Designers work within a hierarchical system.
“The designers are most stratified in the French system of fashion […] Fashion ensures the functioning of a system of dominant and subordinate positions within a social order. Fashion is ideological in that it is also part of the process in which particular social groups, in this case elite designers, establish, sustain and reproduce positions of power and relations of dominance and subordination. The positions of dominance and subordination appear natural and legitimate, not only to those in positions of dominance, but also to those in subordinate positions. Fashion and the medium of fashion, that is clothing, offer means to make inequalities of socioeconomic status appear legitimate, and, therefore, acceptable.”
A “mythical conception of a designer as a ‘creative genius’ disconnected from social conditions” is central for the working of the fashion system and for the reproduction of fashion as ideology. Creativity is socially constructed and not an innate given, i.e. many may be gifted but no one can become a famous designer without being legitimized by the fashion system and its gatekeepers.
The star system is as essential for the fashion industry as for any culture industry. “Genre and the star system are attempts to produce something analogous to brand names in cultural industries. […] Stars are indispensable because it is part of the ideology of creativity that creative works must have an identifiable author.”
|Women’s Day wear||Practical,comfortable, fashionable||Haute couture, ready-to-wear, mass market|
|Women’s Evening wear||Glamorous, sophisticated, apt for the occasion||Haute couture, ready-to-wear, mass market|
|Women’s Lingerie||Glamorous,comfortable, washable||Haute Couture, ready-to-wear, mass market|
|Men’s Day wear||Casual, practical, comfortable||Tailoring, ready-to-wear, mass market|
|Men’s Evening wear||Smart, elegant, formal, apt for the occasion||Tailoring, ready-to-wear, mass market|
|Kidswear||Trendy or Classy, practical, washable, functional||Ready-to-wear, mass market|
|Girls’ Wear||Pretty, colorful, practical, washable, inexpensive||Ready-to-wear, mass market|
|Teenager Girl Wear||Colorful,comfortable,glamorous,pretty,||Ready-to-wear, mass market|
|Sportswear||Comfortable, practical, well-ventilated, washable, functional||Ready-to-wear, mass market|
|Knitwear||Right weight and color for the season||Ready-to-wear, mass market|
|Outerwear||Stylish, warm, right weight and color for the season||Ready-to-wear, mass market|
|Bridal wear||Sumptuous, glamorous, classic||Haute couture, ready-to-wear, mass market|
|Accessories||Striking, fashionable||Haute couture, ready-to-wear, mass market|
World fashion industry
Fashion today is a global industry, and most major countries have a fashion industry. Some countries are major manufacturing centers, notably China, South Korea, Spain, Germany, and India. Five countries have established an international reputation in fashion: France, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Japan.
American fashion design
The majority of American fashion houses are based in New York, although there are also a significant number in Los Angeles, where a substantial percentage of high fashion clothing manufactured in the US is actually made. There are also burgeoning industries in Miami, Chicago and especially San Francisco. American fashion design is dominated by a clean-cut, urban, casual style; reflecting the athletic, health-conscious lifestyles of American city-dwellers. A designer who helped to set the trend in the United States for sport-influenced day wear throughout the 1940s and 50’s was Claire McCardell. Many of her designs have been revived in recent decades.
British fashion design
London has long been the capital of the UK fashion industry and has a wide range of foreign designs which have integrated with modern British styles. Typical British design is smart but innovative yet recently has become more and more unconventional, fusing traditional styles with modern techniques. Vintage styles play an important role in the British fashion and styling industry. Stylists regularly ‘mix and match’ the old with the new, which gives British style that unique, bohemian aesthetic that many of the other fashion capitals try to imitate. Irish fashion (both design and styling) is also heavily influenced by fashion trends from Britain.
French fashion design
Main article: French Fashion
Most French fashion houses are in Paris, which is the capital of French fashion. Traditionally, French fashion is chic and stylish, defined by its sophistication, cut, and smart accessories. Although the Global Language Monitor placed it 3rd in the Media, after Milan and New york, French fashion is internationally acclaimed and Paris remains the symbolic home of fashion.
Italian fashion design
Milan is Italy’s capital of fashion. Most of the older Italian couturiers are in Rome. However, Milan and Florence are the Italian fashion capitals, and it is the exhibition venue for their collections. Italian fashion features casual elegance and luxurious fabrics.
Swiss fashion design
Most of the Swiss fashion houses are in Zurich. The Swiss look is casual elegant and luxurious.
Japanese fashion design
Most Japanese fashion houses are in Tokyo. The Japanese look is loose and unstructured (often resulting from complicated cutting), colours tend to the sombre and subtle, and richly textured fabrics. Famous Japanese designers are Yohji Yamamoto, Kenzo, Issey Miyake (masterful drape and cut), and Comme des Garcons’s Rei Kawakubo, who developed a new way of cutting (comparable to Madeleine Vionnet’s innovation in the 1930s).
Indian fashion design
A lot of Indian fashion design is born from Bollywood and its culture. Right now, a fusion of Indian and Western fashion is quite popular.