandaio, Uccello, Filippo Lippi, Fra Angelico and Benozzo Gozzoli inspired many designers.

GOZZOLI's Journey of Magi.The horse bridal print inspired Gianni Versace to make handbags of same sort.
The Italian Catherine de' Medici of the Medici Dynasty, as Queen of France. Her fashions were the main trendsetters of courts at the time.
Eleanor of Toledo with her son Giovanni, painted by Bronzino in 1545. It's considered the first state portrait to depict a ruler's wife with his heir. The picture was intended to demonstrate the wealth, domesticity and continuity of the Medici. A much repeated myth tells this dress served as her shroud.

"If Botticelli were alive now he'd be working for Vogue"
 the famous actor, Peter Ustinov once remarked. 


The Ovid's Fasti is a poetic Roman calendar that tells the story of nymph Chloris who was kidnapped by Zephyr, the cold wind. Botticelli was inspired by this story when he painted La Primavera.Central figure and even the one of three graces resemble Simonetta Vespucci.Flora is the one with blue eyes and wearing the dress with flower prints, her beauty inspires women and her dress inspires designers.

Venus and Mars by Botticelli

The Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello
School of Athens by Raphael
Balthasar Mounted by Gozzoli

Boticelli's Mystische Geburt
Italian Renaissance Art

Italian Renaissance Art

Marriage at Cana by Paolo Veronese.
Birth of Venus by Botticelli

The Family of Darius before Alexander by Paolo Veronese

Cavalli's grandfather, Giuseppe Rossi, was an impressionist painter with pristine works that remain in the halls of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.Roberto Cavalli was inspired by his grandfather and stated that many of his wonderful prints were inspired from the paintings of his grandfather.Emilio Pucci a Florentine designer was inspired by Florentine art and paintings and he himself was a supreme painter.Pucci painted on clothes and was a print maker.

Vision of the Cross by Raphael

Emilio Pucci, Marquis of Barsento was a Florentine aristrocrat best known today for geometric and psychedelic-print clothing, but during his life he had various other guises from politician to Olympic skier to artist.
                      Miuccia Prada

                Giorgio Armani

The emancipation, sport style and minimalism unite artists as Giorgio Armani, Nino Cerruti and Luciano Benetton. The ones, who show enviable reflex regarding new technologies, textile innovations, advertising and communications.Flamboyancy, rich picturesqueness and spirit are the signatures of the works of Emilio Pucci, Gianni Versace , Dolce & Gabbana and Roberto Cavalli. Fashion is interpreted as artistic phenomenon and impressive art in the works of bright artists such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Anna Molinari. Chic, exquisiteness and magic sculpturing are typical for two of the most fascinating Italian stylists such as Valentino and Gianfranco Ferre.
Lots of femininity, lightness and conceptuality characterize the works of Miuccia Prada and Alberta Ferretti. Cultural tradition, innovativeness and non-commerciality are particularly impressive in the views and designer works of Franco Moschino and Romeo Gigli. Skillfulness and dedication mark the work of Salvatore Ferragamo, Angela Missoni and a great number of other influential Italian fashion designers.

Salvatore Ferragamo, world's most influential shoe maker .

Alberta Ferretti

         Ottavio Missoni, founder of Missoni

Why February 12, 1951, is pointed out as the birth date of the modern Italian fashion? In what is expressed the competition between the three serious centres of Italian style – Rome, Milan and Florence? Why is Milan among the most influential capitals of world fashion? To what extent do industry and commercial approach determine this success? Who are the most vivid representatives of the modern Italian fashion design? By what does the Italian style enrich the world fashion and why is it so popular today?...After the end of the World War II, gradually but securely Italy overcame its backwardness and only after a few years started to demonstrate its serious fashion ambitions. The USA, which have rendered Italy serious economic assistance, have a contribution and played a role in its reconstruction and industrial recovery.In her book "Fashion, Italian Style" Valerie Steele reveals some very interesting aspects of the fashion relation between the USA and Italy. This relation is outlined as well, mainly in the way, into which Cerruti, Armani, Valentino, Versace and others conquer Hollywood, as well as in the breakthroughs of Pucci, Benetton and others on the American market.

The birth of the contemporary, post-war Italian fashion, although symbolically, happened at the first more serious public presentation of collections of Italian designers on February 12, 1951 in Florence. It was organized by Giovanni Battista Giorgini, who decided to carry it out in his own villa.Only a few months later, he repeated the fashion show in Florence, this time in the Grand Hotel, in more luxurious environment and with the more impressive participation of designers from Rome, Milan, Florence and Turin. At that time already, experts and journalists see the advantages of the Italian design of clothing – the production of practical and at the same time elegant clothes, comfort, functionality and high quality.

The significance of these points is confirmed by a US Vogue report of September 1952: "There are three exciting things about Italian fashion today: the first is that Italy is capable of producing a kind of clothes which suit America exactly... Namely: clothes for outdoors, for resorts... separates, all the boutique articles and accessories.The second is the fabrics - anything and everything pertaining to Italian fabrics is newsworthy. The third is the evening dresses, marvellously made in marvellous silks at a relatively low cost. These are the three things in which the Italians need to be encouraged; they should be given wings to develop their native specialties and urgently discouraged from French adaptations".

Florence gave only the first push to the organized presentation of the Italian fashion. A few years later, a group of the most famous fashion artists from Rome decided to start presenting their collections first in Rome rather than in Florence. Not long after that the time of Milan came, where in 1958, the Week of Italian Fashion was carried out for the first time.
The big migration to Milan of a significant part of the greatest Italian fashion artists has started. Walter Albini and Ken Scott were the first ones, and in 1974 many designers from Florence also decided to set up their headquarters in Milan. The National Chamber of Fashion established in Rome works under the model of the Syndicate Chamber of Parisian Couture.
However, the authority and the power of the Italian style of clothing cannot be understood if at least four of its specific features are not taken into consideration. The first one is the profound tradition in art and sculpture, whose roots could be traced to the Renaissance and to the perception of man as a measure of all things. Some centuries later, the vital and beautiful, strong and captivating images in the pictures of Botticelli and Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci render influence over the works of Emilio Pucci and Gianni Versace, of Valentino, Armani, Ferre and Cavalli.
Italian Renaissance Art

Italian Renaissance Art
        Gianni Versace, Versace was also inspired by Italian Renaissance art.

The second specific feature ensues from the lifestyle of the Italians themselves – lively, explosive, adventurous, satiated with lots of emotions. Music is an essential part of it – the Italian canzonetta, the masterpieces of Verdi and Puccini, Adriano Celentano and Gianni Morandi, Andrea Bocelli and Eros Ramazzotti. And if the first two features are more or less related to the Mediterranean culture and its beautiful, flamboyant and picturesque style of expression, the third specific feature has a purely designer's origin.

This concerns the newest wave of talented and brilliant generations of fashion artists, who raised the Italian style to the heights of its world achievements and managed to overshadow to a great extent the French, English and US fashion schools. Walter Albini, Emilio Pucci, Valentino, Nino Cerruti and Giorgio Armani are among the most stable pillars of Italian fashion design. It is unavoidable not to assign here such giants of taste and elegance as Krizia, Prada, Gucci and Ferragamo.Worthy place in the list of positive characteristics of the Italian designers take also their sense for the market and their lack of compromise regarding fabrics. Specialists have been talking with a huge respect about the Armani fabrics, Cerruti stuffs, Zegna and Valentino materials among others. The designer's approach to textile privileges the Italian style as unrivaled regarding beauty, aesthetics, charm and adequacy with post-modern criteria.

The fourth specific feature is the rich family tradition and succession in some of the biggest fashion and textile companies in Italy. According to certain statements in media, such as the French Figaro, more than 80 per cent of the luxurious Italian industry is concentrated in the hands of fifteen Italian families. These include: Armani, Versace, Gucci, Prada, Cerutti 1881, Max Mara, Ferragamo, Zegna, Missoni, Brioni, among others.

Family business had proved its advantages for a long time but there are opponents to such a thesis. According to them, in cases where two generations take turns in the company management, it becomes more complicated further up and grandchildren or great grandchildren do not manage to deal so well with the many economic, investment, reinvestment, competition and market challenges. Delimitation of functions of „owners", „managers" and „designers" is probably a means to overcome risks undertaken in the development of a family business in the sphere of fashion.
The influence of the Italian fashion has been increasing and growing since the 1980s not only on European but also on world scale. Italy took the first position in clothing exports among the other European countries more than a quarter of a century ago. By what did some of the greatest Italian designers contribute most to the consecration of their motherland as a centre of aesthetic and elegant fashion on a planetary scale?

The art of Elsa Schiaparelli should be studied even more thoroughly as she is among the few world designers of the 20th century who ardently interpret fashion as style, aesthetics and culture of equal standing with the other arts activities. Her brilliant spirit of innovation and experiment result in many novelties in the fashion design that are widely in use even at present.Her perfume "Shocking" is currently an object of inspiration and a stimulus for the modern art of fragrances and bottle design. During this period of time between the end of the 1920s when she opened her first boutique in Vandom square in Paris and the last presentation of a collection of hers in 1954, she worked energetically and with inspiration, emancipating fashion as art that is worth respect in the direction of her creative apotheosis.

Summarizing the amazing creative achievements of Valentino, the "Rolls-Royce among designers", we should take into consideration the fact that he is a creator of highest rank in the spirit of the great tradition of haute couture fashion designers from the second half of 20th century. His contribution to refinement of shape and cleaning the silhouette in fashion design is doubtless. As a whole, the Valentino style is focused on the most attractive in the Italian manner of dressing – tenderness, romanticism and substance.

                  Valentino Garavani

The art of one of the fashion geniuses of the 20th century, Gianni Versace, cannot be understood, if both the perfection and the virtuosity of its works, as well as the richness and the splendour of his hand are not taken into account. In times of minimalism and cold chic, he creates bravely in the spirit of Emilio Pucci and Christian Lacroix.The baroque dose of beauty and elegance, with which he covers generously his fans, makes him privileged designer of luxury, colour feast and non-bashful sex appeal. This could be categorically seen in his large-scale projects for the cinema, theatre, opera and ballet rather than only in his season collections. His eroticism, similar to the eroticism in ancient times, is vibrant and vital as life itself, as he draws his power from history as well, being aware that real beauty is impossible without it. Gianni Versace will always remain the designer of colours, motley patterns and youthful emancipation. And this means a creator of the change, a creator of the future!

                         Gianfranco Ferre at his show

Gianfranco Ferré's fashion is of great impact because it is full of life and provokes feelings. It really proclaims joy from life, admiration and respect before the beauty of the woman, modern, liberated, full of love. It is absolutely rightfully to call Ferré a magician, a poet, a dreamer, a sculptor. His works provoke admiration from the mastered form and wake of the most sincere feelings of exaltation from the contact with the world of insane and spontaneous rather than only wise and perceived beauty.

The world of fashion should be extremely grateful to Giorgio Armani, because thanks to his style the apparel has moved closer to people's real life, it became more practical, while its elegance has acquired dimensions, different from the values, which had been imposed until mid-1970s.
On the one hand, Giorgio Armani managed to form a radically new type of moderate, reserved and sample elegance in women's style, thanks to its creative adaptation to men's wardrobe. On the other hand, Armani has contributed to a more adequate evaluation of youth lifestyle and has a serious contribution to launching the sport cuts and silhouettes in formal apparel, he even outdistanced the rest in the world of fashion at a rather early stage at that. Third, the great Italian has reformed the suit (both man's and woman's) in the direction of being inadvertent, by succeeding to free it from boredom and sternness, making it a more attractive apparel for the representative of the creative, artistic and entertaining business. Fourth, in communication and advertising aspect Armani showed how fashion design could begin to be heard through the Hollywood star system and through the resourceful partnership with celebrities from the big picture and the show business.All of this, together with the originality of Armani's character, his certain enigmatism and reserve in public appearances, place him very high in the hierarchy of best fashion designers of the 20th century.

The creative and business success of the Italian designer duo Dolce and Gabbana is due to at least four important reasons. First, it is their original desire to be different, special and individual in their art. Second, their organic link with folklore and ethnic richness, thanks to which their designs are colourful, vital and impressive. Third, their unwaning interest in real life and the whims of the street and youth culture leads to the creation of comfortable, fresh, charged with sporty spirit clothes in which sex appeal is interwoven with the romantic and the eclectic. Fourth, their full-blooded communication with cinema and pop music brings forth the new masterpieces of fashion design, charged with a new, out-of-standard vision, eccentricity and challenge.

                  Stefano Gabbana

Dolce and Gabbana enriched Italian fashion tradition precisely with the bold entry into the new generation's system of values. Not only through their clothes and accessories, but also with their memorable perfumes they also gave a fresh impetus to world fashion. One should merit most highly their new constructive solutions, an original mixture of forms and colours and aesthetic otherness, artistic difference in respect to notions like elegance, style and post-modernism.

Robero Cavalli , a Florentine
is among the most interesting and influential Italian designers today. Thanks to his artistism, emancipation and rich imagination he really manages to seduce the contemporary woman and to give her as a present generous portions of sensuality and eroticism, charm and sex appeal, splendour and picturesqueness. Unflinching in his desire to be both a dreamer and realist, he is a part of the contemporary Italian visual culture and an example of vitality, spiritual wealth and Florentine temper.

Roberto Cavalli,a Florentine designer who got inspired by his grandfather (Florentine painter)
The life and abundant art of Franco Moschino are symptomatic of the career of every original and innovatively thinking designer. They are indicative of the limitless opportunities offered by the territory of fashion in respect to ingeniousness, provocativeness and sense of humour.
Thanks to artists like Moschino, contemporary fashion design is among the leading cultural factors, a wonderful chance and instrument to uphold individual identity, as well as a powerful "vitamin" for social variety. His style is a real anti-venom against super-consumer attitudes and manipulative extremes of commercial fashion.

At the beginning of its existence, Gucci Empire of fashion was producing leather articles for horses and horse riding. It was established by Guccio Gucci in 1906 in Florence. Throughout the decades it imposed itself as a producer of quality accessories and additions – bags and sacks of military type, belts, shoes including the famous gilt crocodile leather moccasins and others.

                  Guccio Gucci

Today Gucci is a well established brand of approximate annual turnover of 2 billion euro that attracts clients, fans and true followers with the well set up balance between provocative and intelligent, club and casual, erotic and reserved clothing. This strange mix of minimalism and a little bit of eclecticism, mastered aggressiveness and uncovered postmodernism, is the secret of the unusual effect of the clothes, the accessories and the perfumes of Gucci fashion house.It gains admiration and customers through the expensive accessories of exclusive quality as well as through the well-maintained and developed mythology. The artist who left the most sustainable trace in the famous fashion house is Tom Ford, who started his work with it in 1990 and became its chief designer in 1994.

A generally trifle fact of his youth years should be interpreted symptomatically and probably as a sign of fate: at the age of twelve, he was given by his mother shoes made by a company with which the future great designer still has a special karma relation and this is Gucci. Most probably many other American boys also had Gucci moccasins on, but in this case it is a matter of a symbol that was materialized in an unbelievable manner.And even after the resignation of Ford in 2004, Gucci retained its image of an emblem of the new generations, of an axiom of luxury, style and elegance of imperious nature. In the first two years that happened under the successful management of Alessandra Facchinetti and after that under the management of the current designer of Gucci, Frida Giannini.

The prototype of the current Ermenegildo Zegna holding company was established by Ermenegildo Zegna in 1910 in Tivero, a small town in the Alps. The young entrepreneur devoted himself to his ambition to create fabrics of high quality for men's clothing and his strategy was to focus on the selection of the best raw materials directly from the producer; on innovations both in product and in production process and promotion of the brand.Parallel to his industry arrangements, the creator of the famous brand was dreaming to improve the mountainous terrain of his textile mills location. In 1930s, Ermenegildo Zegna planted more than 500 000 pine trees and rhododendrons on the barest mountain slopes. At that time, he also started the construction of a panoramic road named after him.

The sons of the founder, Angelo Zegna, an honorary chairman of the holding company and Aldo Zegna (who passed away in 2000), took over the management of the company from their father in the 1960s. Their company launched a menswear line that occupied the luxury goods niche on the ready-to-wear market.

Today Ermenegildo Zegna is a world leader in the luxurious menswear. Its annual production of fabrics stands 2.3 million metres, 600,000 over clothes, more than 1.6 million sports articles and 1.75 million textile accessories. The employees of the holding across the world number 7,000. Sales turnover in 2007 was 843.4 million euro, of which 90 per cent from clothing and accessories and 10 per cent from fabrics. 86 per cent of the total sales are generated outside Italy.
 The holding company is still a family business and is managed by the forth generation of the family: Paolo is a president, Ermenegildo is an executive director and Anna, Benedetta, Laura and Renata Zegna are among the other management members. In the 1980s the group finalized the process of vertical integration by opening the first monobrand boutiques in Paris (1980) and Milan (1985).In 2007, the holding company became already an owner of 525 monobrand places for world sale (Ermenegildo Zegna and Zegna Sport are brands which company holds), of which 253 are under direct management. Recently the brand is diversified and, starting from the Chinese market, implements significant changes in the direction of the realization of its multibrand strategy.A license agreement for luxurious menswear was signed in the same year with designer Tom Ford.Zegna company uses top designers and give a modern and stylish look for gentlemen.
    Paolo Zegna, the current President of Zegna Company
Zegna Family: Paolo Zegna, Gildo Zegna ,Anna Zegna, Angelo Zegna

The foundations of the Max Mara brand were laid in 1951 with the presentation of a coat of camel colour and a red suit. The founder, Achille Maramotti, after his graduation as a lawyer, fully devoted himself to the family passion – designing of ladies wear.He inherited this passion from his great grandmother Marina Rinaldi who headed a high class dressmaking shop at the end of the 19 century in the heart of Reggio Emilia, anticipating the prêt-a-porter ideas of that time when fashion was considered simply a craft.This first presentation with key and precisely outlined characteristics showed already the special distinctive features that might be discovered in the following collections of the brand. Among them were clear cuts and strict lines, inspired by the brilliant French style that was in fashion at that time, taking into consideration the typical Italian taste.Many other collections followed the first one: the success was immediate and continued in the following years. At the end of the 1960s, when London was the capital of ideas and fashion, Achille Maramotti is again the first one to grab the momentum of a creator and transfer it in his newly designed collection Sportmax. Its target are the young women who try to look different.
Achille Maramotti

The rest of the history is influenced by more recent fashion events: the evolution of suit, separate parts of the clothes with a view to the increasing requirements of the modern woman. Currently the collections of Max Mara have the general characteristics of the products offered by the company from Reggio Emilia: quality, style and respect for the personality.
Passion and decisiveness as well as the innovative tradition, launched by the founder Achille Maramotti more then 50 years ago, are continued by the new generation of the family. Here follow the people who exercise the top management of the company, of course with the support of other experienced experts: Dr. Luigi Maramotti – President of Max Mara S.R.L, Dr. Ignazio Maramotti - President of Max Mara Fashion Group S.R.L. and Dr. Maria Ludovica Maramotti - President of Manifatture del Nord S.R.L.
A lot of things might be missed in our attempt to explain the wonder and the phenomenon of Italian fashion with one exception: the divinely beautiful Italian women. Among them, as muses and customers of the great designers are such magnetic stars of the Italian cinema of the 1960s and the 1970s as Sophia Loren, Anna Magnani, Silvana Mangano, Claudia Cardinale, Gina Lollobrigida and later Ornella Muti among others.
We should not forget to mention also their successors like Monica Bellucci for example, emblematic with her original and unusually effective sex appeal. And at least one more suggestion shall be needed for the better comprehension of the beauty of current Italian design. This is its impudence and boldness to look at life straight in the eyes, to land the style and in the same time to exalt it; to respond to the needs of street fashion and of alta fashion. Ritual and improvisation, experiment and romanticism – all this is just part of the magic components of the alchemy, named Italian fashion.Other independent Italian fashion designers are ruling in international fashion houses , Stefano Pilati in YSL and Riccardo Tisci in Givenchy.

                        Riccardo Tisci
                 Stefano Pilati, he not only looks like renaissance man. He is a Renaissance.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

History of the British fashion

Fashion is a huge subject. It was dependent on the area of the world lived in, the class or profession of the wearer, whether they were male or female, required formal or informal attire and the technologies and materials available for manufacturing the garments. And yet, in many ways imperial fashion was a slave to the fashions of 'high society' of cosmopolitan Britain. It was remarkable for how often it did not adapt to the environment or climate lived in. British subjects in particular were often loathe to adapt their dress for fear of losing their claim to 'civilisation' and connection to British culture. They would rather sit in high collar suits with jackets in sweltering temperatures on the equator than be accused of 'going native'. There was often a time-lag for fashions to be followed in the colonies, but anything that was fashionable in London would be sure to find itself being replicated and mimicked in imperial capitals and centres across the world.

Of course, there were a few examples of local traditions and customs affecting British fashion - although this was rarely in formal attire. Probably the best example (and the most informal clothes imaginable) was the adaptation and adoption of pyjamas. These loose-fitting clothes were highly suitable to the hot and stuffy Indian sub-continent and yet they were comfortable enough that those people exposed to their use were keen to continue using them even when they returned to cooler climates. The fashion soon caught on and itself spread to the other colonies and beyond.
Sometimes, weather was so uncompromising that adaptations to the local climate would become a necessity. Furs became popular in Canada; pith helmets were considered essential in India and Africa; slouch hats were the most practical headgear in the more inhospitable parts of Southern Africa or Australia.

British fashion was more likely to affect local fashion than the other way around - or at least the fashion of those who aspired to work in or for the administration or imperial companies. Some Chinese would adapt to wearing trouser suits in Singapore or Hong Kong. Bowler hats or even top hats would be a mark to signify identification with the imperial project. If you wanted to win a contract or a job then you had to appear that you were comfortable in the European business fashions of the day.

              Below, you will find an outline of the fashions in Britain and how they were adapted (or not) and disseminated around the wider empire. It is chronologically ordered, but there were significant time lags and variations from colony to colony.
Tudor Fashion
Tudor dress was highly dependent upon the wearer's social class. The upper classes wore fantastically elaborate fashions of rich colours and sumptuous fabrics which were bejewelled and highly decorated. Male dress was frequently more extravagant than female dress. Frilled collars and cuffs were a sign of wealth and sophistication. England had recently been enriched by the dissolution of the monasteries and yet the legacy of Catholic Europe was still a strong and powerful influence. Spain and Portugal were the richest and most successful European nations and dominated the cultural aspirations of even the English elite. It is interesting to consider that the wealth of Spain and Portugal was largely as a result of their own empires in the New World and the Spice Islands. English explorers and seamen were keen to tap into those sources of wealth and followed and raided their Catholic rivals on the high seas and in outposts across the world.

Back in England, the fashions were designed around living in a cold climate in which it was difficult to keep warm - even when inside their houses. It was not uncommon for Tudor men to wear five layers of clothing in an attempt to keep warm. These multiple layers would be maintained by mariners even as they crossed the tropics and the equator. Sophstication was more important than comfort.

Tudor lady dress
Tudor man costume

Early Stuart Fashion
Earl Stuart Men's dress
With the accession of the House of Stuart in 1603, fashion became even more elaborate than in Tudor times. James I was actually referred to as the 'Foppish King' and his court were keen to emulate the style. This was a period in which effeminacy seemed to the dominant characteristic - even for the men. The ruling classes were becoming more removed from the feudal obligations of the Medieval period and so did not have to be ready to go to battle in full length plate armour. By this time, gunpowder and pistols had made armour all but redundant. Although the 'doublet' of the Stuart period was a hangover from the days of armour. It had originally been used as padding beneath armour - but it carried on until this period. The weapon of choice for a gentleman at this time would be the foil or the rapier. These were small and light weapons that required rapid movement and relatively free movement of the arms. Again, this had an impact on the fashion of the day. Stockings would give the freedom to move legs and feet with agility and speed. Capes would not be just used for warmth, but could also double up as a makeshift shield or barrier against the light swords of their adversaries. These items of clothes would all be highly elaborately embroidered - new silks and fabrics were being brought back from the New World and beyond. Having the finest lace gloves or new colours would be a way of showing that you were a cultured and successful gentleman who had access to the very latest designs and imports. You were someone to be respected.

Hats would become more important, often with wide brims and adorned with exotic feathers. Similarly, boots made from soft leather and turned over at the top. Indeed, this headress and footwear would become the unofficial but very real motif of the Royalist Cavaliers as they went into battle during the English Civil Wars of the 1640s.

Women would have to endure stiff bodices although the hooped skirts that they often supported began to diminish in size and in some cases disappear altogether to be replaced by slightly more comfortable hip pads. Lace would become even more important for women than it would be for the men, and the more elaborate the better.

Lady in Earl Stuart costume

Puritan Fashion
The seventeenth century saw something of a cultural battlefield between different religionists who were fighting for the soul of the country. Technically, this was no longer a battle between Catholics and Protestants. The Protestants had all but won that battle; this was more a battle between the various types of Protestantism on offer. In particular, it was Anglicans versus Puritans, although there were many other shades at play. The aristocracy and royal family were very much associated with Anglicanism, and their decadent and elaborate fashions alienated the plainer and simpler Puritans. The Puritans also regarded Anglican copying and mimicking of the continental styles of France or Spain as dangerously verging on Catholicism and Popery.

 Puritan fashion would follow their ideology. They eschewed elaborateness or anything that was superficial in any way. Function would reign over form. They preferred dark or plain colours. Modesty was paramount. There was not a great deal of difference between formal and work wear. Plain and simple were the dominant forces at work and these contrasted starkly with the fashion of the Anglican aristocracy. You could even tell the difference on the battlefield as each referred to the other with what they regarded as derogatory terms - althouth the recipients often revelled in them. Hence, the King's supporters would refer to Parliament's forces as Roundheads as they were so unsophisticated they had such a boring hairstyle. Likewise, the parliamentary forces referred to the King's supporters as being Cavaliers - Italian dandies on horseback - all show and no action.

It is interesting to note that both communities would cross the Atlantic to the new colonies developing in North America - although the Puritans would gravitate northwards whilst the Anglicans tended to coalesce in the Central and Southern colonies of North America. The puritans were attempting to escape religious control whilst the Anglicans were trying to recreate a microcosm of England on the other side of the Atlantic - needless to say, they both took their fashions with them - contrasting as they may have been.
With the victory of the Parliamentary forces back in England, conservative dress would become the norm. Anyone attempting to dress elaborately in the 1650s would have found it very difficult to avoid being arrested or detained. Fashion became a way of showing who the winners and losers were. Black was back!

Couple in Puritan outfit

Restoration Fashion
With the death of Oliver Cromwell and his unsuccessful replacement by his son, the English army was tempted to invite the royal family back from its exile in France - with conditions of course. The 'worthy' Puritan experiment had exhausted the country's tolerance towards the plain and simple. The country wanted some colour back in its life and King Charles II would bring exactly that. He would also bring the latest French fashions with him. Having been cocooned on the continent, he had been exposed to the rising power and influence of the French court. He was keen to bring some of that sophistication back to England, although not too much - he did understand that the country had changed forever. He kept much of his decadent lifestyle firmly behind closed doors, keeping a more austere and formal public face.

The doublet shortened in this period or was replaced completely by a waistcoat. Probably the most significant introduction was the long coat - and with an abundance of buttons to go with it. The jacket was far more practical for riding, although it still went down to the knees due to the lack of trousers as we would understand the term. Breeches and stockings were the combination of choice. Some of the breeches were fairly wide and resembled petticoats more than short trousers. Dying technology was improving markedly and more vibrant (or subtle) colours were on offer. Headgear saw the introduction of the wig - which started modestly in size, but would grow conspicuously over the coming century.
Mens Restoration dress
Mens Restoration dresses

Lady in Restoration dress
                                                   Williamite Fashion

There was a danger that English fashion was going to go back to the ostentatious pre-civil war decadence and opulence. However, the brother of Charles was rash enough to convert to Catholicism in Protestant England and was surprised to find a backlash against him. The country was prepared to be tolerant of his religion whilst it was clear that he had no son and heir, but when his rather elderly wife became pregnant, the English (and predominantly Protestant) army basically conducted a coup and invited the arch-Protestant William of Orange to become the King of England. The arrival of such a stringent ruler saw a return to a more formal and basic fashion - not as severe and plain as the Puritan period had been, but formal nonetheless.

It was a curious accident of history that the leading professional tailors and dressmakers in Europe would flee to the relative safety of protestant England at about the same time as the accession of William. Cardinal Mazarin had resumed the violent persecution of the Huguenots in France and the parts of the Low Countries under French control. Many of the Huguenots had long been at the cutting edge of dress-making, colour-dying and embroidery. They would find a welcome home in Britain and the wider colonies and would bring a new level of sophistication to the manufacturing processes.

Jackets would continue to be used, but stiffened and looked more businesslike. Likewise, the bodices for women became far more straight and severe. This was certainly a period in which conservative appearance was considered more fitting. One innovation that was introduced was the shoe buckle, brought over from the low countries with William. Wigs did not disappear, but they remained curt and formal.
Once again, fashion became a political statement. Soft jackets, petticoat breeches, long hair or ostentatious wigs would signal that the wearer was a Jacobite who wanted to see the return of Catholic James to the throne of England. These fashion challenges were more likely to be seen in Ireland and Scotland - or in the Southern colonies of North America - where William's succession had not been fully accepted or appreciated. Fashion would become a test of loyalty.
Gentleman in Williamite dress

Williamite dress

 Georgian Fashion
The early eighteenth century saw the 'protestant' Hanoverian royal family being invited to become the monarchs of Britain. In many ways they maintained the same restrained fashions of the Williamites. The riding jackets got slightly shorter although not as short as our jackets today. Waistcoats became more widespread. Linen shirts with lace collars made the appearance far more recognisable to our modern eyes. The cuffs of the linen shirts and jackets were the one area where elaboration was allowed or encouraged. They still had to keep the function of being able to be buttoned (or linked) up above the elbow in case of a duel - although duels were as likely to be by pistol as sword in this period.

Make-up became an increasingly popular addition to the appearance of both men and women. Complexion was a sure way of showing who had to work for a living or who belonged to the ruling class - lightening the skin or accentuating the contrast from lips to skin colour was one way of marking the ruling classes from the masses.

Internationally, it was the French who were setting the pace for fashion. France had replaced Spain as the economic and political powerhouse in Europe and the rise in wealth of its royal family seemed to confirm that transfer of power. Britain's ruling families passed through France on their 'Grand Tours' and were mesmerised by its sophistication and exquisiteness.

Roads and communication systems were improving anyway and so it was easier than ever to observe the latest fashions in Paris and have them recreated in Britain or across the Atlantic in New York or Savannah. Huguenots tailors or dress-makers could easily run up new versions or adaptations of the latest French fashions.

Lady in Georgian dress

Georgian dress

Macaroni Fashion
Macaronis never represented a main stream in fashion; they were a significant minority who took delight in being deliberately over-the-top and ostentatious. They were invariably young men who wanted to shock their elders or the more staid of their peers by wearing deliberately over-the-top French and Italian clothing with huge, imposing wigs. They took their name from the Italian 'maccherone' and indeed many of the members of the so-called Macaroni Club had spent time in the Italian peninsula as part of the 'Grand Tour', considered an essential part of any young man's education. In many ways he did not want to return to the boorish, soporific and enclosed world of the British aristocratic circle. He pined to stay in the more cultured Mediterranean world - being paid for by his parents naturally.
Women during this period might wear a day dress known as Robe a L'Anglaise which was an all-in-one gown of bodice and skirt often with a trim and decorative swirls. More formal wear would be the Robe a la Francoise which had hoops which filled it out. It was fitted at the torso.

The lyrics to the the song 'Yankee Doodle' referred to this same concept of a Macaroni. It was initially used as a put-down of the colonists in general and secessionists in particular. The idea of sticking a feather in your hat and calling yourself a Macaroni was supposed to illustrate the unsophisticated nature of the colonists there. Of course, some of the colonists (especially those descended from the Puritan tradition) were more than happy to use this as a badge of honour rather than as something to be ashamed of. The song nicely illustrates the cultural rift that would end in revolution in the thirteen colonies. It should be remembered though that back in Britain these same Macaronis were regarded as being little more than immature high spiritedness. On the French side of the channel however such decadent and ostentatious flaunting of wealth would end in a far more consequential revolution - and an event that would change British and imperial fashion for good.

Robe a la Francoise dress

Revolutionary Era Fashion
When it was clear that French aristocrats were being executed wholesale by 'the mob', the British aristocracy was understandably nervous. Wigs were hidden away and replaced by black top hats. Frippery became a bad word; lace, silk or any elaborate designs were jettisoned in favour of dark, austere colours. Jackets took on correspondingly dark coloured cuffs and collars. Pantaloons began to be worn and began their transformation into the trousers with which we are more familiar with today. This was to be a period of sobriety.
Women's fashion took an equally radical turn to conservatism.

French fashions were obviously thrown out the window - they had inspired the mob but were also the enemy now. Greek fashions took their place, or rather Ancient Greek fashions became a satisfactorily elegant but simple compromise. Greece itself had been an important destination on the 'Grand Tour' that many aristocrats had embarked upon. It still showed sophistication but in not nearly as provocative a manner. The clothing also suited the architectural style of Palladianism; the style in which many of their houses had been built in. The chemise dress had a suitably high waistline so as to not accentuate the feminine form too much and yet it still maintained an elegant daintiness. Shawls could be added for warmth - but these would be in simple designs that might be familiar to the lower classes. These might be accompanied by the Apollo Knot - a classical hairstyle familiar to any who have seen Classical greek pottery. Bonnets and frilled caps might also be used, but wigs were certainly removed and hidden away. Accessories in general were minimised, the main exception being the parasol which had a functional role and might also be used to avoid eye contact and hide features from passers-by, especially if they are from lower classes. Military braiding and styles might also become features during this suitably militaristic age with war raging permanently across the continent.

Revolutionary Era dress

Revolutionary Era dress

Regency Fashion
Even after the war had been won, there was to be no turning the clock back to the decadent fashions before the Revolution. There was a brief relaxation in tastes but the French Revolution would haunt the nineteenth century and would change the relationship between the rulers and ruled forever - even in those countries which had avoided revolution. Austerity, piety and service would become the watchwords of the ruling classes.
Jackets would shorten for the men, although they could still keep long tails. Combined with the pantaloons, they made ideal clothes for riding horses in. These would basically form a slightly more formal look, but had all the recognisable traits of the business suit that it so prevalent around the world to this day.

Women's waistlines began to move downwards slowly but surely. They finally reached the waistline itself by about 1825 - although the dresses themselves would reach firmly to the floor. Pelisses were worn, as were carriage cloaks and pelerines, and they maintained the maidenly sun-bonnets. A wider range of colours was used, but not bright or vulgar ones. They tended to be pastels or solid colours although sometimes with adornment. The watchword would be elegance.
Men's Regency attire

Women's Regency dress

Victorian Fashion
Gentlemen in Victorian costume

 The industrial revolution would be at full tilt by this era, and mass production meant that bolts of cloth could be manufactured at ever lower prices. If anything, this led to yet more homogenisation in fashions and brought many of the so-called high society fashions into the budgets of aspiring middle classes and even succesful artisan classes. Machines were not versatile enough to mass produce the clothes themselves and most were still made by an army of seamstresses, milliners, tailors, hatters, glovers, corsetiers, and many other specialized tradespeople.

In the 1830s, men might wear wasp waist and frock coats. Shirts were usually made of linen and were black, grey or other neutral colours.
 Prince William in Victorian attire

Women's Victorian dress

Edwardian Fashion
Gentleman in Edwardian dress

The new narrow silhouette was established by 1908 and could be represented by very simple styles and as well as complex designer-lead innovations. The new style required a new corset, this time finally dispensing with the waist-training that had plagued fashionable women for centuries. The new corset was long and straight and cut even lower on the bust, requiring the use of a bust-bodice to provide necessary support. It constricted the hips, did not squeeze in the waist and was so long that sitting down was a problem. The curvaceous womanly figure of the Edwardian lady had given way to a slimmer, more upright, more youthful but equally uncomfortable alternative. 

   The silhouette of the skirt greatly depended upon the fabrics from which it was made and the petticoats over which it was worn. The crisp silk taffetas and stiff wools of 1890s dress had given way to much softer, more fluid silks and suitings. The cut of the outermost petticoat reflected the curvaceous cut of the skirt. It did not need to be firmly interlined and perhaps lost some of its fascinating frou-frou rustle, though it continued to beguile in other ways, with its sumptuous hem frills that showed whenever the trained skirt was lifted. 

Hair and hats, an important feature in the belle epoque, were another source of discomfort. Hair in the 1890s began relatively simply but waves and puffs increased throughout the decade, in a style generally called Pompadour, recalling the fashion of that eighteenth century lady. Even more important than the hair of the '90s had been the hat, an increasingly elaborate affair that could be an inconvenience at the theatre or in church. By 1900 the puffed and waved hair tended to be tilted forward over the forehead. The large hat, often with upturned brim sat forward on the coiffure, emphasising the extraordinary forward tilt of the early 1900s woman. While the S-curve remained fashionable, the hair and hat remained forward. As the curve of the figure straightened, the coiffure began to fill out behind and at the sides until by 1908 it seemed to be sagging behind, under its own weight. The large, waved, back-weighted hair of the end of the decade supported perhaps the largest, wide-brimmed hats seen since the age of Gainsborough. The hat was ruthlessly speared to the coiffure with foot-long hatpins that endangered the eye of anyone who stood too near. All of this balanced precariously above a svelte column of a dress, which hampered the stride of its wearer by its narrow, hobble skirt.

Such was the woman of 1909 to 1910, the epitome of elegance and luxury and once again, somewhat helpless. But beneath the surface of this impossible look was the skeleton of a much simpler form of dress. The corset no longer hampered breathing though it was long; the skirt though tight, could be cut with a vent or pleat to make walking easier; the bodice could be a blouse of the simplest all-in-one, magyar cut and though the weighty headdress was an insurmountable problem, in every other respect, dress in 1910 was beginning to reflect the practical needs of the 20th Century woman.

Edwardian Fashion

After the World War 2 came the ear of modern fashion and many British designers created top fashion houses and worked for top fashion brands around the world i.e Alexander McQueen.
Alexander McQueen's dress