Japanese and post-apocalyptic influenced fashion design: Konnichiwa

Wearable art is a new art form introduced with the invention of the sewing machine and its practitioners interpreting fashion the way they think it should be. Vince Quevedo discusses about Japanese influences in fashion and the techniques of creating wearable art.

Results of these experiments were quite successful, giving women one way to express themselves. The famous designer Elsa Schiaparelli introduced use of unconventional objects and silhouettes as acceptable in high fashion. That’s how you may have faces emblazoned on the front of shirts and jackets. Yarn on sleeves has hair for those faces, and plastic bugs for buttons. While couture fashion was out of reach for most women, the outlandish styles they portrayed were art forms worn on the body.

It was this freedom that allowed women to be more creative in their clothing choices. Instead of going to a couturier, some people took on the task of creating original fashion using the best technique they could in producing these clothes. Those who can sew well and could interpret their concepts into something wearable, were able to mimic couture quality clothing. Those who did not have the skills still created original art that turned out beautiful or failed at making a successful garment.

It is this differentiation that caused the variation of defining wearable art just as it is easy to determine good painting from bad ones. There is another contention among artists whether wearable art is truly an art form. While I believe the wearable art movement is still in its infancy, some of the driving forces that affect its legitimacy are technology, access, concept and skill. While making clothes does take a level of skill, it does not make one an artist. With technology giving people the ability to transfer their ideas into something a machine can interpret, it is almost always a pre-determined selection such as machine embroidery, machine applique, machine long arm quilting, sewing patterns and kits.

Access to technology and lack of skills do not prevent anyone from calling themselves an artist. There are many sewing and quilt guilds as well as hundreds of workshops and conferences across America that are open to all. Women wearing vests they’ve made with flowers and butterflies with machine appliques or sewn by hand are the result of attending such a workshop.

Cultural Influence in Fashion

The nude, they say, is the naked body clothed in culture, yet fashion is difficult to define. One thing that comes up frequently in defining fashion is its ability to move fast within the confines of culture. Along with fashion, beauty is almost always intertwined in defining it yet culture has more to do with defining beauty. Fashion is a complete reflection of society. It seems, internationally, the western ideal of beauty was adopted and stood as a standard for all to follow beginning from 1760 to 1840. The industrial revolution introduced technology that exposed new scientific inventions and communication around the world. In the late 19th century, the rotary printer was invented and the fashion magazine was created.

A good example began with copying naval military uniforms of the British by the Japanese soon after the Franco-Prussian War. In 1872, the Meiji emperor mandated men of the Imperial Court to wear western clothing consisting of a frock coat or hat or military regalia. In 1886, the women had to adopt the same rule by wearing corsets and bustles. It was during this period the Japanese elite realised a near-perfect imitation of western wear.

The Oversize trend – fashion goes loose

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When it comes to looking flawlessly perfect, size always matters. For a long time, custom fits and skin tight clothes have been in power in the fashion scene. But the latest trend is to go loose. It is time to bring out all baggy t-shirts, slouchy coats, and slightly big dresses that have been hidden in one’s closets for such a long time. Oversize is stepping up this season, especially for fall and

winter collections, for both men and women. Oversized clothes if worn in the right way can also look just as chic and smart as the trendy ones. These clothes were seen on the runway and collections with large shirts, tunics, skirts, pants, jackets, and dresses were showcased by designer labels like Gucci, Balenciaga, Chloe, and Moschino. Oversize is breaking all the fashion rules and is making clothing comfortable. Now, one can gorge on their favourite dessert without having to worry about fitting in to a dress.

Sizing up is the new fad, than sizing down. But the key to standing out even while wearing an oversized garment, is to wear it right. For women, looking the part is like merging tomboyish with feminine. There are a lot of options one can experiment to supersize and still look stylish. One thumb rule, when it comes to going big is to keep the bottoms slim with tights, stockings, or fitted trousers, when the top is bulgy. And on the other hand if you choose to wear bulky bottoms like balloon skirts, flared palazzo pants, or Bermuda shorts, then keeping the top fitted will help balance the act.

There are plenty of options to splurge on. For women as far as tops are concerned they can choose from boyfriend shirts, buffalo plaid ponchos, big sweaters and jackets, slouchy t-shirts, oversized cardigans, and blazers. Big and long denim vests are a must have. In fact, oversized men’s coats are the next big thing for the upcoming fall/winter; Trussardi, Chanel, Michael Kors, and Christopher Kane created interesting closures in neutral and dark shades for this year’s runway collection.

To add a little shape and structure to the garment, accessorizing with a belt or tucking the top in would do the job. Petite women should stay away from oversized bottoms and instead vouch for bigger tops. Fully figured women must not pick anything too wide, as this will work against them.

With oversized clothes, less is more. It is better to keep accessories to a minimal and instead of shoulder bags and totes, opt for cute clutch bags. Keeping footwear simple and not going over the top, with chunky and grungy boots, will enhance the silhouettes of the attire. The oversized trend is slowly catching up and one can find big clutches, watches, hats, earrings and bags.

1960’s Men’s Fashion-An Era of Diverse Trends and Non Conformity

In the 1960s, fashion really kicked off with the introduction to many new and diverse trends. You can easy determine trends from the early, middle and end of the decade. Traditional, conforming man’s attire was lost due to social changes. Throughout the 60s, the focal point in fashion was the uprising of bright colors and tones. The changes in the fashion of this time were more so than any other time previous. This renaissance in fashion was influenced heavily by Italian designers and by the Modernist, Hippie and Edwardian styles of dress.

The British & the Modernist Movement

At the forefront of style in the 60s were the British. The modernist movement came about at the beginning of the era, allowing young men to push boundaries and make way for the many new trends that would follow. It was all about moving away from the ‘lack of style’ in the 50s and experimenting with psychedelic prints and gregarious patterns. No man wanted to be seen in dull and pale shades. No! It was time to add color and plenty of it, the brighter and more flamboyant the better. It wasn’t uncommon to see frills and cravats on a man’s shirt. Even neckties enjoyed their rebirth, from the skinny tie at the beginning of the 60s to the very wide ties in the Hippie age, all adorned with unusual prints, stripes and patterns.

The Mods versus the Rockers

If you lived the 60s, you were probably a Mod at one stage, and if you weren’t, you were a Rocker. The two were notorious rivals. The Rockers were heavily into 50s rock-and roll, big bikes like the Harley Davidson, leather jackets and ‘Elvis’ greased back hairstyles. The Mods were classier, listening to British bands such as The Beatles. They preferred Vespers over Harleys and took their trends from respectable French and Italian clothes designers. Most commonly, tailored suits with slim shirts, pants and skinny ties slimmed down to just an inch. The Modernists also brought us the anorak, an item of clothing regarded as their trademark.

The Edwardian Movement

A bit further down the line, specifically the year of 1966, men embraced the Edwardian movement. Double-breasted suits in velvet were worn by men following icons such as Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. These suits were accompanied with brocade waistcoats, shirts with frilled collars and longer hair as opposed to the previous shorter styles. All variations of colors, stripes and patterns were evident in this so-called ‘dandified’ look. The Nehru jacket also came about in this time and was popular with both men and women

Evening gowns define fashion

Chic, stylish and elegant evening gowns are the best suited attire for evening events at formal occasions. Evening gown is elegance and style personified. An exquisite evening gown can remarkably transform any average looking woman to a glamorous diva. The grace and charm of the long flowing evening gown cannot be replaced by any other dress. For today’s women this classic garment is a must in their wardrobe.

An evening gown highlights your style quotient and is worn at parties, prom nights, weddings, award functions or events that require formal dress code. Which attire can better accentuate the beauty and curves of a woman? These gowns are available in various styles, cuts and fabrics. However, it is important to choose the right evening gown for you to make your style appealing and keep the eyes raving.

Fashionable, smart, pretty are the adjectives to define today’s woman and evening gowns are a perfect blend to enhance their personality. Evening gowns have become a status symbol as the celebrities, rich and the famous women of the world have adorned it. A general rule is to wear it only at night. These dresses are also known as ball gowns. While choosing an evening gown it is essential to see that it has all the qualities to make women look like a queen.

Hence if you are intending to attend a formal event and having the famous people around; an evening gown would be the best choice. This will not only flaunt your curves and add sophistication and poise to your personality but it will make your presence felt among the crowd. Moreover, one should take care that it should be well fitted and suit your figure and skin tone. Also, it is important to dress to the occasion.

This means the gown you select should not be over the top or too simple. In short it is a challenge to make the right choice of evening dress from the given innumerable options. Along with the evening gown, attention needs to be given to the hair do, accessories and the shoes for the perfect look. It should have an everlasting impression on the minds of people.

So while selecting an evening gown one should concentrate on the size, style, color, fabric, length and not to forget the occasion. Evening gowns are available in different sizes so it will not be a problem to pick up the perfect size. A woman with an hourglass figure can find a garment to highlight her curves; similarly woman can hide her flaws by wearing the right gown. Plus sizes evening gowns are also available for obese women.

Evening gowns are accessible in every shade one can think on this earth. But the aim should be to select the one that complements your skin tone and personality. Pinks, light blue, green and yellow goes well with fair skin tone whereas black, silver, white color suit girls with darker skin. Also, one must select the color depending on the occasion. Like if you need to dress for a beach wedding pastel colors in blue, green and yellow will be right.