Clothing has existed since prehistoric times. Why do people wear clothes? Protection Status Modesty Decoration
Decoration seems to be the most basic motivation for dress.
Function: Style must permit required activities
Availability of materials.
Type of dress worn may be limited by: Southern Russian Slavs preparing hemp fibers. Filipino women weaving hats from bamboo fibers.
Dress can be divided between draped and tailored clothing.
Draped clothing is made from woven lengths of cloth, loosely fitted, good for warm climates.
Tailored clothing is cut and sewn, is close-fitting, and is good for cool climates.
There are also clothes that combine draping and tailoring.
Technology limits or expands options
Made by hand
Powered by electricity
Social mores and customs may limit or expand clothing choices
In the study of historic costume, there are underlying themes related to dress A theme is “a recurring or unifying subject or idea.” (Webster 1988)
Some themes that appear throughout the study of the history of dress include:
Social Life, Social Class Structure, and Social Roles, Including Those Related to Gender
Changes and/or patterns in social behavior — what we might refer to as “lifestyles”
The function of dress in the social context can include:
Designation of gender differences
Designation of status
Identification of group membership
Ceremonial use of clothing President Grover Cleveland’s wedding as reproduced in Harper’s Weekly
Certain themes grow out of the historical context, such as:
Politics: Leaders as Style Setters
Politics: War and Conflict as Style Setters c. 1250 c. 1370 c. 1580
Economics: The trade of textiles and apparel
Technology: The production of textiles and apparel Massachusetts Textile Mill Worker
Communication: The dissemination of styles
CROSS-CULTURAL INFLUENCES IN DRESS As cultures come into contact, there is a reciprocal exchange of new ideas, resulting in styles that are MIXTURES, and a process called CULTURAL AUTHENTICATION
Mixtures are styles that incorporate components from several cultures The cheongsam combines traditional elements with Western cut and fit.
Cultural Authentication is the process “whereby elements of dress of one culture are incorporated into the dress of another.” Usually the culturally authenticated style is changed in some way. Only rarely are entire garments adopted. Erekosima and Eicher (1981) Dashiki
Geographic location, the natural environment, and ecology (the relationship of humans to their physical environment) may emerge as themes that are evident in dress.
Clothing is considered by some to be an art form Isabella Clara Eugenia, Infanta of Spain, Duchess of Austria and Burgundy, Princess of Belgium.
As an art form, it can be said to grow out of the ZEITGEIST . Zeitgeist, a German word, describes the complex mixture of social, psychological, and aesthetic factors often called the “spirit of the times.”
Influenced by the Zeitgeist or spirit of the times, different art forms from the same era may display similar qualities.
Themes related to clothing as an art form include:
The relationship between costume of a particular era and developments in the fine and applied arts.
Individual artists and designers, such as Gabrielle Chanel, contribute to the view of costume as art.
Revival of interest in earlier styles
Where does fashion fit into this exploration of dress? What is Fashion?
Fashion is a taste shared by many for a short period of time. Fashion is evident in many aspects of life.
A complex technological system has developed in the modern world that facilitates: Design Manufacture Distribution Thereby making it possible for men and women of all incomes to follow current fashions
Technology: Design Development
Control of work-in-process
Control of sewing machines
Warehousing and selection
Electronic data interchange
Technology: Systems for Manufacturing Apparel
Click on the “@” button to view live feed from QVC. Technology: Distribution and Communication