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The Fashion Portal

Victorian fashion
Swinging London, 1969
Fashion design is the art of the application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. The term fashion refers to a distinctive and often habitual trend in the style with which a person dresses, as well as to prevailing styles in behaviour. Fashion design is influenced by cultural and social latitudes, and has varied over time and place. Fashion designers work in a number of ways in designing clothing and accessories. Some work alone or as part of a team. They attempt to satisfy consumer desire for aesthetically designed clothing; and, because of the time required to bring a garment onto the market, must at times anticipate changing consumer tastes.

Fashion design is generally considered to have started in the 19th century with Charles Frederick Worth who was the first designer to have his label sewn into the garments that he created. Before the former draper set up his maison couture (fashion house) in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by largely anonymous seamstresses, and high fashion descended from that worn at royal courts. Worth's success was such that he was able to dictate to his customers what they should wear, instead of following their lead as earlier dressmakers had done. The term couturier was in fact first created in order to describe him. While all articles of clothing from any time period are studied by academics as costume design, only clothing created after 1858 could be considered as fashion design.

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An open can of shoe polish with a side-mounted opening mechanism visible at the top of the photo
Shoe polish (or boot polish), is a waxy paste, cream, or liquid used to polish, shine, waterproof, and restore the appearance of leather shoes or boots, thereby extending the footwear's life. Various substances have been used as shoe polish for hundreds of years, starting with natural substances such as wax and tallow. Modern polish formulas were introduced early in the 20th century and many of those original formulations are still in use today. Today, shoe polish is usually made from a mix of natural and synthetic materials, including naphtha, turpentine, dyes, and gum arabic, using straightforward chemical engineering processes. Shoe polish is usually flammable, can be toxic, and, if misused, can stain skin. It should be used in a well-ventilated area with care taken to protect clothes, carpet and furniture. The popularity of shoe polish paralleled a general rise in leather and synthetic shoe production, beginning in the 19th century and continuing into the 20th. The World Wars saw a surge in demand for the product, in order to polish army boots. The first shoe polish to resemble the modern varieties (aimed primarily at inducing shine) was Kiwi. Scottish expatriates William Ramsay and Hamilton McKellan began making "boot polish" in a small factory in 1904 in Melbourne, Australia.

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Nataliya Gotsiy
Credit: Peter Duhon

Ukrainian fashion model Nataliya Gotsiy modeling for Cynthia Rowley, Spring 2007 New York Fashion Week. She was the winner of the Ford Supermodel of the World 2004 search. She has appeared on the cover of French Elle and Italian Marie Claire and modeled for Behnaz Sarafpour, Christian Lacroix, Diane von Fürstenberg, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Dries van Noten, Gucci, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, and Vivienne Westwood, among others.

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Victoria Beckham
Victoria Caroline Beckham (née Adams; born 17 April 1974) is an English businesswoman, fashion designer and singer. In the late 1990s, Beckham rose to fame with the all-female pop group Spice Girls and was dubbed Posh Spice by the July 1996 issue of the British pop music magazine Top of the Pops. Since the Spice Girls split, she has had a solo pop music career, scoring four UK Top 10 singles. Her first single to be released, "Out of Your Mind", reached Number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and is her highest chart entry to date. During her solo career, she has been signed to Virgin Records and Telstar Records. Beckham has found more success as an internationally recognised and photographed style icon. Her career in fashion includes designing a line of jeans for Rock & Republic and later designing her own denim brand, dVb Style. Beckham has brought out her own range of sunglasses and fragrance, entitled Intimately Beckham, which has been released in the UK and the US. In association with the Japanese store Samantha Thavasa and Shiatzy Chen, she has produced a range of handbags and jewellery. In addition, Beckham has released two best-selling books; one her autobiography, the other a fashion guide.

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Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's

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Sophia Loren
A woman’s dress should be a like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view.

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Fashion design HistoryHaute coutureReady-to-wearCostume designJewelry designGermanFrenchItalianSouth AmericanPatternTailorTextileStylistBuyerDressmakerIllustrationForecastingModelFitting modelJournalism

History of Western fashion Ancient worldEgyptianBiblicalGreekRomanByzantineEarly MedievalAnglo-Saxon12th century13th century14th century15th century1500–15501550–16001600–16501650–17001700–17501750–17751775–17951795–18201820sVictorian1830s1840s1850s1860s1870s1890s1900s1910s1920s1930-19451945-19561960s1970s1980s1990s2000s2010s

MaterialsCottonFurLeatherLinenNylonPolyesterRayonSilkSpandexWool

Dresses Ball gownCocktail dressDébutante dressEvening gownGownJumper dressLittle black dressPetticoatSariShirtdressSundressTea gownWedding dressWrap dress

FootwearStockingTightsToe TightsLeg warmerLeggingsAthletic shoeBootCourt shoeDress shoeFlip-flopsHosierySandalShoeSlipperSockToe Sock

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Tops BlouseCrop topDress shirtHalterneckHenley shirtHoodieJerseyGuernseyPoet shirtPolo shirtShirtSleeveless shirtSweaterSweater vestT-shirtTube topTurtleneckTwinset

Trousers or pants Bell-bottomsBermuda shortsBondage pantsCapri pantsCargo pantsCulottesCycling shortsDress pantsJeansJodhpursOverallParachute pantsPhat pantsShortsSweatpantsWindpantsYoga pants

SkirtsA-line skirtDenim skirtLeather skirtMen's skirtsMicroskirtMiniskirtPencil skirtPrairie skirtRah-rah skirtSkortWrap

Suits and uniformsAcademic dressBlack tieCleanroom suitClerical clothingCourt dressGymslipJumpsuitKasayaLab coatMorning dressPantsuitRed Sea rigRomper suitScrubsStrollerTuxedoWhite tie


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