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The Fashion Design Reference & Specification Book by Laura Volpintesta, Jay Calderin

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Job:12-29742 Title:RP-Fashion Design Ref and Spec Book
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26 THE FASHION DESIGN REFERENCE + SPECIFICATION BOOK
(Text)
Chapter 3: Fashion History
Fashion designers have a wealth of information to turn to when they look to the
historical archives of clothing. A student of history can spend a lifetime delving
into such a fascinating subject, and even the most avid fans will merely scratch
the surface. Any good designer, however, should make a habit of two things:
First, cultivate an understanding and an appreciation for the cycles of history
and the ways that they allow one to anticipate how society might respond to
ideas. Second, continue to seek out, collect, and assimilate the historical
references that speak to them as a designer.
No abridgement of an era could do it justice for the true scholar. Volumes upon
volumes of detailed treatises have been dedicated to the study of almost every
historical period. The goal here is to begin a simple outline that will serve as
a roadmap, encouraging many side trips into the vast and varied periods of
fashion that are so well documented in books, on the Internet, and in museum
collections (many of which are available to industry professionals and students
by appointment). This simpli cation is intentional, for it serves to clarify a
larger picture as well as the stimuli behind changes in fashion.
The evolution of fashion runs in cycles, each with peaks and valleys symbolic
of their corresponding socioeconomic impacts. In recent history, this can be
illustrated by the rise and fall of hemlines. Fashion icons also play an impor-
tant role in every era, as they breathe life into clothing and often put their
unique stamp on the fashions of their day. With a broad perspective on all
these aspects of fashion history, designers are better equipped to recognize
how trends develop and can both deliver what their customers desire today as
well as anticipate future demand.
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Job:12-29742 Title:RP-Fashion Design Ref and Spec Book
#175 Dtp:204 Page:26
026-051.indd 26 2/26/13 7:38 PM

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