Fashion designer began since we started wearing clothing. The European market has set the stage. European designers started designing dresses with some of the best fabrics. Some of the best fabrics came from Europe. The Roosevelt Family would bring fabric from Europe to the United States. This was part of the Roosevelt Dynasty; we don’t hear about the Roosevelts since most of them are no longer living.
During the Pioneer days, most all clothing making was done by the lady of the house. Some of the small neighborhoods would have a seamstress. Men’s clothing was made by a tailor.
When I was growing up on a farm in the middle of the agriculture area of West Texas, fashion was not the topic. I am going to give you a lesson about how we took advantage of what was available for making clothing.
When I was very small, we raised thousands of little baby chicks, and the food they ate came in different floral cotton sacks. This was the life of rural America, farmers raised what we ate. When farmers bought food for baby chicks, they would make sure the sacks were all alike. Much of our clothing was made from the feed sacks. I guess you could say there was a fashion made of feed sacks.
I will say that my mother was a great seamstress, she would trim our little dresses with beautiful colorful rick-rack. The rick-rack came in 3 sizes, small, medium and large. One of the beauties of our home-made dresses, no one had a dress like yours. Mother made little bloomers with ruffles on the back of them. When we bent over you would see the matching bloomers.
One the nicest things about being a good seamstress, doing the holidays we always had a new dress. Easter was my favorite as my dress would be a solid color with a white organza pinafore that was worn over my dress. Mother made Easter bonnets to match the dresses for my sister and me. We also wore little white patten leather shoes.
All the children in our community of school age attended a two schoolhouse. The mothers would gather once a month and exchange patterns. Simplicity was very poplar pattern; you could easily change some of the details. As we grew the pattern in our size would be passed down. During that era little girls did not wear pants. We worn little dress with knee socks. Our store-bought coats would have a warm matching bonnet. We created our own fashion.
I believe it was after WW II, our fashion world became nonexistent, store fronts had mannequins advertising store bought clothing. I think mother was glad, she was always so busy canning and working in the garden. Our neighborhood came alive, we were busy with the harvesting of wheat, in the middle of summer.
I remember the first pair of trousers, mother bought for me to wear to school. Corduroy fabric was very popular. Demin overalls were worn by young men and the farmers. Then Levi-Strass came on the scene. Teenage boys fell in love with their Levies. Fashion was changing the way we dress for school. The bobby socks, black and white oxfords. We wore skirts and sweaters in the winter months. Summer fashion changed, shorts and sundresses became very popular. This must have been in the early 1950s until 1960.
I remember looking at Seventeen magazine at the fashions the models were wearing. Some the dresses were so expensive. Back to the fabric stores checking for perfect pattern and material. By this time, we had more patterns to choose from. Butterwick, McCall’s, Simplicity and Vogue. The following years went by so fast and I had finished high school.
Fresh out of high school, landed a job working for a bank. You are leaving those bobby socks days behind. The world had change into more of a professional look and fashions influenced more of a business appearance and picking the right shoes was a must.
The first lady, Jackie Kennedy, was an icon for setting the stage with a new look. Her beauty was embraced with a more sophicated style. For example, her pink Chanel suite with a pillbox hat. She embraced the Chanel design. I am sure many of the designers, were willing to design dresses for any event. I understand she had 80 complete ensembles in the John F Kennedy Library.
The modern-day women in the corporate world continue with some of her designs. We dress for comfort and power. Some the small dress shops feature elegant designs that represented the working class. I did not really care about the designers, so we created our own look. I went from hot pants to go-go boots. Whatever the mood; we wore what was on display in store windows. The Fashion world was turned upside down. The aggressive professional young men and women were setting a vision in the fashion world.
1900 to 2000’s, the business men and women that were leaders in the business world developed some of the finer apparel. Gucci Corporation had to revamp their entire line and now sell perfumes to men and women. They also had small boutiques and one items was the Gucci luxury leather good. Valarie Stevens, Jones of New York and Ralph Lauren were popular. We still have new designers. They have captured the urban-professional elites. Prada, Anne Klein shoes, Michael Kors,
Mac Jacobs, and Calvin Klein, these designers have shoes, clothing, cologne, and luxury leather purses, belts, boots and shoes.
The professional in the business world has dressed down for comfort. The three-piece business suite is no longer embraced. We flock to the departments for designer jeans, baggy sweaters, and cashmere sweaters. We like our leather leggings and skinny jeans. We embrace these styles with leather jacket, blazer or a coat. The young professionals are well educated and know what want they and the designers are catering to them.