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The Fashion Portal

Victorian fashion
Swinging London, 1969
Fashion design is the art of the application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. The term fashion refers to a distinctive and often habitual trend in the style with which a person dresses, as well as to prevailing styles in behaviour. Fashion design is influenced by cultural and social latitudes, and has varied over time and place. Fashion designers work in a number of ways in designing clothing and accessories. Some work alone or as part of a team. They attempt to satisfy consumer desire for aesthetically designed clothing; and, because of the time required to bring a garment onto the market, must at times anticipate changing consumer tastes.

Fashion design is generally considered to have started in the 19th century with Charles Frederick Worth who was the first designer to have his label sewn into the garments that he created. Before the former draper set up his maison couture (fashion house) in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by largely anonymous seamstresses, and high fashion descended from that worn at royal courts. Worth's success was such that he was able to dictate to his customers what they should wear, instead of following their lead as earlier dressmakers had done. The term couturier was in fact first created in order to describe him. While all articles of clothing from any time period are studied by academics as costume design, only clothing created after 1858 could be considered as fashion design.

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Woman wearing bikini in Chicago (1973)
The history of the bikini is a checkered one. Though the bikini shocked when it appeared on French beaches in 1947, its origins date back millennia. Depictions of bikini-like garments appear at the Chalcolithic site of Çatalhöyük, and two-piece bikini-like garments were worn by women for athletic purposes in Ancient Greece as far back as 1400 BC. Roman mosaic artwork in Sicily, dubbed "Bikini Girls" and dating back to the reign of Diocletian (286-305 AD) gained significant archeological renown, and Roman statues of Venus in a bikini were found elsewhere. In the modern era, the first functional two-piece swimsuit was designed in 1913 by Carl Jantzen. Australian swimmer-performer Annette Kellerman was arrested in 1907 for wearing a two-piece. Later it was made popular by pin-up girls like swimmer-actress Esther Williams, and actresses Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, and Lana Turner. The modern bikini was invented by French engineer Louis Réard in 1946. He named it after Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, the site of an atomic bomb test on July 1, 1946. Réard hoped that the burst of excitement it caused would be as explosive as an atomic bomb.

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Social dance
Credit: Giuseppe Piattoli

An illustration depicting eighteenth century social dance, with the caption reading, "A cheerful dance awakens love and feeds hope with lively joy." The focuses of social dance are sociability and socializing, which differs from other forms, such as ceremonial, competitive, or performance. Social dances are usually partner or group dances.

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Anna Wintour
Anna Wintour, OBE (born 3 November 1949) is the English-born editor-in-chief of American Vogue, a position she has held since 1988. With her trademark pageboy bob haircut and sunglasses, Wintour has become an institution throughout the fashion world, widely praised for her eye for fashion trends and her support for younger designers. Her reportedly aloof and demanding personality has earned her the nickname "Nuclear Wintour". She is the eldest daughter of Charles Wintour, editor of the London Evening Standard. Her father consulted her on how to make the newspaper relevant to the youth of the era. Anna became interested in fashion as a teenager. Her career in fashion journalism began at two British magazines. Later she moved to the United States, with stints at New York and House & Garden. She returned home for a year to turn around British Vogue, and later assumed control of the franchise's magazine in New York, reviving what many saw as a stagnating publication. Her use of the magazine to shape the fashion industry has been the subject of debate within it. Animal rights activists have attacked her for promoting fur, while other critics have charged her with using the magazine to promote elitist views of femininity and beauty. A former personal assistant, Lauren Weisberger, wrote the 2003 best selling roman à clef The Devil Wears Prada, later made into a successful film starring Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly, a fashion editor believed to be based on Wintour. In 2009 she was the focus of another film, R.J. Cutler's documentary The September Issue.

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Rita Hayworth in her black dress


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Alicia Keys
The most important thing to remember is that you can wear all the greatest clothes and all the greatest shoes, but you’ve got to have a good spirit on the inside. That’s what’s really going to make you look like you’re ready to rock the world.

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Dresses Ball gownCocktail dressDébutante dressEvening gownGownJumper dressLittle black dressPetticoatSariShirtdressSundressTea gownWedding dressWrap dress

FootwearStockingTightsLeg warmerLeggingsAthletic shoeBootCourt shoeDress shoeFlip-flopsHosierySandalShoeSlipperSock

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Tops BlouseCrop topDress shirtHalterneckHenley shirtHoodieJerseyGuernseyPoet shirtPolo shirtShirtSleeveless shirtSweaterSweater vestT-shirtTube topTurtleneckTwinset

Trousers or pants Bell-bottomsBermuda shortsBondage pantsCapri pantsCargo pantsCulottesCycling shortsDress pantsJeansJodhpursOverallParachute pantsPhat pantsShortsSweatpantsWindpantsYoga pants

SkirtsA-line skirtDenim skirtJob skirtLeather skirtMen's skirtsMicroskirtMiniskirtPencil skirtPrairie skirtRah-rah skirtSkortWrap

Suits and uniformsAcademic dressBlack tieCleanroom suitClerical clothingCourt dressGymslipJumpsuitKasayaLab coatMorning dressPantsuitRed Sea rigRomper suitScrubsStrollerTuxedoWhite tie

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