Who invented it? Who is the first Fashion Designer?
Fashion design is the art of the application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. Fashion design is influenced by cultural and social latitudes, and has varied over time and place. Fashion designers work in a number of ways in designing clothing and accessories. Some work alone or as part of a team. They attempt to satisfy consumer desire for aesthetically designed clothing; and, because of the time required to bring a garment onto the market, must at times anticipate changing consumer tastes.
History of Fashion Design:
Fashion design is generally considered to have started in the 19th century with Charles Frederick Worth who was the first designer to have his label sewn into the garments that he created. Before the former draper set up his maison couture (fashion house) in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by largely anonymous seamstresses, and high fashion descended from that worn at royal courts. Worth’s success was such that he was able to dictate to his customers what they should wear, instead of following their lead as earlier dressmakers had done. The term couturier was in fact first created in order to describe him. While all articles of clothing from any time period are studied by academics as costume design, only clothing created after 1858 are considered as fashion design.
It was during this period that many design houses began to hire artists to sketch or paint designs for garments. The images were shown to clients, which was much cheaper than producing an actual sample garment in the workroom. If the client liked their design, they ordered it and the resulting garment made money for the house. Thus, the tradition of designers sketching out garment designs instead of presenting completed garments on models to customers began as an economy.
Modern fashion design is divided into two basic categories: haute couture and ready-to-wear. The haute couture collection is dedicated to certain customers and is custom sized to fit these customers exactly. In order to qualify as a haute couture house, a designer has to be part of the Syndical Chamber for Haute Couture and show a new collection twice a year presenting a minimum of 35 different outfits each time.
Ready-to-wear collections are standard sized, not custom made, so they are more suitable for large production runs. They are also split into two categories: designer/createur and confection collections. Designer collections have a higher quality and finish as well as an unique design. They often represent a certain philosophy and are created to make a statement rather than for sale. Both ready-to-wear and haute-couture collections are presented on international catwalks.
Who Invented It?
The first fashion designer who was more than a simple seamster was Charles Frederick Worth, in the 19th century. Before he set up his fashion design house in Paris, clothing was made by anonymous dressmakers and fashion standards were derived from the styles worn by royalty. Worth was the first designer to actually dictate to his customers what to wear rather than following their demands.
His fashion house became so famous that people were able to attach a face and a name to designs when they knew they were from the House of Worth. This was the beginning of the tradition to have a designer of a house not only create clothing, but also represent the symbol of the brand.
What Does It Take To Be A Fashion Designer?
Fashion design is a form of art. To work as a designer, you should have an artistic and creative personality. You also have to be good at drawing and able to express your ideas in sketches. You don’t necessarily have to be a great artist, but you must have some special skills for combining colors, tones and shades. You also have to be able to work with fabric and use textiles in a creative and original manner. Fashion designers have a good visual imagination and are able to think in three-dimensions and put their ideas into garments.
Fashion designers have to be aware of the fashion market requirements. They have to be very interested in learning new things and read magazines, journals and books on fashion design history and new trends. They also have to be interested in art, visit art galleries and interact with all kinds of artists whenever they have the opportunity. A designer should also have some knowledge and experience of tailoring (cutting, draping, sewing etc.) and be able to tell the difference between different fabric quality levels.
A good understanding of the audience’s lifestyle and customer needs and requirements is also needed in fashion design. Designers should have good communication skills and be able to express their ideas clearly. But most important, they have to be very original and have fresh, innovative ideas.