The designs of Charles Fredrick Worth were more vibrant during the late nineteenth century and dominated fashion designs in Paris. Worth’s work was picked as a masterpiece that found its way to the closet of Empress Eugenie, wife to Napoleon III. Her patronage for these designs was arguably a boost since people changed perception to embrace the artist’s lavish trims and fabrics.
Although this work involved specially customized designs for individuals, the designer had attention to fitting styles and various elements suitable for exhibitions. The designer maintained high quality, focusing mainly on aesthetic fabrics.
An outstanding effect of Worth’s work was influence on liberation of the traditional woman, especially women who were not from wealthy backgrounds. Some of the profiles involved imaginative designs suitable for most women and unique fits for all feminine figures.
The designs thus bridged the gap between rich and poor by availing fashionable designs, which were previously considered as aspects for the rich. Worth used very expensive but impressive materials for his designs, some of which were from different historical periods, for instance the vintage fabrics made of silk (MacKenzie, 5).
Contrary to designs by Worth, Chanel’s work got recognition in the early twentieth century with designs that dominated women’s fashion. Gabrielle Chanel “Coco” work, which also exhibited in Paris comprised of limited outfits such as sportswear and hats and dedicated clients made her work famous. The most outstanding aspect was her use of jersey, which was common fabric for men’s under garments.
Although she initially used jersey due to its low pricing and her aim of providing fashion for all social classes, the quality of the fabric was evident in her practically simple but beautifully draping on dresses. Socially, the designs had some inspiration from men wears. Evident changes were that her designs were tidy, with spry lines particularly on the short skirts.
In line with Cumming, her inspiration was arguably on ability to provide fellow women with personal ideas fuelled from special feminine experiences and personal lifestyle (29).
She had ideas for good feminine appearance, which was a great requirement for the contemporary woman in early twentieth century. Social lifestyles predominantly women behaviours or appearances were the origin of Chanel’s masculine slim or straight figure with cropped hair.
Her appearance was one of the inspirations to her ideal design. Other insights to the designs were her suntanned skin, economic independence and active routines. Her fervent interests, excellent work attitude and feminine lifestyle instigated the designs to prosperity. Her social life as well as lifestyle of fellow women therefore had a huge role in the designs.
According to Klaffke, Chanel’s favourite colours were beige, white and black and the cloth designs were evidently having some elements from her personal inspiration of art.
Elements of her art collections and other theatrical aspects or themes of special interest such as theatre arts found way to her designs (191). Chanel’s designs were therefore socially able to narrow the gap between creative arts or designs and reality by implementing some abstract elements into women’s wear.
The designs were mostly her precise specifications with resilience on ensuring perfection in both design and fitting. Reminiscent of most women, her efforts were to enhance perfection on aspects relating to preference and passion in line to empowerment of the traditional woman.
The society had remarkable receptions of Chanel’s designs due to the basic fashionable appearances, global popularity and universal fits for both day as well as eveningwear. The colourful designs such as the printed chiffons, tulle, fasteners, and other decorative artistic elements added romance on majority of Chanel’s designs.
The artistic wears were soft, feminine and suitable for all seasons. Her designs after the ‘World War II’ were to liberate women who had a huge role to play during the war and reinvigorate the earlier designs thereafter. She was able to upgrade and modernize the classic look to a better symbolic design for new generations.
Chanel’s designs were an inspiration to women because they admired her work and considered her as a role model due to resilience to fight for gender equality in the industrial world. Influence of Chanel’s fashion designs was mainly from her attitude and this helped to bring out confidence in women by displaying the feminine natural look as opposed to designs that traditional styles of pompous clothes brought out. The artist must have been experiencing a renaissance in design.
Cumming, Valerie. Understanding fashion history. New York, NY: Costume and Fashion Press, 2004. Print.
Klaffke, Pamela. Spree: a cultural history of shopping. Canada-Vancouver, BC: Arsenal Pulp Press. 2003. Print.
MacKenzie, Mairi. Isms: Understanding Fashion. New York, NY: Universe Publishers, 2010. Print.