Before the eighteenth century, fashion especially among women was primarily determined through the courts arbitrations. Moreover, the high societies also played a role in determining the dressing styles and fashions among the societies. A good majority of those fashionable clothes were made by the skilled dressmakers and other skilled tailors who existed in the societies during the 1850s (Grand designers). One such fashion designer to have existed and conquered the industry was one, Frederick Worth who was born on the 13th October, 1825 in Bourne England. Frederick managed to produce unique fashions that he specifically produced in Paris and later sold them all over Europe. As a result of his influence in the world of fashion, those who are in the industry consider him to be father of Haute couture (Diana, 1991, p.2). Moreover, Frederick became the first fashion designer to open the house of worth. As a result of his efforts in the fashion world, he managed to create an industry that primarily dictated how people dressed up to the modern and current times.
By the time people got to the twentieth century, fashion styles took a complete different turn where the fashionable dresses underwent a complete makeover. By that time, the dresses became quite less structures as opposed to what was seen in the earlier years. The tailors and designers such as Frederick became quite innovative with their designs that saw them introduce dresses that were much easier to wear as compared to what they had in the previous years. In the previous years, the focus of the designers was on tight dresses that revealed the women figures and thighs. However, the new style was seen as a rebellion from that norm of old fashioned designers. Of course there was so much rebellion as a result of the introduction of the new styles of dresses but then women had to accept the changes because the designers had the final say on what became fashionable.
In the nineteenth century, new fashion designers such as Paul Poiret came into existence and they had a major influence in the fashion world. They came up with a new trend that was basically influenced from the fashion that was in existence in the world of art as well as theaters. The new fashion designers came up with a new and different form of silhouette that they though fitted the modern woman in the best way. The silhouette was introduced into the world of fashion partly because the fashion designers wanted to do away with the excess fabric that initially placed at the rear part of the dress (Frederick, 2000, p.4). Additionally, that would also help in the creation of a bustle that joined by some trimmings so that they would support the cane hoops that were projected from the back.
The waistline had not experienced any changes during that time but places such as the torso overall had undergone several changes to take a new shape. The designers came with a new fashion that was made in such a way that the spoon busk curved outwards. The primary reason for the designers doing so was because they wanted the curve to ease the belly of the wearer so that it could rest in a position somewhere below the compressed waist. The two formations: Lower torso and supported bust, created the curvaceous hourglass silhouette.
Fashion in America got to its peak in the 1950s, a period during which there was much rise in the issue of lesbianism. It was also during such times that the lesbians in the American societies were forced to wither dress as “butch” or “femme” in order to create a distinction on which category they belonged to. For instance, the femmes were expected to dress in a feminine way and acts as feminine as possible so as to attract their butch counterparts. On the other hand, the butches were expected to be dressed in masculine clothes that revealed their masculine nature. For instance, they were expected to be dressed in buttoned shirts and pants. They were also expected to behave like males by controlling their emotions and also doing male types of chores around the house. Such kind of behavior patterns were supposed to make them become sex aggressors while their counterparts were supposed to be more yielding and also carrying put feminine duties around the house such cooking.
The early Victorian dress that was worn in the years between 1840 and 1870 was supposed to be used as a show of a woman’s s worth in the society (Edith, 1955, p.11). For instance the young queen of England who was named Victoria wore that dress as a sign of her womanhood ideals of a young and modest woman who devoted to her family. Moreover, the dress was supposed to depict the woman wearing it as a guardian of morality in the society.
The new type of dresses that emphasized on the rear parts majorly typified the bustle. Moreover, that of type of dress styles was used to accentuate the buttocks of the wearer. The dress was however considered to be more revealing as well as exaggerating the feminine shapes. The dress was used during a period in which women were getting out of the houses to participate in community volunteer work. They also took part in other public activities that saw women prohibited from in the past. That was the period during which women rights were gaining momentum on a slow pace.