Cultural and Historical Studies EVOLUTION FROM VINTAGE TO CONTEMPORARY HAUTE COUTURE BASED ON A SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXT By Student’s ID Number Module Title and Number Name of Professor/ Tutor TABLE OF CONTENTS Section Page No…
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... 5 2.2. Christian Dior: ‘The New Look’ and Working Class Women ……………. 6 2.3. Social and Cultural Basis of Transformations in Fashion Trends ……… 9 2.3.1. Other Social Impacts on Fashion Trends and Haute Couture …… 11 2.3.2. The Contribution of Japanese Designers to Haute Couture in Paris ……….17 2.4. Haute Couture in the Production of Culture and its Similarity to Art ……19 3. Contemporary Haute Couture: Body Concepts, Lifestyle and Media ……………… 23 4. Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………….. 33 5. Bibliography ……………………………………………………………………………… 35 EVOLUTION FROM VINTAGE TO CONTEMPORARY HAUTE COUTURE BASED ON A SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXT 1. Introduction Haute couture refers essentially to fashion created through the artistic expression of the designer, instead of by the dictates of commonly held beliefs and norms related to clothing. By the late 17th century, the origins of the haute couture approach emerged in France, the European centre for innovative and richly produced luxury silk textiles. The opulent fabrics formed the basis for developing the system of haute couture. From the mid-19th century, Paris based haute couture validated the fashion designer as a creative artist, and not merely a skilled artisan, and established the designer’s name as “an international authority for the design of luxurious, original clothing” (Batty, 2008, p.4). The history of modern fashion is traced from haute couture in the late nineteenth century with the formation of the House of Worth, to the present day high fashion apparel created by contemporary designers (Martin and Koda, 1997). The changing fashion trends include the rise of haute couture, demi-couture, pret a porter or read-to-wear, mass production, and the prevalence of street fashion. These changes were accompanied by several complexities and contradictions caused by the social, cultural and art environment of the changing times (Martin and Koda, 1997). Thus, in studying the evolution of haute couture during the twentieth century, it is essential to understand the dynamics between commerce and culture, technology and aesthetics, popular culture and pastische, and fashion and anti-fashion at different stages. Later developments in high fashion integrated elite class and taste with street style, derived from tribalism, popular culture and rebellion against formal modes. According to English (2007), fashion is found to imitate art, which in turn is regarded as reflecting the different paradigms of life. Thus, the social and cultural contexts of the times play an essential role in the development of fashion. “Fashion was not only an indicator of cultural change; it was influenced by many social changes” (Batty, 2008, p.11), particularly transformations in gender and class differentiation. Fashion also served to create several social changes. The distinction between high fashion apparel and clothing became hazy, and people’s perspectives altered over time die to technological advancements, ideological transformations and changes in consumerism. From a social history perspective, fashion has contributed considerably but gradually to the liberation of women. It has also played a role in their achieving “increased power both as consumers and as producers of goods” (Batty, 2008, p.8). Thus, women’s willing acceptance of being targeted by fashion trends
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