What is the history of French fashion?


Quick Answer

French fashion initially began in the 1700s, when King Louis XIV made luxury goods in France a commodity with his dedicated pursuit to being the center of beauty. The French styles did not become the modeled-after looks until much later on.

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Full Answer

The French fashion press was made in the 1670s. This device allowed fashionable clothing to be more widely accessible as the notion of changing styles according to fashion seasons came into popularity. The French royal court began to play lavish games of stylistic one-upsmanship, due to Louis XIV's obsession with fashion. The end of the French Revolution heralded a dramatic style shift from over-the-top outfits to very severe ones.

The opening of department stores in the 1800s helped to spread French fashion as much as the new job position of fashion designer. An Englishman named Charles Frederick Worth is largely considered to be the first well-known person considered a designer and not just a dressmaker. He invented both the fashion label as a status symbol and the fashion show in addition to coming up with the idea of sketching dress designs out before making them.

The magazine Vogue was created in 1892. This magazine combined with Art Nouveau and Orientalist trends helped French fashion explode into popularity. Coco Chanel revolutionized French and world fashions after coming into prominence in 1925.

Christian Dior's new look in 1947 revitalized the French fashion industry. Then, Yves Saint Laurent created ready-to-wear fashions in 1966 and both Paris and France have remained the center of fashion since then.

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