Fashion is timeless. The styles change, the target audience evolves, companies rise and fall, but fashion remains a constant. It’s not limited to women either, it’s something that all genders love to express themselves through. It is something that will always survive, but how fashion survives is all about adaptability and progress.
Once upon a time, fashion was held behind closed doors, in secret fashion catalogues, design houses would create for the couture audience. To be fashionable was to be able to order custom made outfits in lone with the latest styles. Modelling became a profession in the mid-1850s and with the advent of photography, fashion houses were able to reach new audiences
and REady-to-wear fashion meant reaching new audiences that previously could not afford it.
Fashion has to adapt to survive, or rather, the fashion designers have to adapt to survive. Designs had to be created to suit the mood of the public, the consumer. A real challenge to the adaptability of the fashion industry would be World War I. This war demanded more practicality from its consumer. Women were replacing the male workforce, who went to war. The suffragettes were demanding more rights for women. This meant that it was time to say goodbye to some of the more restrictive aspects of fashion. Paul Poiret moved against the need for the restrictive corset and the hobble skirt was redesigned by Jeanne Paquin to include pleats for the more active lifestyles women now lead. They needed to wear trousers and hemlines rose to midcalf.
Fashion shows began in 1911 and by 1913, there were twice-yearly shows to showcase the latest fashions. Early models were singers, dancers and actresses, and fashion was reaching a new audience by becoming entertainment, some were even filmed! Fashion shows became a way to raise money for the war effort. (Source).
World War II meant a new style of clothing to relate to the more practical consumer. Paris fashion collections began to feature trousers, suits, more utilitarian clothing or even patriotic clothing, expressing the mood of the people through the designs. Fashion shows and pictures in magazines began to feature the Making-do mentality and making clothes with any fabric available such as curtains and encouraged the concept of remaking old clothes into something new. (source)
COVID-19 has created new challenges to every industry, but the fashion industry in particular. Fashion is a fiscal heavyweight and lockdowns meant millions of dollars worth of cancelled orders, potentially causing humanitarian crises as employers cannot pay their workers. Fashion has also been a leader. Numerous brands, such as Armani, have donated millions in money and equipment to hospitals to get them what they need to run their hospitals with the demands of the Pandemic. Millions more have been donated to research. Models are not able to work in the same ways they used to. There has been a huge knockdown effect. If models can’t work, then there is no need for makeup artists and manicurists.
Adapting is something that the fashion industry does with success. Fashion shows and shoots continue with strict rules about face masks, social distancing and handwashing. The designs focus on comfortable and fashionable themes as more people are forced to stay at home rather than go out. But the point is, it survives and, as history shows, it bounces back with a vengeance. Whether through socially distanced shoots or streamed fashion shows, fashion adapts and survives. Here at X1 Models, we can help you face the challenges that models face in this new and uncertain world. Visit our website at https://www.x1models.co.uk/ to find out more.