Designer Fashion – A Beginner’s Guide

Christian Dior There are a lot of preconceived ideas about designer or ‘high end’ fashion. Anyone who doesn’t have an interest in the industry will often question some of the outfits that come down the runway. It’s perfectly understandable to think that the clothes are weird, or that only rich, superficial people would buy them. Before I got into blogging and fashion, I admit that I made these assumptions as well. I’d like to offer a bit of my knowledge, to try and show how one can start to appreciate the seemingly absurd outfits out there.

First of all, it’s very important to know what sort of fashion is being displayed at a show. Most of the collections you would find in magazines and in the media are for women, and the majority of them are Haute Couture. These shows are often used to show off a designers talent and creativity, hence the occasional bizarre pieces. Usually only well-off clients present themselves at these shows, and then decide which clothes they would like to have tailor-made afterwards. So, as you’d imagine, the market is very narrow and the demand is low – resulting in the collections becoming pretty inaccessible to the general public.

However, most designers also show a Pret-a-Porter collection, which literally translates from French as Ready-to-Wear. Although these clothes are also expensive and sometimes extravagant, these are the pieces that the designer will put on sale in their boutiques or online sites. To an untrained eye, some of these clothes may also seem a bit odd or unattractive – but it’s important to remember that it is very rare for an outfit to consist of clothes entirely made by one designer.

Louis Vuitton Pret a PorterAnother thing that explains the preconceptions is that the designers are targeting a very specific market when they create clothes. Unlike high street shops such as Topshop or Primark, they aren’t trying to appeal to the mass market. Their aim is to create a small but loyal following of wealthy fashion enthusiasts who are willing to buy expensive pieces each season. It’s supposed to be unusual so that their clients are purchasing unique items that wouldn’t appear on the high street.

So, next time you see a catwalk show featured in a magazine or on the television, try to keep these things in mind and don’t just judge the outfits on your personal tastes – pay more attention to the shapes, colours and patterns that the designer is exhibiting. Who knows, maybe you’ll start to develop an interest in fashion and an appreciation for the craftsmanship that goes into making the more outlandish outfits!

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