I Google, you Google, we all Google don’t we? We live in an age where Google became our first source of information, often used on a regular basis. However, does it really provide accurate and useful information? We certainly hope so. In search for relevant fashion related answers, fashionable internet users have googled pretty much everything- from ‘what is haute couture?’ to ‘fat Karl Lagerfeld vs. skinny Karl Lagerfeld’. If you’re reading this 90’s Karl, don’t get angry at us- we love you anyway! I am no Wikipedia but I will try to provide accurate answers to the top 10 googled questions out there. P. S. You’re welcome!
What is haute couture?
Fashion at its finest, according to moi! Also known as high dressing, high couture and high sewing, haute couture (haute– high, couture– sewing) represents custom-fitted clothing mostly handmade by skilfull artisans for handful of high-end clients. The term first appeared in Paris (where else?) in the mid-nineteenth century in Charles Frederick Worth‘s work. The English designer living in France allowed his clients to be a part of the design process. Respectively, he allowed them to select fabrics, colors and other details before he even began creating the garments. Today, in modern France, term haute couture is protected by the state law. It cannot be used lightly. Only fashion houses that meet the defined criteria set by Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture are privileged to use term haute couture within their brand. The criteria includes designing made-to-order for private clients with one or more fittings, having an atelier in Paris that employs at least fifteen staff members full-time, having at least twenty full-time technical people in at least one atelier and presenting a collection of at least fifty original designs to the public every fashion season of both day and evening garments. Phew! No wonder there are less than 30 houses out there that are honored with the title. Okay, let’s move on.
What is fashion photography?
Basically, it is a genre of photography devoted to capturing and preserving clothing and related fashion items. It is mostly related to fashion magazines where it is being presented through advertisements, editorials, fashion features etc. It has a particular aesthetic and it is often considered to be a part of contemporary photography. However, its roots are deeply engraved in history. Back in 1856, Adolphe Brown- a French photographer-published a book of 288 photographs of Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione. The book included photos of the Countess in the official court garb, making her the first known fashion model. You probably haven’t heard of Adolphe Brown, but you certainly know the names such as Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts or Peter Lindbergh. These are some of today’s most famous fashion photographers with published work in Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and many other renown fashion magazines.
What is vintage fashion?
Huh, that’s a tough one. There are several definitions, depending on what you’re looking for (or what you’re googling for?). By the end of last century, clothing which was produced before the 1920’s was referred to as vintage or antique clothing. However, today we could say that everything produced 20 years before present day is considered to be vintage or retro. Most of the vintage clothing has been previously worn, but there are pieces that are being sold today (particularly luxury ones) that are absolutely new. In the era of so called fast fashion, vintage is being appreciated and celebrated like never before. Luxury vintage stores are popping up all around the globe; there is an entire movement of falling back in love with clothes and I personally love it. Who wouldn’t love a perfectly preserved Birkin bag or a Lacroix brooch?
How to become a fashion designer?
First of all, by getting a proper education. There are so many so-called fashion designers out there that degrade the craft and the industry. If you’re asking me (and you clearly are since you’re reading this), you should get a degree in fashion design and learn how to develop your skills, including drawing, the ability to understand colors and textures, visualizing ideas and concepts in three dimensions and learning all the mechanical skills you’ll need- such as cutting fabrics and sewing. Also, you cannot become a good fashion designer without the knowledge of fashion history. Looking back at some of the previous decades, we witness a great transformation and evolution of fashion. This change depends on numerous social and economic factors. In today’s world, creative vision only is not enough. You must understand the market, the industry and your potential clients. Be realistic, but never give up!
Who is Anna Wintour?
You’re playing with fire! Everybody knows Anna. But, in case you’re a caveman blissfully unaware of current world, here’s 411 on Anna Wintour. First of all, she’s a Dame. In a May 2017 ceremony at Buckingham Palace, Wintour was created a Dame Commander of the Order of British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for her contributions to fashion and journalism. She is a British- American journalist and editor, editing the US Vogue since 1988. She’s basically the most notorious and most loved (ironically) woman of the fashion world. Since 2013, she became artistic director for all Condé Nast publications. Known for her pageboy bob haircut and dark sunglasses, she is the most important figure of the fashion world, mostly being praised for her perfect eye for fashion trends and support she gives to young designers. Wintour’s former personal assistant wrote the 2003 best selling novel The Devil Wears Prada, that later turned into a successful film starring Meryl Streep. The film is believed to be based on Wintour.
Fat Karl Lagerfeld vs. Skinny Karl Lagerfeld?
Oh, lord. I thought we were done with shaming Karl for being fat back in the day. The Kaiser of fashion, Karl Lagerfeld, was not always this skinny. Sixteen years ago, the couturier lost 92 pounds in 13 months! A man who once hid his figure in layers of oversized black clothing today stands as one of the fittest men in fashion. May I remind you he’s 84-years old? The public blamed him for drugs, liposuction, illness, anorexia, but all was just a gossip. The designer shed his weight using the Karl Lagerfeld Diet (yes, that’s a real thing). He codified his diet secrets in a book form. In 2004 publication sold nearly in 200,000 copies, he made full confession about his weight problems, tips on how to cope with body shaming and what it was like to be fat in a skinny industry. Aside from his body transformation, Lagerfeld is world-known for his shockingly white hair. Here’s another one of Karl’s secrets you might not have known- he uses baby powder to make it THAT white.
What are fashion trends?
Basically, trendy is the last stage before tacky. That’s what Karl Lagerfeld once stated and I believe him. Never, ever, EVER, Google this again. I beg you. However, since fashion is very distinctive and ever-changing, naturally there are certain trends in style that appear periodically or seasonally. These trends are influenced by several factors, including political, social, economical and even technological factors. Lately, fashion trends are widely influenced by the feminist movement and current political climate in the US. What will become the next IT thing in fashion can easily be forecasted using PEST (political, economic, social and technology) analysis that determines growth or decline of particular trend. Fashion influencers, such as editors and fashion designers, often have the last word when it comes to shaping new trends. Everything, from the shades of colors to particular fabric cuts are determined by a small group of knowledgeable people. But, you should always trust your instinct and choose what suits you the most.
What are fashion bloggers?
Since fashion is a multibillion-dollar industry that depends heavily on media and advertising to communicate the producer’s preferences and goals, it is always in search for new types of influence and advertising strategy. Fashion blogs are the new media and they operate under non-traditional rules of public presentation. They are considered to have a long-term influence on the fashion industry since we live in an internet era where information needs to be available almost immediately. Fashion bloggers cover many topics, from clothing and accessories to various apparel markets- such as haute couture and prêt-à- porter and street fashion trends. They cover all levels of fashion and are widely used to promote different fashion products. It is a competitive market that numbers hundreds of thousands of aspiring fashion bloggers. The pioneers of fashion blogging however are Chiara Ferragni, Rumy Neely, Leandra Medine, Scott Schuman and Danielle Bernstein. They all run successful digital platforms (aka, evolutionized fashion blogs) that provide insights to their personal lives, fashion aesthetics and style, as well as to current fashion trends, topics and news.
Who is the most famous fashion designer in the world?
It depends on who you ask. If we were to measure fame by money, I would say the most famous fashion designer in the world is Miuccia Prada. She is the youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada that took over the company in 1978 from where she took it to unprecedented success. Miuccia Prada has also launched her own brand called Miu Miu which caters to the needs of those looking for avant-garde of fashion. Her net worth is $4.2 billion. However, there are many famous fashion designers out there that deserve our undivided attention, such as Maria Grazia Chiuri, Alessandro Michele, Karl Lagerfeld, Raf Simons, John Galliano and many, many more.
Why do we need fashion?
Well, in the words of Eric Saade, we need it ‘for your satisfaction‘. The right question would be ‘why do we need fashion revolution?’ On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed. 1,138 people died and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. There were five garment factories in Rana Plaza all manufacturing clothing for big global brands. The victims were mostly young women. We need a fairer, safer, cleaner and more transparent fashion industry. Fashion needs to become (more) sustainable, and it needs to come back to being slow rather than fast. The way we consume clothing has changed drastically in the past 30 years. We buy more than we used to and spend way less. Have you ever wondered why clothing can sometimes be so cheap? There is a cost of our cheap bargains, and it often includes child labour, inadequate work conditions and insanely low wages. Buy less, buy better and start changing your mindset. You don’t need me or Google to tell you that you really do need fashion, but you also need it to be transparent.
Cover Photo: Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) The Devil Wears Prada