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FASHION MOMENTS IN HISTORY


We take a look at twelve iconic fashion moments, since the birth of haute couture that lead us right up to the launch of the navabi collection.


Fashion fades, style is eternal, but some styles are more eternal than others. Ground breaking designs and decisions by the fashion industry changed how we think about our clothes, ourselves, and how the two work together. We chart the most important moments in the history of fashion for the last 150 years.

BECAUSE YOU’RE WORTH IT

He may not have been the most talented dressmaker or even the first couturier, but Charles Frederick Worth will be remembered in history as the father of haute couture. He changed how dressmaking was originally made by putting on fashion shows in his haute couture house. His wealthy clients would come to watch and select the styles they liked, choosing the fabric, measurements and colours which he would then hand make to their unique specifications. The lavish world of couture is still very much alive today with celebrities wearing bespoke designer gowns (some that often take up to 700 hours to make) to awards ceremonies and of course Couture Fashion Week which sees fashion houses like Chanel and Christian Dior showcase their opulent designs.

JEAN GENIES

In 1871, Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss changed the fashion landscape forever when they invented the denim jean. Originally used by workers, mainly miners for the fabrics durability and ability to last the distance in rough conditions, they’ve become the most beloved and versatile item of clothing in history, with virtually everyone owning a pair. Market research data from Euromonitor announced the global jeans market was worth more than $108 billion last year. Kerching.

HOW BAZAAR


In 2015 fashion blogs are our style bibles, but in 1867 Harper’s Bazar (it wasn’t until 1929 that the mag added an extra ‘a’, making it Harper’s Bazaar) set itself up as America’s first fashion magazine. Starting out as a weekly illustrated journal covering topics from fashion to arts and gardening, it served as outfit inspiration and gave designers a wider platform to showcase their designs. What’s more, it provided a little bit of much needed escapism from the stresses of daily life



WHO WEARS THE TROUSERS?

One of the most significant individuals in fashion history, Coco Chanel revolutionised the way we dress. During WW1 many women took on manual roles which required them to wear trousers in the work place and they were keen to carry on wearing them after the war was over, which at the time was unimaginable. Coco Chanel was a big fan of the two legged design herself, often borrowing her boyfriend’s suits and wore sailor pants so began designing trousers for women helping their popularity to soar. Hollywood stars like Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn secured her legacy by carrying the torch for stylish ladies in trousers.

THE POWER OF PRÊT-À-PORTER

Imagine having had to place an order for everything you’re wearing and then waiting for it to be made or sewing it yourself. This was the reality for most women before the introduction of prêt-à-porter in the Fifties. More commonly known as ‘ready-to-wear’ it was the first time women were able to walk into a store and buy straight off the rack. Realising this was the way forward, the US production board sponsored a measurement survey of over 100,000 women and used the information collected to set standardised sizes. The result? Fashion for the masses.

MAKE MINE A MINI


Whether it was British designer Mary Quant or the French André Courrèges who “invented” the miniskirt in 1964, there’s no doubt that it was the result of a collective rising youth culture, demanding a style separate from their parents’ and asserting their liberated identities as part of the swinging sixties. Quant herself said, “It wasn’t me or Courrèges who invented the miniskirt anyway—it was the girls in the street who did it.”



STYLE REALLY IS ETERNAL

Throughout the course of his incredible career Yves Saint Laurent changed the way in which we dress in more ways than we’re able to list. Most notably he introduced ‘Le Smoking’ the first (and now iconic) trouser suit for women as an alternative choice for the LBD, giving women access to boyish style. We also have him to thank for the sleek tuxedo and safari jacket which decades on still feel as relevant and modern as their first debuts on the catwalk. Making his famous quote ‘fashion fades, style is eternal,’ all the more apt.

THE STREET STYLE SCENE


While legendary photographer Bill Cunningham is considered the pioneer of street style photography (his The New York Times column ‘On the Streets’ that showcased snaps he’d taken of suave dressers was the first of its kind), it wasn’t until 2005 that it really blew up thanks to Scott Schuman and the launch of his blog The Sartorialist. Soon street style sites were cropping up all over the web and the trend began to sweep social media. If you search the hashtag ‘#ootd’ (outfit of the day) on Instagram over 56,000,000 posts come up. So why is it so popular? Well it’s never been easier to share an outfit within a few clicks with the rest of the world, but more than that it’s the authenticity of it. People are drawn to what’s ‘real’ and street stylistas feel far more relatable than glossy celebs.



THE BLOGGER BRIGADE

Since fashion bloggers have arrived on the scene they’ve changed the way we see and understand the fashion industry. Both from brands and consumers perspectives. How? Well their influence massively lies in how they engage with their followers. They spark conversation and make fashion more relatable. Catwalk looks rarely translate to real life, yet top bloggers have a knack of putting together seriously stylish outfits that are more accessible and therefore make us feel like “one of them.” And they’re creating big results for fashion labels. Brands partner with bloggers to be able to authentically reach out to audiences they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. In turn bloggers are offered either fabulous freebies or hefty pay packets. It’s a win-win situation if you ask us.

REBELS OF THE FASHION INDUSTRY

In 2008, at a time when the plus size fashion industry was limited to a few uninspiring retailers, premium plus size e-tailer navabi appeared on the scene to shake things up. Fed up with women of size having been ignored for so long they helped millions of ladies worldwide find luxe, design-led clothes they love in a size that fits them. Finally giving them the chance to wear the same looks every other woman has in her wardrobe, but designed with their body shape in mind. Years on and navabi still receive love letters from customers all around the globe.

THE PLUS SIZE MOVEMENT


While there’s no doubt it’s been a painfully slow process, the plus size movement has really taken pace just this year alone. The past twelve months have seen a few big firsts: Ashley Graham was the first plus size model to star in the swimwear issue of Sports Illustrated, Candice Huffine was the first plus size model to feature in a Pirelli calendar and Tess Holliday (a UK size 26) became the biggest model to sign for a mainstream model agency. In August the body collective ‘Models with Curves’ formed to inspire women to love their bodies and hashtags like #effyourbeautystandards and #celebratemysize surged in popularity on social media. Long may it continue we say.