“Street Fashion to Haute Couture”

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Last week we talked about sewing, knitting, tailoring and weaving which brings us to talk about fashion this week. From street fashion to haute couture and also with it we will be ending the series “Woven into Humanity”. But we will be bringing something more fun for you all next week till then keep following us.

Fabric play a vital role in meeting man’s basic needs and when it come to dressing fashion plays a key role. We will understand about street fashion and haute couture in this article.

Street fashion is fashion that is considered to have emerged not from studios, but from the grassroots. Street fashion is generally associated with youth culture. Japan began to emulate Western fashion during the middle of the 19th century. By the beginning of the 21st century it had altered into what is known today as ‘street fashion’.

Mainstream fashion often appropriates street fashion trends as influences. Most major youth subcultures have had an associated street fashion. Examples include

1.Hippies~ Denim T-shirts, long hair, flower power and psychedelic imagery and flared trousers.

2. Punk Fashion~ Ripped clothing, safety pins, bondage, provocative T-shirt slogans and Mohican hairstyle.

3. Skinheads~ Short-cropped hair, fitted jeans, Ben Sherman button-up shirts, Fred Perry polo shirts, Harrington jackets and Dr. Martens boots

4. Gothic fashion~ Black clothing, heavy coats, poet shirts, big boots, and makeup.

5. Hip hop fashion ~ 501 Levis, ECKO, South Pole, Sean Jean and NIKE.

6. Greaser (subculture)~ Levis 501 jeans, T-shirt,  jeans, leather, jackets, sunglasses, Cowboy boots, motorcycle and hair gel.

The term “haute couture” is French. Haute means “high” or “elegant.” Couture literally means “sewing,” but has come to indicate the business of designing, creating, and selling custom-made, high fashion women’s clothes. Today only 2,000 women in the world buy couture clothes; 60% are American. Only 200 are regular customers. Often, designers will loan clothes to movie stars or other public figures for publicity.

In the 1960s a group of young designers who had trained under men like Dior and Balenciaga left these established couture houses and opened their own establishments. The most successful of these young designers were Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Andre Courreges. The number of couture houses decreased considerably over the 20th century, from 106 in 1946to a mere 18 in 2000. By 2004 there were only 9 high-ranking couture houses: Chanel, Versace, Valentino, Dior, Givenchy, Gaultier, Lacroix, Mori, Sirop, Scherrer, and Torrente.

To earn the right to call itself a couture house and to use the term haute couture in its advertising and any other way, members must follow these rules:

1. Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.

2. Have a workshop in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.

3. Must have 20 full time technical people in at least one atelier or workshop.

4. Each season (i.e., twice a year), present a collection to the Paris press, comprising at least thirty-five runs/exits with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear.

Will see you all next week with a new series!

 

THINK LUXURY, THINK SILK !

Hello fabric lovers,

So where were we? Ah, yes we posted on denim last week and we hope you liked it. It’s all about silk this week!

Silk is a soft, lustrous fiber taken from the cocoon of the silkworm.

Sericulture has a long history unknown to most people. For centuries the West knew very little about silk and the people who made it. Chinese legend gives the title Goddess of Silk to Lady Hsi-Ling-Shih, wife of the mythical Yellow Emperor, who was said to have ruled China in about 3000 BC. For more than two thousand years the Chinese kept the secret of silk altogether to themselves.

In spite of their secrecy however the Chinese were destined to lose their monopoly on silk production. Sericulture reached Korea around 200 BC, when waves of Chinese immigrants arrived there. Silk reached the West through a number of different channels. Shortly after AD 300, sericulture traveled westward and the cultivation of the silkworm was established in India. By the sixth century the Persians too had mastered the art of silk weaving, developing their own rich patterns and techniques. Italy began silk production with the introduction of 2000 skilled silk weavers from Constantinople. Eventually silk production became widespread in Europe.

World silk production has approximately doubled during the last 30 years in spite of man-made fibers replacing silk for some uses. China and Japan during this period have been the two main producers. China, the country that first developed sericulture thousands years ago dramatically increased its silk production and has again become the world’s leading producer of silk.

You can find any number of the material in the market like chiffon fabric, china silk, cotton silk, crape silk and satin silk but they are all chemically made. There are mainly four types of natural silk fabrics- Mulberry silk, taser silk, muga silk and eri silk . Among these mulberry silk is the most popular and expensive one. Among all the fabrics available silk is one of the most expensive and rich fabric.

Do you love denim?

Denim is one of those fabrics that can be found in every corner of the world. It’s  a statement, a lifestyle, it’s versatility, it’s comfortable, it’s craftsmanship and it’s warm. Denim’s popularity has soared in the last several decades, and is worn by people from all walks of life.

Denim Fabric is made from cotton with a twill weave, and one of its primary uses is to make jeans. Imported from France in the late 18th Century, denim originally was known as “serge de Nimes”, after the French town of Nimes in which it was first produced. Denim fashioned into pants or trousers is referred to as jeans. The term “jeans” was derived from “blue de Genes” or “blue of Genoa”.

In 1848, gold was found in California, and the famous Gold Rush began. The gold miners wanted clothes that were strong and did not tear easily. A man called Leob Strauss left his home in New York and moved to San Francisco, where he started a wholesale business, supplying clothes. Strauss later changed his name from Leob to Levi.

In the 1960’s many, many university and college students wore jeans. Different styles of jeans were made, to match the 60’s fashion, embroidered jeans, painted jeans and psychedelic jeans.

The use of denim blue jeans by cowboys depicted in film and early television shows led to a rise in popularity of blue jeans with young boys in the first half of the 20th century. Denim became a symbol for rebellion in the 1950s, which led to its popularity with teenagers who wanted to imitate the rebellious look of such Hollywood stars as James Dean.

In the 1980’s jeans finally became high fashion clothing, when famous designers started making their own styles of jeans, with their own labels on them. Sales of jeans went up.

Today denim jeans are a staple in wardrobes across the world. Denim, which once was banned from school classrooms, is accepted almost everywhere today.

Denim has made a comeback in recent years and in every possible form. Studded denim jackets, jeans, long skirts, pleated minis and even shirts were heavily featured on the runways of Dolce and Gabbana, John Galliano, Mui Mui and Prada to name but a few.

History of Fabrics

There are so many kinds of fabric available that it’s overwhelming to try to understand them all at once. Each posts will talk about different kind of fabrics, their texture and properties and many more! Natural fibers have been used for apparel and home fashion for thousands of years. In comparison, the man-made fiber industry began with the first commercial production of rayon in 1910. Today, many man-made fibers, including polyester have been developed into beautiful fabrics that are being used by major designers.

Here is a look at the history of-

Natural fibers 

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There are so many kinds of fabric available that it’s overwhelming to try to understand them all at once. Each posts will talk about different kind of fabrics, their texture and properties and many more! Natural fibers have been used for apparel and home fashion for thousands of years. In comparison, the man-made fiber industry began with the first commercial production of rayon in 1910. Today, many man-made fibers, including polyester have been developed into beautiful fabrics that are being used by major designers.

Here is a look at the history of

Natural fibers

FLAX 5,000 BC- Generally considered to be the oldest natural textile fiber. Fine linen was used as burial shrouds for the Egyptians

COTTON 3,000 BC-  Earliest use estimated between 3,000 BC to 5,000 BC.
Worn by Egyptians earlier than 2,500 BC.

WOOL 3,000 BC- Used by people of the Late Stone Age,
There are 40 different breeds of sheep, which produce approximately 200 types of wool of varying grades.

SILK 2,600 BC- It is believed that silk was discovered by a Chinese princess.
Silk is made from two continuous filaments cemented together and used to form the cocoon of the silkworm. Secrets of cultivation and fabric manufacturing were closely guarded by the Chinese for about 3,000 years.

Man- made fibers

Rayon 1910-   The first man-made fiber. The first commercial production of rayon fiber in the United States was in 1910 by the American Viscose Company.

Nylon 1939-   The first commercial production of nylon in the United States was in 1939. It is the second most used man-made fiber in this country, behind polyester.

Acrylic 1950- The first commercial production of Acrylic in the United States was in 1950.

Polyester 1953- The first commercial production of polyester fiber in the United States was in 1953 by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. Polyester is the most used man-made fiber in the U.S

Expect a new fabric/ garment to learn about every week. 🙂

“Let’s Get Started”- Woven into humanity !

From leaves and reeds to bright colors and fun patterns and everything in between…

From Flax which is generally considered to be the oldest natural textile fiber to Rayon the first man-made fiber.

From Cotton Worn by Egyptians earlier than 2,500 BC to Silk that India learned of when a Chinese princess married an Indian prince.

From Nylon the first commercial production to Lyocell the environmentally friendly, specially processed and recycled, reducing environmental effluents.

From weaving and knitting to tailoring and stitching. From street fashion to Haute couture.

Well, now you have your chance to know everything about fabrics. Keep following the posts you never know what you have missed all this while.

Till then here’s a quote to inspire you this week…

“Our clothes are too much a part of us for most of us ever to be
entirely indifferent to their condition: It is as though the fabric
were indeed a natural extension of the body, or even of the soul”.
~Quentin Bell