How to understand the fashion industry - Martha Debayle

By : ujikiu / On : 08/04/2023

The importance of this industry in history, from how it started, who was the first great designer and everything you need to know.

December 29, 2021

Gustavo PradoResearcher, teacher, curator and lecturer. He is one of the most important trend advisors in Mexico. Author of the book “MEXTILO: The history of Mexican fashion”. Founder of Trendo MX, they analyze changes in styles, economic and social attitudes.FB: @trendomexicoIG: @trendomexicoTW: @trendomexico

At what point did the history of Fashion begin? In the 17th century in the reign of Louis XIV, it turns out that Jean Baptiste Colbert had a prime minister. The problem they had was that Spain and England had colonies and they received a lot of money from there. Louis XIV asked his minister: invent where we can earn more money. The minister told him: -I know how! We are going to sell garments, styles and textiles to the other European courts… -Ah but how stupid you are. We already sold them! They won't buy from us again. -BUT NOW, there is a new invention: LE MODE. So even if they have bought before, now they will buy again because the styles change every six months. Before that time, people dressed, there was style. But only from that moment did fashion exist as we understand it now.

How did it become so important? When Louis XIV came to power everyone was very poor, when he dies 72 years and 110 days later, all of France is middle class. With that, all the industries in France were dedicated to textiles, lace, embroidery, etc. And so fashion began there and had a FUNDAMENTAL economic participation. In 1700, the total monetary value of goods produced in France was documented at a rate of 5%. By the 1780s, the rate of gross domestic product had risen to 13%. The escalation of production was largely due to the growth of the textile industry. The rise of consumerism was fueled by an overwhelming interest in haute couture that exceeded the limits of the economic range. The wardrobes of the French mob became increasingly valuable. Especially in Paris, women began buying imitations of luxury items used to be worn by elites. These fashion accessories included watches, buttons, and belt buckles.

The first great designer? Everyone thinks of Chanel in the twenties, but before 1905 to the first world war, the fundamental one was Paul Poiret. Designer who is historically said to have removed the Corset, made the Belle Epoque silhouette obsolete and allowed the modern silhouette of Art Nouveau to pass. First brand with perfumes, maternity line, beachwear, for girls, etc. It did not survive World War I, but its legacy lives on in the innovation that followed. And it is that it opens the door to contemporary brands

How to understand the fashion industry - Martha Debayle

Editorial fashion? Magazines come from the time of Louis XIV with the 'Mercure Galant', but in the 19th century there was already 'Harpers's Bazaar' but only with prints and drawings. In the 20th century it began with the 'Gazette de Bon Ton' but it was drawn 'editorials', the great age of fashion illustration. In the 1920s, 'photogravure' made it possible to print fashion photos and Stieglitz and Man Ray, Horst began: what we consider to be the greatest photographers, began doing editorials in fashion for magazines.

The first fashion show? In the first decades of the century, Madeleine Vionnet in Paris put a catwalk in her shop and catwalks were made for the clients. From there it became customary in departments around the world -Mexico included-

The celebs who promoted fashion? In the fifties Percy Savage, Christian Dior's PR, sent Elizabeth Taylor a dress for the Oscars: it was a success and set the trend. But later Brigitte Bardot imposed the off-the-shoulder blouse -here in Mexico it was thanks to the film Susana by Luis Buñuel, with Rosita Quintana-. Madonna the low jeans Britney the visible thong Rihanna the socks with slippers.

The 10 moments that changed the history of fashionThe little black dress by Chanel;The use of jeans as everyday clothing since World War II;The 'New Look' by Dior;The silhouette in Balenciaga;The Mexican pink of Ramón Valdiosera;Mary Quant-Courreges-Rudi Gernreich's miniskirt;YSL's Tuxedo;The sneaker revolution of the seventies;Fast fashion of the nineties;The fluid gender of today's world

The iconic designersEach of the biggest names in fashion have been iconic 'for a reason':Diane von Furstenberg for the 'Wrap Dress';Calvin Klein for men's underwear and jeans;But probably the paradigm marked by Karl Lagerfeld is the greatest: a designer, who with his work, his presence and his mystique defines a whole time.

Fashion and Department StoresSince the beginning of the 20th century, Poiret was already selling the usual suspects in American department stores: Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, etc. Right here in Mexico, Mme Rostand went to Paris every year to buy patterns from Dior and were reproduced right here in Mexico as 'licensed copied originals'.

Why are haute couture clothes so expensive? They are unique garments, handmade, oversized with exquisite materials, no expense is spared in what they are made with or how many hours are dedicated to them

What does it take to be considered a haute couture design? Haute couture, licensed by the Chambre Syndicale. Only to houses that are in Paris that present two shows a year, with garments made by hand, that have a minimum 35 plant employees. If it does not comply with that, it is NOT haute couture

For those who design haute couture clothing? Karl Lagerfeld said that the public for haute couture is only 2,500 people worldwide who are looking for that level of exclusivity and who can also afford it. They are not even Hollywood stars with their borrowed clothes or what we see in magazines, it's 'secret' people who wear it but not to be seen… Even though there are clients like Daphne Guinness who have turned the use of haute couture into an art form.

Is such an expensive industry profitable? Doing haute couture catwalks with clothes that cost millions, in incredible sets and scenarios is a TOTAL LOSS. However, these events give them visibility to be able to sell perfumes, glasses and accessories... What What is a TOTAL PROFIT?

Why is the fashion industry so important? High fashion creates imaginaries based on cultural trends, it is the very expression of what humanity feels and wears. Just like 'great art', it is a cultural manifestation , which responds to the air of time. With enough time it is the only thing left of each era.

The Met GalaSince the catwalks and fashion weeks, the Met Gala is probably what before the pandemic and now in the almost post pandemic captures the world's imagination. From Diana Vreeland to Anna Wintour is a legendary event that not only brings together celebrities with ideas and fashion concepts: it defines the trend that happens and will happen for years to come. Whether it is the Camp, Schiaparelli, time, they are fundamental exhibitions to understand the world and the current moment. Now comes 'Americana' a reaction to a post-Trump world...

December 29, 2021