Fashion fades but style is eternal, and it is thanks to certain iconic fashion designers that we have consistent fashion patterns to follow. Now fashion isn't exactly a new creation. Look back to almost any point in history and you can see trends slipping in and out of obscurity. However, the ideas that we have of fashion as it is today are a sort of new phenomenon! Male and female iconic fashion designers have given rise to the catwalk cults that millions worship each year. Here is seven of history's finest:
Charles Frederick Worth was the father of couture. Until he came along, iconic fashion designers simply didn't exist. As the first person to adorn their garments with his name, he turned dressmaking from a noble occupation to a career that was artful. After coming from humble little Lincoln here in the UK, he rose through Paris' fashion ranks to dress Europe's royalty. His brand, House of Worth, has been ditched and revived at several points over the last 100 years.
In the 1920s, the eternally controversial Coco Chanel turned women's fashion on its head. Women from France to America began wearing their hair in bobs, adopting shorter skirts, and donning perfume. Over here in Britain we were a little appalled at her ideas surrounding androgynous style. That didn't stop the British Royal Family from cavorting with Chanel though, until she was accused of being a Nazi agent. Highly questionable political affiliations aside, Chanel was the queen of costume jewelry, which is still widely adored today.
As the interwar period and Great Depression began to grip the western world, fashion was suffocated by society's lack of money. However, that didn't stop one American influence from storming through Paris. Mainbocher was an American fashion label pioneered by Main Rousseau Bocher. With a name like that, it's no wonder he was so successful in France! His fashions drew quite a lot of attention worldwide thanks to Wallis Simpson wearing them regularly. He brought nipped waists to the forefront of the fashion world, which still grace our closets today.
After Germany's occupation of Paris in WWII, it seemed as though the city was going to lose its stronghold on the fashion world. At the end of the war, Christian Dior acted as the country's primary savior on this front. He well and truly did away with those box-like garments we see on Downton Abbey and celebrated women's curves with clothes designed for voluptuous figures. Painfully nipped in waists were thrown into many outfits!
This astoundingly flamboyant lady is from my neck of the woods here in the UK. In the 1970s, she took a bold step into the limelight when she opened up her boutique SEX. From this point onwards, female fashion wasn't just about being feminine. Doc Martins, tie die, punk themes, and Anglomania designs were soon embraced by starlets worldwide. Westwood is one of the iconic fashion designers who still produces outfits for celebrities today, and she even made the dress Carrie married Big in during the Sex and The City movie.
Oh thank heavens for Ralph Lauren. This laid back Bronx guy helped us see that casual really is okay. As grateful as I am for the flamboyance, the curves, and the punk, fashion did need a little breathing space, and Ralph Lauren was the man to bring it. While his designs still took on quite a few aristocratic influences, they were made for an active lifestyle. There's not much of Ralph Lauren I can wear--it's almost as though they have something against big thighs, hmph--but the tops are cosy.
Quite a few people may dispute whether Stella McCartney is really iconic. However, what I really love about her is how vocal she is about the fur industry. She has her principles, she sticks to them, and doesn't budge when creating her designs. There's no denying that having a Beatle for a dad helped her along here. However, she doesn't lose any respect on that front from me, simply because she is so active in trying to kick fur out of fashion. You go Stella!
There are almost too many iconic fashion designers to list here. Donna Karen, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent...all are worth a mention. I guess who is and isn't iconic is to a degree subjective! With that in mind, which designers are iconic to you and why?