Fashion is a phenomenon that has been rooted into our society for many centuries. It concerns us all and is based on the appearance/image that an individual reflects in society. It imposes societal codes (such as morphologies), trendy clothes, or even the way to wear make-up. In this collective movement, individual taste obviously also comes into play. Everyone does not like the same colors, the same shape of jeans, sweaters, ... that is why millions of clothes are sold every year throughout the world. The ready-to-wear industry accounts for about 6% of world consumption, and this figure is constantly increasing (the French fashion industry has a turnover of 150 billion euros). If these trends are so popular it is because they allow everyone to have their own aesthetic identity, to assert their personality, but also their social standing.coronavirus
Different types of fashion dominate the ready-to-wear market, including luxury and fast fashion. Luxury allows individuals to stand out with clothes that not everyone can afford; it is a way to show one's high social standing. These types of people that follow high fashion trends can afford items signed by DIOR, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada... Fast fashion, on the other hand, embodies mass fashion, the one we consume without moderation. The biggest brands of the genre are Zara, H&M and Uniqlo. This facet of fashion takes its inspiration from the luxury catwalks to create similar pieces at more affordable prices. This empire also hides a dark side, disastrous ecological consequences (20,000 tons of clothes thrown away in France every year), exploitation of children, ultimately for a race for low prices. But then, how did we get to this point? What is the history of fashion?
Facade of a Louis Vuitton in Tokyo
An H&M in Miami Beach on Lincoln Road.
Fashion takes on the meaning we know today, as far back as the Middle Ages. Before that time men only dressed to protect themselves from both good and bad weather. Clothing was purely functional. It is from the XIVth century that it became a real accessory where each social category was determined by an outfit. For example, in the Middle Ages, nobles dressed in tights, tunics and clothes made of furs, silks, which were materials considered expensive at the time. Their clothes were often adorned with jewellery and were also distinguished by the colours that were worn. For example, blue symbolizes loyalty, justice and wisdom, while red represented strength, courage and charity. These two colours were the main shades used on noble garments. On the other hand, peasants often wore short dresses and colt shoes. The colours associated with them were much less noble, such as grey, (worn a lot.) The costume therefore caused an instant sensation at court because it allowed the nobility to be distinguished from the working class. It then became a sort of stooge. At that time, we talked about costumes and clothing becoming a real competition. The dresses were created from rare fabrics, gold leaf, striking colours. For the more affluent, an outfit was to be only worn once.
This extravagance reached its peak during the reign of the Sun King (Louis XIV). He was obsessed with fashion, which symbolized elegance and power. In fact, he owned more than 2000 pairs of shoes.
In the 18th century, the first fashion magazines appeared, with the publication of La Galerie des modes et costumes français in 1778. This press enabled women from the provinces and Europe to follow Parisian trends. It played an important role in the democratization of all types of clothing.
But it was in the 19th century that fashion took on a considerable scale. The French couturier Charles Frédérick Worth, a pioneer of haute couture, set up the first fashion shows. He dressed women with
his models and paraded them in high-class salons. At the beginning of the century, Paris had about twenty haute couture boutiques, compared to about a hundred after the Second World War. It is after this period that the fashion we know today was born, bringing with it the emancipation of women.
Exceptional couturiers such as Coco Chanel, Yves Saint-Laurent, Dior, etc. were born, working exclusively for an elitist clientele. A new separation between luxury fashion and so-called popular fashion then appears. A separation due to the rise of industrialization (with the 30 glorious ones) but also with the press, which further differentiates these two types of fashion.
This period of rebirth after the Second World War will greatly increase the production of clothing; new department stores will then open! For the first time, the middle classes could afford to dress in new and trendy clothes. This evolution will be relayed by the press which will allow a massive diffusion, even in the provinces, of fashionable clothing styles. Thus it is our whole society that is changing.
Fashion rapidly built an image of an unavoidable social phenomenon. Designers like Christian Dior, Versace, Coco Chanel, became public personalities and developed new clothing trends that will become references (such as Christian Dior's New Look). The more the century advances, the more people reserve a part of their budget for the way they dress. Thus, department stores invented the collection system; fashion is renewed each season. This created an even greater craze and sales grew from year to year! Today, fast fashion is an empire that devours everything in its path. Money is at the heart of all concerns. Luxury boutiques must innovate to be able to cope with this growing phenomenon. Thus, all means are good to stand out from the crowd. What could be better than a global pandemic and the wearing of the mask to make it an indispensable new fashion accessory ?
Masks will gradually become indispensable in our daily lives to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. Major groups are therefore innovating to make protective AND trendy masks. Instead of wearing a banal surgical mask that is identical to all others, let's innovate and create more aesthetic masks with all kinds of designs to stand out. The companies will use this accessory which is nowadays indispensable and obligatory to satisfy a clientele in need. The advantage of this type of mask (non-surgical) is its capacity to be reusable up to 20 washes (one wash per use!).
A competition on the mask market could therefore possibly appear in the coming weeks!
But how do the stars dress at this time of the year ?
Masks are not just accessories used only with COVID-19. For example, the planetary singer Billie Eilish wore a Gucci mask at the end of January at the Grammy Awards.
At the end of February, in the midst of the emergence of COVID-19, the mask was already invited to the Marina Serre fashion show during Paris Fashion Week.
A particular style of mask but one that could inspire you to create your own!
If you prefer to buy your protection, you should know that the big celebrities are getting up to date. When 6ix9ine gets back into rap, she opens an official shop where the coveted accessory is offered!
Screenshot of the masks on sale on https://www.6ix9inestore.com/
Before concluding the Grunge News team interviewed two people from the medical profession for you :
Speaker 1 /
Grunge News : Can you introduce yourself and then explain to us how everyone should manage their deconfinement?
Speaker 1 : I have been a nurse for 20 years, I worked 10 years in a clinic in surgery and cardiac emergencies. And now I've been a liberal nurse downtown for 10 years. I think everyone needs to be rigorous in this time of deconfinement. The principles are always the same, we must respect distances by avoiding touching and kissing each other and wearing a mask whenever we are close to people. Hand washing should last 30 seconds to 1 minute. Even in areas where there are few cases, the necessary precautions must be taken. In Tours, (Indre-et-Loire), a nurse friend of mine had 2 patients contaminated last week. They went out often and without precaution.
So let's remain vigilant and be careful to avoid a 2nd wave.
Grunge News : From tomorrow in France, we will be in deconfinement but not everyone will have masks, is it possible to make masks ourselves?
Speaker 1: Yes, it's good to protect yourself even with a mask made of fabric with several layers and it will have to be washed very often and at 60 degrees. For those who don't have a mask and/or who have health problems, it is better to stay at home.
You now know the history of fashion, the influence and social codes it has had / has had on the population. In the end, fashion is a kind of reflection of the evolution of our society. It's true, this is particularly noticeable in these times with the appearance of the new trendy accessory, the safety mask. Stars are starting to adopt it by wearing it, selling it and even the big clothing groups are launching into this type of production.
What would be your perfect mask?
Take an interest in the different types of fashions from the Gallic period to 1900 in these images :