From the ancient era of Roman togas, to the trading of fine Arabic silks, to 20th century denim miniskirts, and finally to the weird world of today's "Porno-Chic" style, this series is a fashionista's voyage through time. Each century brings with it new ideas of what fashion should represent. Discover how various fashions took shape, mirroring religious, cultural, and political trends.
The History of Fine Fashion
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01: Roman Elegance
During Antiquity, the cult of well-being and beauty is essential. People went to great lengths to attain it. Roman women who dreamt of turning blonde used corrosive tincture made from goat grease and sulfur, and Roman men even removed their body hair, wore their hair long, and used curling tongs.
02: The Bold Medieval Look
During the Middle Ages, clothes for men and women differed from each other for the first time. Influenced by Arabic fashions discovered during the Crusades, women blossomed in fluid dresses, which left them free to move comfortably. Following the Hundred Years War, the clothing trade grew in Europe. Weavers, tailors, and embroiders came together to become an organized, professional body.
03: Wigs and Fine Lace
The 16th century was illuminated by the discovery of new lands. The 17th century was dazzled by the splendor of Versailles. The 18th century adopted the virtues of enlightened spirits. All of these eras shared a common peculiarity: the art of constraining the body through stayed bodices and ruff and tar collars around the neck. Many endured quite a bit of pain for the sake of beauty.
04: Fashion and Revolution
The dawn of democracy witnessed the development of the modern textile industry, spurred by the invention of the sewing machine which lead to faster dressmaking and more creativity in clothing. The first major fashion designer, Charles Frédéric Worth, invented the forerunner of today's models, and the first temples of fashion began to appear: large department stores.
05: The "Anything Goes" Look
1900 marked the start of the fantastic story of the body's liberation. The First World War, suffragettes' demands, the rise of feminism, everyday work, and outdoors sports all helped to break the old vestimentary shackles. A new willowy and sporty figure arrived from the United States and became the prototype of today's top model.