Until the 1950s, fashion clothing was predominately designed and manufactured on a made-to-measure or haute couture basis (French for high-sewing), with each garment being created for a specific client. A couture garment is made to order for an individual customer, and is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric, sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Look and fit take priority over the cost of materials and the time it takes to make. Due to the high cost of each garment, haute couture makes little direct profit for the fashion houses, but is important for prestige and publicity.
Known for his stunning couture designs and his sophisticated women’s tuxedo jackets (known as le smoking), Saint Laurent was destined to carve out his own identity, but his career was not without its challenges. After a poorly received collection at Dior, which featured hobble skirts and other unusual designs, he was sent into mandatory military service. The stress of being in the army (although he lasted only 20 days) took a tremendous toll on the sensitive designer. He suffered from teasing and hazing by his fellow soldiers, and he soon plunged into a nervous breakdown; he was sent to a mental hospital for treatment.
He rebounded in the 60’s and 70’s, designing his own line and stunning Paris and the entire fashion world with his own brand of French elegance. However, the stress of his work led him to abuse booze and drugs; in time, the fragile designer’s health became precarious. By 1987, he was unable to fulfill his responsibilities, and allowed others to design his prêt-a-porter line.
A stylist co-ordinates the clothes, jewelry, and accessories used in fashion photography and catwalk presentations. A stylist may also work with an individual client to design a coordinated wardrobe of garments. Many stylists are trained in fashion design, the history of fashion, and historical costume, and have a high level of expertise in the current fashion market and future market trends. However, some simply have a strong aesthetic sense for pulling great looks together.
Fashion designers work in different ways. Some sketch their ideas on paper, while others drape fabric on a dress form. When a designer is completely satisfied with the fit of the toile (or muslin), he or she will consult a professional pattern maker who then makes the finished, working version of the pattern out of card or via a computerized system. Finally, a sample garment is made up and tested on a model to make sure it is an operational outfit.
Preppy girls, often named simply ‘preps’, love to rock a college-inspired wardrobe. Their hangers are lined side to side with girly blouses with matching collared tees as well as a-line skirts and tights. Her hair is almost always amped up with a cute little headband and she usually wears glasses- whether she really needs to or not! This style may appear geeky and slightly luxurious, but the look itself is really not expensive and extravagant at all.