Fashion: The History Of Fashion In The 19th Century

1062 Words5 Pages
Firstly, the concept fashion and how this industry begun will be explained. If we take a look at history, fashion started as a symbol of luxury. Prior to the mid-nineteenth century, all clothing was handmade and costs expensively. During this time, the difference between apparel and fashion is prevalent and noticeable. The former is functional clothing and pertains to humanity’s basic needs, while the latter involves style and extravagance. Hence, apparel belongs to the members of the lower class and fashion is only for the high-status individuals. Based on these general facts, the researcher will shift her focus on Walter Benjamin’s writings about the context of the nineteenth century towards modernity. In his essay The Work of Art, he discussed…show more content…
The style in clothing of the previous centuries are visible at the current fashion trends. This fact is supported by James Laver’s theory. He is a respected fashion historian, who presented a timeline of style. Based on his study, fashion trends are indeed cyclical. Laver’s law envisioned this process through a list of adjectives identifying the experience of style that is evident in the ‘fashion cycle’, the process of introduction, adoption, and decline of individual instances of what is considered ‘fashionable’. For Laver, if a 150 years old trend is applied at present, it will embody the most beautiful form of style. Notwithstanding this seemingly stagnant process, there is still innovation in fashion, because modern designers have different approach in re-establishing previous styles of the centuries. This kind of viewpoint is in line with Benjamin’s concept of ‘reauratization’. Reproduction has the ability to recall the past without disregarding the present. Thus, the old come to be eternal and the ‘dialectics of the old and the new’ turn to be the ‘dialectics of the eternal and the new’. To further explain this idea, I will use Giacomo Leopardi’s Dialogue between Fashion and Death that was cited by Walter Benjamin in The Arcades Project. Accordingly, through the relationship between Benjamin’s idea of dialectics and the cyclical nature of style in fashion, the gradual shift from material to…show more content…
It belongs to the highest contributing economic factors. It provides different types of employment and maintains physical innovations. However, it is also necessary that an individual is aware about the reasons behind its processes. The unseen factor that governs the history of fashion must be determined. Because, its contribution to development is not only in terms of material and technological progression, but most especially in anthropological and cultural growth. Fashion as part of the popular culture is occasionally mentioned by the critical theorists, but Walter Benjamin did not fail to look into this matter, which makes this research

More about Fashion: The History Of Fashion In The 19th Century

Open Document