“Fashion is the mirror of history.” Louis XIV of France
It is not uncommon that when archeologists discover antiquities relating to fashion, they become very excited because these items paint for us a clearer picture of that distant society. Why? Well, because fashion items go beyond utility, they tell a story about values.
From the most extreme Egyptian headgear to the simplest Greek toga, societies were unknowingly, yet constantly showing us what they thought of as beautiful, as worthy, as luxury, and as what at the time must have been the “rage” in fashion.
Fashion has mostly tended to travel from the top down, however recently, in the last century, that has reversed somewhat…
Take a moment to think about these iconic images: Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, Catherine de Medici, Georgiana Countess of Devonshire. These high-ranking women live vividly in our mind’s eye because of their sense of fashion, to the extent that they might have been actual martyrs to it.
Then take a moment to think of Dior’s New Look in 1950, Mary Quant’s 1960’s vibe, the YSL Tuxedoes of the 1970’s, the big Princess Diana’s dress of the 1980’s'; all of these looks were telling a story about society at that particular time. Values, economics, politics, self-image, status, all captured in a garment, shoe, or jewel.
So, thinking about the future…What will people say about the first two-decades of the 21st century? Please…no more ripped jeans, please.