Famous Fashion Designers
Fashion is an important part of a culture's identity. Famous fashion designers have been able to tap into that identity with the fashion they create. The writers at Paper Masters can illustrate the influence, life or fashion prowess of any famous fashion designer that you need explored. His or her work will be the focus of research that outlines exactly what made his/her fashion connect with society and the culture of their day.
Some famous designers that have been featured in research papers from Paper Masters include the following:
- Coco Chanel
- Ralph Lauren
- Giorgio Armani
- Christian Dior
- Alexander McQueen
- Vera Wang
- Miuccia Prada
- Tommy Hilfiger
The term "fashion" as it is used in Western civilization today, connotes such ideas as adornment, style and dress. However, when addressing the idea of fashion utilizing an anthropological approach, fashion connotes functionalism. By utilizing this rationale, Malinowski continues by stating that the need for bodily comfort prompts individuals to build numerous forms of shelter from igloos and houses, to more portable forms of shelter, such as clothing. By this explanation then clothing, to the functionalist, is merely a practical response to sustaining bodily comfort.
Fashion Design Research
Although the functionalist view of clothing and fashion provide a sound anthropological theory for the development of clothing, most anthropologists today would agree that fashion has moved far beyond the desire to meet practical needs.
In fact, it takes little more than a quick look through any issue of National Geographic to realize that people all over the world, primitive and civilized, male and female, rich and poor, devote a great deal of time and valuable resources to clothing and adorning themselves in ways which provide little or no shelter from the elements.
The question then arises is, why? Why do people spend so much time, money and effort in constructing garments that have little or no practical value in terms of basic needs?
One researcher argues that adornment and clothing, which is unnecessary for protection from the elements, fulfills a human need for modesty. Although this may be true it can be argued that since every society has its own conception of modest behavior and dress, there is no essential connection between clothing and modesty. An opposite theory to Brown's states that the function of clothing and adornment is to fulfill an individual's need for immodesty and exhibitionistic display of erogenous zones. This theory too, has been rejected in an attempt to find a more encompassing rationale behind the concept of fashion.
Psychologists provided definitive insight into the phenomenon of fashion when they suggested that adornment provided human beings the opportunity for individual, personal expression. Just as military insignias differentiate one soldier from another, so do unique styles of dress differentiate one individual from another. Although this explanation provides useful insight into modern day clothing and fashion, it is not the whole picture: "Just as adornment allows us to assert ourselves as individuals, it also allows us to identify ourselves as part of a social collective". The role of fashion thus becomes twofold:
- To express individuality
- To express group affiliation
Fashion and Hollywood
Madonna and Versace, Uma Thurman and Louis Vuitton, Drew Barrymore and Prada, Gwyneth Paltrow and Dior. Many of Hollywood's most glamorous celebrities have been approached by fashion's biggest names to form a symbiotic advertising relationship. Smaller, less known companies have based their entire marketing strategies around the attraction of star interest. In the United States, movie star endorsements are the most successful and cost efficient form of fashion advertising. While fashion shows may isolate the typical consumer with their exaggerated styles that no one would wear on the streets, the use of familiar names in print and television ads offer an effective combination of status, fantasy, and reality to lure interested consumers into spending more for clothing. Consumers may be inspired to make their fashion choices not only based upon the styles themselves, but by their celebrity endorsers.
The world of fashion advertising has received considerable criticism over recent years. Concerns that the fashion industry is too enclosed, too pretentious, and too plain weird for the average consumer has driven industry officials to reexamine their advertising strategies. A recent panel of fashion leaders verbalized these complaints when it concluded that the majority of fashion advertising is "turgid, boring, too much about art direction and not about creating something memorable".