For some, fashion is art. For others, fashion is a business. And for many, it is a bit of both. Whether it's in a magazine, or as pieces literally walk down the runway, byway of a model, I often wonder how that particular look came into existence. What gave the designer the vision to create a pattern or cut that will translate into a trend or style for the season. While some look to pop culture or use a recent travel experience as inspiration, many design out of necessity. Let’s take a look at how history has influenced the looks of yesterday and today.
During World War I, women began taking on more male roles in the workplace, as men were off doing battle. As assembly line workers or ambulance drivers, women began dressing themselves based on function and less about looks. When the country found itself once again found itself in the midst of a war, during World War II, women were back in the workplace and the handkerchiefs became a fashionable wear after the image of Rosie the Riveter, the cultural icon representing women working in the factories, was seen in abundance.
When food rationing took a hold of America, slim skirts were in vogue, as they required less fabric to make than A-line or swing skirts.
Prior to WWII, American designers would take ocean liners across the Atlantic, to visit Paris for inspiration. However, when the massive boats were needed to transport the troops the overseas trips ceased, leaving the homegrown designers to look elsewhere for creative spark. With a country of active women, sportswear was created.
After the book as “Memoirs of a Geisha” becomes a best seller, we’ll see an Asian theme take over one runway while another designer, such as Daniel Vosovic will watch a scene from “Dancing in the Rain” and create the next collection.
Seeing many a Spring/Summer 2012 looks come down the runway with gold and bronze, I couldn’t help but wonder if the designers were thinking to London and the upcoming Olympics when they created this particular collection!