The term “women’s clothing” is very broad, encompassing a gamut of fashion trends, more or less successful designs and types, from formal wear to the casual, every day. But why does women’s clothing elicit so much interest, and why is this subject such a talking point?
The history of women’s clothing is inextricably tied to the origins of mankind. Our ancestors fashioned such outer layers from leather, fur and plants, to protect them from harmful external elements.
According to one theory explaining the origins of humans wearing clothes, it was to hide women’s monthly periods, still a taboo subject in some of today’s more traditional societies.
In regal times, women’s fashion became completely different, indicating social status and wealth. A lady would dress differently than an unmarried woman, and a widow differently again.
It is not widely known that trends from the Middle East had an influence on European fashions. There was a time when ladies grew to love patterned outfits of richly decorated fabrics, and they began to take advantage of the emergence of fine tailoring, a feature of the Renaissance.
In the history of elegant clothes for women, there was a time when bulky and uncomfortable dresses were fashionable, as well as designs focused on corsets and high trims. Interestingly, corsets aroused a great deal of controversy, as they were viewed by some as symbols of oppression.
The eyes of the whole of the Old Continent were, in terms of fashion, on France, Italy and England, and later on the USA. These countries dictated trends, and in fact this has not changed to this day.
Important centres of fashion were the department stores – the English Kendals, and France’s Le Bon Marche, Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps. Magazines highlighting designer clothes for women also had a great influence on shaping trends. Among the most famous were Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and The Delineator. A great inspiration for women was Coco Chanel, who from 1915 revolutionised the world of fashion, and Gucci, producer of the original women’s handbag.
An intriguing stage in the development of women’s designer clothing came in the 1930s, when the tomboy style, symbolising women’s liberation, reigned. At the same time, though, more luxurious and extravagant designs that highlighted female charms emerged.
Christian Dior began work, and a decade later presented the first, bold, New Look collection. Aside from him, other outstanding names in the fashion world included Gianni and Donatella Versace, Giorgio Armani, Alexander McQueen, and Karl Lagerfeld.
Fashions have always changed rapidly, whether in connection with new technologies or because of more frequent contact between cultures and changes in customs and perceptions.
There is a gamut of fashionable women’s clothing on the market, for which women who value originality, style, excellent quality and impeccable appearance inevitably reach.