CategoryFashion

One of the First Fashion Design Schools Online- Milan Fashion Campus

Do you dream of making it big in the fashion world someday?

I have good news for you! Your dream is now just a click away – may it be to become a fashion designer, a web fashion designer, an image consultant, a fashion magazine stylist, a TV program stylist, an event stylist, a fashion journalist, or a personal shopper – with the Milan Fashion Campus Online Fashion Design Course.

The Creator

Angelo Russica, a seasoned fashion guru who has more or less 20 years of experience in the fashion world, created the course with his aim of not only coming up with an Internet-based fashion design school that will teach the history, aesthetics, and skills required of Italy’s fashion, but extending the Italian fashion sense to the world as well.

With more than 15 years of collaborative experience as a creative assistant to different companies the world over, like Versace, Gruppo Max Mara, Marzotto, Miroglio Vestebene in Italy; Induyco and El Corte Ingles in Spain; and Fujii, Chori, King Company, and World Company in Japan, Russica was able to talk to numerous young students from an array of famous fashion design schools who complain about having spent lots of money on more or less three years of study, only to find out in the end, that it is hard to find a job and almost impossible to make a name. This is also one reason why Russica developed the first online fashion design school in Italy – he wants Milan Fashion Campus to give many aspiring fashion students a chance to learn about the wonders of Italian fashion without having to spend so much.

The Course

This one of a kind fashion design course provides students with the opportunity to be professionally in touch with Italy’s Fashion Design Learning Method. The intensive online fashion design course of Milan Fashion Campus also serves as a venue for the realization of dreams – may it be to become a professional figure or the famous designer of the future.

The lessons are sequenced in such a way that the students can easily follow them. The course requires active student participation since lessons are geared toward teaching learners how to do market analysis, how to locate valuable sources of information, and how to discover inspiration. Students of Milan Fashion Course will also learn the tricks of the trade, just like what professional fashion designers do: examining the streets, examining fashion stories, examining the music world, and examining the opinion of fashion leaders.

The Milan Fashion Campus Online Fashion Design Course, which can be downloaded through , has seven sections, 27 chapters, almost 200 pages, and more than 170 exercises that will serve as guidance for students from their first sketch to their first fashion show. The course also gives a chance to students to specialize on different areas, like celebrity and men fashion design, handbag design, color and rendering technique, and fashion figure template.

Cycle of Fashion Trend

It’s a fashionista’s worst experience, even worse than looking oversize buddy, more degrading than wearing the same dress in another party — it’s the fear of symbolizing looking yesteryear fashion trend model.

Sometimes, fashion trends is considered as fads, are disreputably erratic. The fashion industry players are always on the quest to bring up something “NEW” & “HOT”.

What is Fashion Trend?

Trend is the lead in which something new evolving, mostly leaning, penchant and line of growth. Hence, fashion trend is the latest evolvement of the fashion industry.

What is Fashion Trend Really About?
Your closet can give the answer. If you don’t want to look at it, well.well. this resembles that you are matching your steps with the latest fashion trends. What it’s relation to fashion? People stick rigidly to the rules – okay, maybe not ‘YOU’. You may be one of those who walk their own way and dress as they like. When it comes to the fashion industry, it’s a continuously changing world. Even though some trends are considered as ludicrous and outdated, many other comebacks with innovative ideas.

Pace and Re-emergence of Latest Fashion Trends
Now its new millennium, but most of fashion things like the pegged pant legs, jelly bracelets, and finally the denim jeans, seem to be returning in trends again. It comes out that the latest fashion trends are simply have nothing new at all. Almost everything re-emerged in fashion trend. You can virtually find torn jeans in every clothing retail store.

Who decides What’s ‘Hot’ and ‘Not’ in Fashion Trends

There is no existence of specific group who declares what is hot fashion trend or not. In fact, the fashion designers and consumers who buys-out the fashion merchandise make their judgment and throw several opinions out there and observe what is grabbed.

Basically, ‘WE’, the consumer decide which merchandise is hot by making our minds what to purchase and wear.

The Fashion Trend Cycle

First part of the cycle, where the trend is highly hunted immediately after seeing that great fashionable hat, dress or shoe on the runway, red carpet or music video. Next, comes the emulation phase, where everyone wants a piece of the trend. Only big shots, celebrities and fashion industry players have approach to latest fashion right off the runway, which yet not showed up in retail stores.

During second phase, this newbie will appear in news papers, fashion magazines, TV and internet. At last, the trend will be soaked in the market, commonly at bit lower cost.

In the second phase new merchandise is available in bit expensive designer collections. It is only the third phase, where the merchandise is available to the mass market at affordable cost for most buyers.

The major part of over all mass will purchase it somewhere between second and third phase.

Before two or three decades it might have taken a some rears to make it from runway to mass market, however, nowadays producers have put the fashion cycle into rapid speed. Now, a hot trend often makes it appearance in low cost or discount retail store in as little as a few days or months.

In & Out of Fashion Trend

Reasonably priced fashionable clothing is a double-edged sword that make possible to buy fashionable looks at real-life budgets, at the same time leads to abolish the trend rapidly. However, when the market is completely saturated with a same monotonous trend it loses its appeal.

So how we can assume that how long a fashion trend will last? Let us find out:

Generally, most fashion trends last nearly one year, but some trends, usually the acceptable, last much longer. It is considered that normally fashion trends re-emerge nearly every twenty years. Hence, the minis skirts of the 80s are back in trends again.

The key to assume that how long a trend will last depends on from when you bought the collection. If you bought when the knock-off or discounts are going at retail store, then the count for the trend last not more one or two seasons. Fashion industry normally dumps together two seasons together, Spring and Summer, Fall and Winter, which provides you about six months to wear before it seems looks outdated.

In fact it is not specified that how long a fashion trend will last, you can put money on the just fads such as jeans, Uggs, hats etc… It doesn’t signify that you might not get fun in purchasing them. They are the evergreen items you would like to purchase any time.

Purchasing power can keep a trend on oxygen. In some cases people love particular trends so much they wouldn’t let it die.

The safeguard against rapidly changing fashion trends is to have a clothing line stocked with more traditional looks: T-shirts, jeans, and black dresses.

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Fashionable and Stylish

Fashion and style. What are they? Do they always go together? Do they mean one and the same thing? It’s hard to say. According to specialists in the field, fashion is actually a synonym for style or glamour. It has been agreed on the fact that fashion is a way of personal expression, and according to this criteria, one can be fashionable when he/she fits in this expression mode, or unfashionable, which would be the opposite. Fashion has manifestations in all the fields of human activity, that is when can speak about fashion when we refer to topics such as architecture, clothing, music, cosmetics, entertainment, forms of speech or even politics or technology. Anything in these fields can be described as being fashionable or not. When one speaks about materialism or trend s using the term ‘fashion’, it can be associated with a negative meaning.

Most people today perceive fashion as a term referring mostly to clothes. The beginnings of what we call fashion today did actually refer to clothes and they go back as far as the sixteenth century. However, it was only two centuries later that the real manifestations of fashion took place and it happened in Europe, among the wealthy upper classes. Fashion, just like any other manifestation of human activity, underwent major and continual changes, to the point where it is today, that is, being related to many fields of activities.
Of course, it would be unjustified to assume that fashion is the same all over the world. First of all, fashion differs from one society to another. Then, within a certain society, there are a lot of factors which may influence fashion such as age or generation, social class, profession or occupation. Even the geography of certain regions may bring about differences in fashion among the people of the same society.

But how does fashion change? Because we all know that constant change is what fashion is actually about. Everyone will agree that what is new now will soon become old, and the process goes both ways, that I what was once into fashion but is now considered to be old and obsolete will soon turn into something new again. Capitalism has brought along with its numerous good aspects some less appealing ones, such as waste. People buy things which are not necessary to them and consequently speed up the process of change as far as fashion is concerned. Young generations have much to do with this change in fashion as well, because they are always eager and willing to try interesting things, things that they haven’t experienced before, something new to be more precise.

What made fashion so popular among people was actually the television. The moment fashion hit television, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was the moment when the general population became interested in this aspect. And fashion magazines, websites or even fashion blogs were only one step away.

Pretty much in the same way as fashion, style can refer to may things, from painting, music, literature, web design to linguistics or manners of addressing people. The very definition of style describes the term as a fashionable manner of doing things, which points out that style and fashion are very closely related. Not everything that is considered fashionable will also be regarded as stylish, which is why people should avoid turning into a fashion victim, one of those persons who will wear just about anything that’s seen as fashionable, no matter if it suits them or not, from hairstyles and piercing to clothes. It is true that today’s world and the society we live in have set some rules in what fashion and style are concerned, but these don’t always have to be strictly followed. Being a fashion victim will only turn you into one of the rest. If you want to be ahead at all times, what you must try is to define your own style and that will make you look your best.

Is Fashion Your Passion? Make Fashion Your Career

Do you live and breathe fashion? Would a career in the fashion industry suit your style and aspirations?

For fashion enthusiasts, a career in fashion might be the ideal job; an opportunity to influence society and change the way a nation dresses for the day and evening. Read on to see which branch of the fashion industry might be right for you.

Fashion careers are essentially of two types – those in fashion design and those in the sales and marketing side of the industry (fashion merchandising). You can further customize your speciality by choosing to focus on a particular style or kind of garment.

Other fashion niche opportunities include costume design for TV, film and theatre productions; personal stylist positions with high-end department stores and private clients, fashion photography; and modelling work for everything from newspapers ads to strutting the catwalk in Milan or Paris.

But to turn your passion for fashion into a lucrative career you need more than just the ideas and enthusiasm; you need technical and industry expertise to turn your creative energies into saleable apparel.

One thing fashion careers share, aside from being a rewarding outlet for your creative talents, is their starting point – fashion school. A fashion design education should prepare you for a career in the fashion industry, even if you find yourself working in a supporting role as you start out in the business.

Entry to a fashion career starts with an innate ability to create unique and functional clothing styles and effectively communicate them on paper.

If you decide to study for a career in fashion, you’ll learn to design clothing and accessories or the fabrics and materials they’re made of.

It is essential that anyone interested in a career in the fashion sector should attend an accredited fashion schooling program which should address the industry fundamentals including design, drawing, textiles, sewing, and manufacturing. This education will be the core of your training on which you can lay the groundwork for experience.

Experience is ultimately the key. Following school (or even during), it’s imperative that you start with an internship or apprenticeship with an established design house. Building experience such as this can often jump-start your fashion career and allow you to begin working on independent projects.

For those who have the ability, drive, and determination, a fashion career can be an amazing journey filled with success, self-satisfaction and great clothes. But don’t let it ever be said that a fashion career does not require a significant amount of hard work and a vast amount of skill.

CONCLUSION

A future in fashion could take many different forms, reflecting the various aspects of the industry. No matter what area or areas you’re interested in, there is a fashion career to suit your tastes.

To get your future career off the ground, it helps to decide at the outset which of the many fashion industry jobs you want to attain.

A starting point could be to study some of the articles about training and careers in fashion collected at the author’s website. Your fashion career could be just a few mouse clicks away.

Fashion Stores Meet Niche Marketing, Pareto, and the Long Tail

Fashion Marketing news: A slew of studies, data, and articles seem to point out the growing success of niche sites, especially in the fashion industry. Hype or Fact? How can big online retailers and local fashion stores benefit from internet niches?

I like reading about pragmatic ideas to boost online sales of fashion goods, from apparel to accessories. I think that too much time is wasted in theorizing about internet marketing, and not acting about it.

Yet, I am going to talk about hard-core statisical studies and hype. Why?

Because I found in this month’s INC. magazine an article about niche marketing that made me connect together a lot of issues facing local apparel stores as well as big online fashion retailers.

Make money online by not carrying best-sellers

First, the article titled “A world without bestsellers” dabbles with buying patterns specific to internet consumers.

These patterns make up the Long Tail. You may or you may not know about it. For a concise explanation, go the Long Tail page on Wikipedia. Let’s just say that consumers can find and buy online products that a regular store could not carry. For instance, 40% of Amazon.com’s book sales reportedly consist in unknown titles that your regular Barnes and Noble cannot afford to carry in the bookstore next door.

The same seem to apply to fashion goods. For instance, in the INC. article, Zappos’ Tony Hsieh says that:

“Today the company sells more than three million products across 1,000 brands. The top 20 percent of products account for half of revenue, the bottom 80 percent, the other half.”

So, at Zappos, the 20 best-selling items represent only 50% of the revenues. This is a far-cry from the usual 80/20 rule that usually applies offline, when the top 20 best-sellers make up 80% of the revenues. The 80/20 rule is drawn from the works of economist Pareto.

Online sales of fashion goods make Pareto Principle redundant

This is the gist of a February 2007 study called “Goodbye Pareto Principle, Hello Long Tail: The Effect of Search Costs on the Concentration of Product Sales.” It was written by researchers at the Sloan School of Management at the MIT. Better, this study is based on “several years of sales data at a private-label women’s clothing company that offered the same merchandise through its catalog and its Internet store.”

Fashion goods are really at the forefront of this trend. Think about all the sites of the specialty sites that have sprung up, from sites selling discontinued lines of products to sites selling only to a sub-demographic. Buyers will turn to the web for hard-to-find glasses or for styles that regular retailers would deem too original to carry.

A company called Niche Retail is specialized in doing just that. The company says that they actually avoid carrying best-sellers, as big retailers can usually manage to kill the business by discounting the most sought-after items. By the way, Niche Retail’s logo reprents the Long Tail graph.

Style is a personal matter. Fashion professionals did not wait for the Long Tail theory to launch niche product lines. But the internet does offer interesting further niche opportunities:

– established brands and big online retailers can find relevant niche sites for some of their product lines

– local fashion stores are indeed niches themselves; they can use the internet to get more exposure

Big brands and retailers going after niche consumers

This very site spends time presenting you new fashion blogs, new fashion sites, and new fashion communities (see Fashion 2.0). Because fashion can get very personal, it has always been a good conversation topic. Now, the internet allows you to become a fashion critique in a snap. Big fashion actors can go after these niche sites to get their attention.

For instance, niche TV channels are popping up on the internet, due to the low barrier of entry, as reported in this article of the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper gives the example of clothing chain Express sponsoring the Ford Models web tv. I would add the example of “Ask a Gay Man”, the colorful and popular fashion critique show on YouTube (see my previous note on the subject), which has gotten founder William Sledd a TV deal with Bravo.

But you not have to be big to go after these niche sites. For instance, Ujeans, a made-to-order jeans company sponsors competitions on social network site StyleMob (“a new community for street fashion inspiration”).

Local fashion stores are so niche

I see here a chance for local apparel stores as well: a niche can be geographic.

A local store owner may be the best person to know what senior citizens like wearing in the Boca Raton area. Why not put up a website, where you can share your expertise? When local people use Google to find information about clothes they like, they will find your website, enjoy your expertise, and visit your shop.

Marketers are encouraging local stores to go online and advertise. A book called Marketing your retail store in the internet age does a great job of giving pragmatic and inexpensive tips to local store owners. Meanwhile, Google is pushing local ads heavily. Its AdWords system allows you to display your ad only to people searching from your zip code. Moreover, Google Maps allows you to mention your store in the popular map system, so that when people search for “women’s fashion, 97108”, your store shows up.

No wonder that local advertising on the internet is booming. According to eMarketer, local online advertising spending in the US will reach $2.9 billion in 2007. Local search is great for a local fashion store or a geographical niche site. One of the best resources about the subject, with how-to-s and advice, is Clickz’s Local Search column.

Designers – The Gods Of Fashion Industry

Fashion designers help create the billions of clothing articles, shoes, and accessories purchased every year by consumers. Fashion designers working for apparel wholesalers or manufacturers create designs for the mass market. Fashion designers are the people who create the elegant, whimsical, fun, silly, and often expensive clothes we see parading down runways twice a year. Fashion designers design and create clothing and accessories for men, women and children. Some high-fashion designers are self-employed and design for individual clients. Other high-fashion designers cater to specialty stores or high-fashion department stores.

Fashion

Fashion design is the applied art dedicated to the design of clothing and lifestyle accessories created within the cultural and social influences of a specific time. Fashion designers have brought about a storm in this glamour world with their commendably fabulous variety. Fashion industry has always welcomed new talent giving rise to the budding stars of tomorrow. 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.

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. Throughout the early 20th century, practically all high fashion originated in Paris, and to a lesser extent London. At this time in fashion history the division between haute couture and ready-to-wear was not sharply defined.
Designers

Designers know they have this power, and will continue to use it to influence global fashions throughout the eras. These designers create original garments, as well as those that follow established fashion trends. Most fashion designers, however, work for apparel manufacturers, creating designs of men’s, women’s, and children’s fashions for the mass market. Designer brands which have a ‘name’ as their brand such as Calvin Klein or Ralph Lauren are likely to be designed by a team of individual designers under the direction of a designer director. Thus, the tradition of designers sketching out garment designs instead of presenting completed garments on models to customers began as an economy.

Popular Western styles were adopted all over the world, and many designers from outside of the West had a profound impact on fashion. Currently, modern fashion has seen a reference to technology such as designers Hussein Chalayan and Miuccia Prada who have introduced industrial textiles and modern technology into their fall collections. Mass market designers generally adapt the trends set by the famous names in fashion. Increasingly, many modern high-end designers are now beginning to turn to mass market retailers to produce lower-priced merchandise, and to broaden their customer base. Perhaps most importantly, designers use their imaginations to come up with new ideas.

There are a number of well known fashion design schools worldwide. Most fashion design courses last for three years. As well as teaching students about the artistic and technical side of the subject, some courses include a year working in the fashion industry, to give students a taste of commercial fashion design. Others offer the chance to visit fashion houses abroad.

Fashion Show Events

A fashion show is an event put on by a fashion designer to showcase his or her upcoming line of clothing. The first American fashion show likely took place in 1903 in the New York City store Ehrlich Brothers. American retailers imported the concept of the fashion show in the early 1900s.

Fashion

Featuring runway garments from the spring and fall/winter collections of ten influential couturiers and designers, the exhibition explores the ideas and inspirations motivating Paris fashion today, and why, in an age of globalization and instantaneous communication, this venerable city remains the fashion capital. The city has been a magnet for stylish men and women since the seventeenth century, but the French fashion industry has evolved considerably over the centuries and never more than in the last few years.

Recent assessments of the current state of Paris fashion have varied widely, with some pundits announcing its death, and others claiming that it is closer to fine art than ever before. By using fashion, a medium which has always been associated with self-expression and personal identity, these designers seek to demonstrate how the use (or misuse) of technology and its modes of production have the power to stimulate, delight, and inspire in ways as yet untapped in the fashion world. In the 1800s, “fashion parades” periodically took place in Paris couture salons.

The first American fashion show likely took place in 1903 in the New York City store Ehrlich Brothers. By 1910, large department stores such as Wanamaker’s in New York City and Philadelphia were also staging fashion shows. By the 1920s, retailers across the United States held fashion shows. In the 1970s and 1980s, American designers began to hold their own fashion shows in private spaces apart from such retailers.

Models

Models in a fashion show have to change their clothes all the time to present new items to the public. Models are supposed to influence us in a positive way. Models strutting catwalks at London Fashion Week should provide a certificate attesting their good health, but there should be no outright ban on wafer-thin women, the British Fashion Council said on Friday. Spain and Italy have recommended banning models with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18. “We favor the alternative approach of promoting good health based on medical assessments of models participating in London Fashion Week,” it said.

The report acknowledged there was a problem with eating disorders among models and recommended a health education and awareness programme should be set up urgently. “During the investigation, evidence of the vulnerability of women in the modeling progression was startling and models are at high risk of eating disorders,” said Denise Kingsmill, chair of the inquiry.

In a typical fashion show, models walk the runway dressed in the clothing created by the designer. Because the topic of fashion shows remains to find its historian, the earliest history of fashion shows remains obscure. Too many adolescent girls decide early on that they need to be “thin” like the models in order to be “pretty” when really they just need to keep themselves healthy.

Pointers on How to Become a Fashion Designer

How to become a fashion designer may seem like a glamorous proposition filled with promises of working in the world of clothing, accessories, runway models and photoshoots. But like all things in life, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Only a handful of fashion designers really end up becoming famous, with their brand names known around the world, like Ralph Lauren or Alexander McQueen. The majority of fashion designers end up working for fashion brands that produce for the mass market, creating basic and ready-to-wear items.

If you really want to enter the fashion industry, here are some initial steps on how to become a fashion designer that will boost your chances of making it in this big, bad fashion world.

Know your abilities.

Do you have the artistic talent, creativity and imagination it takes to become a fashion designer? Have you tried a hand at sketching pieces that are unique and reflect your own style and personality? If all you can draw are stick people and you think that teal is something to drink, well then this may not be the best industry for you, especially if you want to be successful. Talents are innate, and if you find that you have a natural flair for colors, patterns, designs, symmetry and proportions, then this is your first weapon on how to become a fashion designer. Put together a portfolio of your work; this will not only be the key to an educational background, it will serve as your resume once you formally enter fashion.

Expand your horizons.

You will never be able to get to where you want if you stick to your comfort zone all the time. Branch out – take sewing or pattern-making courses, develop skills in design software programs, enroll in a fashion degree, go to trainings and seminars on the subject, even if it seems to be about something as simple as the history of buttons. Read fashion magazines, watch out for fashion shows you can go to, keep up with the current trends, browse the web for what’s in and what’s what in pop culture, what the controversies are in fashion and so on. This is all very important in how to become a fashion designer, because you’ll need to be constantly updated so that you know what you’re getting into and what the competition is like.

Make your connections.

Start your fashion career by getting an internship or any entry-level job related to the industry. Once you’re in, make as many connections as you can, from small to big. Don’t underestimate the power of who you know; even the mail-room boy might be able to help you in the future. Include connections in all possible areas of fashion, meaning don’t just stick to the more established designers and the bosses. Get to know the advertising and marketing team, the merchandise display and salespeople, the photographers and editors, and you’ll have a wide network of valuable names that will come in handy once you’ve managed to establish yourself. How to become a fashion designer isn’t an easy path, but like all dreams, with enough hard work, you’ll get there.

Best Fashion Books – The Ultimate Guide for Fashionistas

For anybody interested in fashion, a beautiful coffee table tome is a must have to show off your style credentials. Whether you’re interested in vintage, designer or high street, there is a wealth of books out there to tickle your fancy. Here are my top ten fashionista bibles.

10. Face Hunter – Yvan Rodic

You know you’ve made it in the style stakes if you’re snapped by this man.

After running his acclaimed Face Hunter blog for the last four years, Rodic has collected over 300 stunning photographs taken all around the world to produce this homage to street style. It is essentially a collectable version of his online outfit database, to dip into when you’re feeling in need of some inspiration. Naturally, he only photographs the most beautiful people in the trendiest of areas but they are all unlikely style icons, nonetheless. It is always far more interesting to have a nosey at what real people are wearing than magazine mannequins and this book will certainly give you the courage to try something new.

9. The Way We Wore: A Life in Threads – Robert Elms

Stories about clothes woven together to produce this touching autobiography.

Books about men’s fashion are strangely few and far between. If anyone was under the belief that men aren’t sartorially minded then this book is quick to dispel that particular myth. Journalist and former New Romantic, Elms, presents a wonderful account of clothes as a defining part of our identities. He remembers events by the outfit he wore at the time and milestones in his adolescence are identified by the acquisition a much sought after item of clothing. Perhaps most interesting of all, is his analysis of youth subcultures like the mods and punks and teds and how style has always been a source of pride for young British men seeking to make their mark in the world.

8. Fresh Fruits – Shoichi Aoiki

Colourful, fearless and downright weird- welcome to the world of Japanese fashion.

Remember when Gwen Stefani sang about Harajuku girls and took four of them around with her wherever she went? This book demonstrates why so many people have become enchanted by Tokyo street style. Excerpts from the ever popular Fruits magazine were compiled to make this guide to the latest Japanese trends. Whilst the magazine was aimed at local teenagers this book has wider appeal as a something to buy for curiosity’s sake than for inspiration. Every person pictured is like a glorious cartoon character come to life and every photograph is accompanied by a blurb so that we can learn what exactly they were thinking, going out dressed like that!

7. In Vogue- The Illustrated History of the World’s Most Famous Fashion Magazine – Alberto Olliva and Norberto Angeletti

The history of haute couture shown through the glossy pages of Vogue.

Unlike most books fashion books, In Vogue doesn’t only offer gorgeous photographs by Irving Penn and Annie Liebovitz and many an iconic cover, it is actually packed full of things to read too! This book presents the story of the ultimate fashion magazine from its humble origins in 1909 to the present day, through stories from photographers and former editors. A nice touch is also the collection of stories by famous authors that have been published in Vogue over the years. A wonderfully varied and quite hefty book that is beautifully bound and perfect for showing off on your coffee table. Let’s face it, we’d expect nothing less.

6. Cecil Beaton: The Art of the Scrapbook

Fascinating peek into the diary of a legend.

Photographer for Vogue, Royal photographer, Oscar winner and documenter of the roaring twenties. For the first time, Cecil Beaton’s private scrapbooks are now available for everyone to look through and as well as providing a fascinating insight into the inspirations for his work, it also serves as a collection of memories from his extraordinary life. Here you will find a photo of Greta Garbo’s eyes alongside a watercolour painting and Beaton’s own notes. Less a lesson in fashion, this book teaches you how to transform your magazine clippings, sketches and postcards into a work of art in their own right. Perfect for anyone who likes to cut and paste their own mood boards but it is a little pricey.

5. Vivienne Westwood – Claire Wilcox

The ultimate guide to the grand dame of British fashion.

There is no doubt that Vivienne Westwood is one of Britain’s biggest fashion exports and most eccentric designers. This book, which was published to coincide with an exhibition at the V&A museum serves as both a Westwood biography and design retrospective. It charts her origins in Derbyshire to dressing the punk generation and the Hollywood starlets of today, focusing on some of her most iconic designs (remember the platform shoes that defeated Naomi Campbell on the runway?) and the working methods she uses. If you can’t quite afford Westwood’s clothes, you can console yourself by cooing over the 300 beautiful pictures in this book.

4. Vintage – Emma Baxter-Wright

Oh this old thing- it’s vintage, darling!

This book is an absolute must for anyone who, like me, adores rummaging through racks of vintage clothes but is never quite sure what they’re looking for exactly. A timeline of fashion from the turn of the last century to the present day, guides you through the key looks of each decade and is accompanied by a beautiful collection of old photographs and illustrations. The features on Dior’s New Look of the 1940s and 50s and the success of Biba in the 1960s make for particularly interesting reading. If you’re looking to recreate a specific style, the book provides a not too detailed account of techniques used and would be a great buy for anyone studying fashion.

3. Icons of Men’s Style – Josh Sims

Clothes maketh the man.

The second book in my list dedicated to men’s fashion first caught my attention thanks to the rather dashing picture of Gregory Peck on the front cover. This comprehensive list of iconic items of men’s clothing includes the leather jacket, the boat shoe and the Panama hat. We learn about the brands that made them, usually for a special purpose, the faces that made them famous and how they have come to be staples in men’s wardrobes. This book is an easy read as well as being very cool. Expect to see pictures of Tom Cruise in his Top Gun aviator sunglasses alongside James Dean in his Blouson jacket. A must for the fashion conscious man.

2. Fifty Dresses that Changed the World – The Design Museum

The dresses every woman wished she owned.

More portable than some of the other tomes on this list, this book created by the Design Museum in London is a wonderful tribute to fashion design throughout the decades. It is fun and user friendly and not just for the dedicated fashion student or Vogue devotee. Every iconic dress is included in this, from Marilyn’s white dress in The Seven Year Itch to Audrey’s little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Liz Hurley’s frankly bizarre safety-pin creation. Each dress is profiled and discussed to see just why it has come to have an enduring influence on pop culture.

1. Style Diaries: World Fashion from Berlin to Tokyo – Simone Werle

The sartorialists on the street have their say.

If you don’t fancy trawling the internet for inspiration, this offers a nice selection of people who value personal style above fashion fads.

Like the Face Hunter book, Style Diaries focuses on real people who create their own distinctive style and want to share it with the world. Blogging is very much at the forefront of modern fashion and this book acknowledges that by showcasing the 50 best fashion bloggers from all over the world. Not only are we spoiled with pictures of their favourite outfits, but they let us into some of their style secrets and the cute facts about each blogger is a nice touch. If you don’t fancy trawling the internet for inspiration, this offers a nice selection of people who value personal style above fashion fads.

Sustainable Fashion – The Many Contradictions

In many ways the words sustainable and fashion don’t really sit together well. I have heard sustainable fashion described as both oxymoronic and a contradiction and perhaps this is true. Is it really possible for the fashion industry to become sustainable?

Part of the problem with the term sustainable fashion is that ‘fashion’ is often used to describe constantly changing trends and even associated with ‘fast fashion’, the term used to describe the low cost or affordable clothing that is quickly made to respond to the latest trend often being worn only once or twice before being discarded. The ethical and environmental implications of this type of clothing are well recognised with valuable resources being wasted and workers in the supply chain being mistreated to ensure low cost clothing that is quickly produced. Despite the many negative connotations that the word fashion may have, if you take it as more of a general word used to describe clothing, then it is almost possible to have sustainable fashion, although perhaps not completely because the manufacture of any clothing will have some impact on the environment even if relatively small.

With confusion even over the name of the product, it is not really surprising that most shoppers can’t be bothered with sustainable fashion and instead prefer just stick with the fashion brands that they know despite knowing that they often operate in unsustainable and unethical ways. But the contradiction over the name ‘sustainable fashion’ is only the beginning. There are so many other contradictions and plenty of confusion associated with it.

Take for example vegan fashion. Being vegan is generally considered to an ethical and sustainable way of living, not only reducing the suffering caused to animals in the farming system but reducing the carbon footprint and pollution caused by farming. It may therefore come as a shock to some that vegan fashion is not necessarily the most ethical and sustainable option. Vegan shoes may be made without the use of any animal products but that does not mean that they have been made in ethical factories or using sustainable materials in fact the synthetic materials used instead of leather are often damaging to the environment in their own way. If you want to be absolutely sure that your vegan shoes or handbags are completely ethical and sustainable, you will need to search for a brand that pays attention to all of these issues.

Next on the list of contradiction and confusion surrounding sustainable fashion is the concept of ethical fashion. Many ethical fashion brands support various good causes around the world and empower people to create a sustainable livelihood. However in order to support these great causes, it does involve buying clothes, perhaps clothes that we don’t really need or possibly are not made from sustainable fabrics. The more we buy, the more we help these great causes but also the more we consume. Collections labelled as sustainable may be made from eco-friendly fabrics but this is no guarantee that they have been manufactured in an ethical way. In this situation we are left with the difficult task of deciding what is most important in terms of sustainability economic and social or environmental. Ethical fashion is often made in countries far away; this is another contrast to the locally made fashion which is often considered to be more sustainable because of the environmental impact of its transportation. Second hand and vintage clothing again offer a dilemma, whilst they are probably the most sustainable option, they do little to alleviate poverty around the world, although in this case shopping in charity shops could be the answer to reducing both environmental impact and supporting a worthwhile cause.

The subject of sustainable fashion is a complex one and the confusion surrounding it is sometimes used by brands to green wash consumers by using the terms ‘eco’ and ‘sustainable’ to describe clothing or collections that may help in one way but not another. In order to combat scepticism and distrust of sustainable fashion, there needs to be a clear and easy to understand way of labelling and describing products. The word sustainable fashion is general enough to mean just about anything when used by clever marketers causing confusion amongst consumers. The term sustainable also just doesn’t really excite those looking to buy fashion.

There are however plenty of innovative fashion brands out there that are pioneering new ways of working in terms of ethics and sustainability; There just needs to be a way of communicating this to customers in a simple and easy to understand way.

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