Florence – Between Art of the Past and Modern Fashion

Florence is the city which gives and gave examples of art and beauty. The masterpieces now attracting millions of tourists are the witnesses of the ideas and the glories of the past, which were materialized in the works that are today unique beauties without time.

Florence is still master of beauty, just like during the Renaissance. This feature is exhibited not only in the art of the past but also in more modern forms of expressions, such as fashion. The most important and appreciated fashion brands established themselves in the Tuscan capital.

The one who was born and still lives in Florence inherits a sense of beauty that comes from the environment around him every day, the presence of places and monuments are characterized by a very high sense of aesthetics and attention: details and proportions represent a kind of ongoing training for the residents in this city. While living in Florence people unknowingly acquire the aesthetic sensibility which is not to be found in almost any other place in the world.

Today as in the past these places have inspired artists of all kinds, an inspiration which is also manifested in the fashion in which Florence has a very important tradition in the modern era.

Since the second half of 1900 the fashion houses of Florence have distinguished themselves nationally and internationally, to consacrate the Tuscan capital city as one of the most important Italian fashion city. Here the first fashion show was held February 12, 1951 by the Italian fashion pioneer Giovanni Battista Giorgini. Villa Torrigiani in Via dei Serragli was the location, the event was held in the presence of many international buyers, who on this occasion admired for the first time the style and elegance of the Made in Italy, which from the beginning poses as an alternative to the Parisian fashion just leading the way to the various current designers who currently continue to provide contributions to the fashion world.

Florence as all the major cities also has a specific area in which it focuses the world’s biggest names in fashion, together with other fashion boutiques Florentine. These activities are concentrated in the streets: Via Tornabuoni and Via della Vigna. These Florentine streets are in the city centre within walking distance from the most important monuments of the city.

Apart from the major fashion boutiques in Florence there are many shops which propose clothing and handmade accessories. According to the traditional tailoring and shoemaking methodology, these products are developed in order to have a own style, a customizable style according to the tastes and needs of the customer. They can be considered real pieces of the highest quality fashion art.

The Importance of Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) is one the most important trade associations in America and the world. Its main motive is to promote American art and culture using fashion as a tool. Thus the purpose behind its foundation has turned out to be successful venture as it has achieved its goal handsomely.

Since 1962, when it was founded, it has remained one of leading fashion associations committed to the cause of bringing excellency in fashion arts. It has been successful enough to enhance the aesthetic and artistic quotient in the field of fashion design and accessories.

By nature, it is a non-profit trade association. Basically, its main task is to provide right direction to all the aspiring, talented and enthusiastic fashion designers who have the potential to emerge on the horizon of fashion.

For the better implementation of its strategies and to gain the maximum benefits of its mission, the CFDA starts functioning from the very basic level. It provides help and support, by all means, to not only the students of universities but it uses its resources in the high schools too.

The membership of Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) counts more than 300. All of them are leading and famous fashion and accessory designers of America. Most of them were noticed in their aspiring age, thus picked up by the association for their better grooming.

The fashion association has developed a very strong tie-up with Vogue. Apart from working together on fashion front, they raise funds to fight HIV and AIDS. Also the association works for the cause of breast cancer under the banner of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer. The CFDA’s members take active parts in such human-friendly works.

Moreover, the fashion association gives an annual award to recognize the impressive works done by a fashion designer in the field of fashion. The annual CFDA Fashion Awards are given under various categories such as menswear, womenswear and accessories. Also, the association promotes fashion journalism. Thus it gives awards in the fields of journalism also.

Fashion Yesterday and Today

We are living in a world surrounded by numerous things that are either related to the technology, the latest gadgets or the latest fashion. And Fashion today has made its significance felt in almost all sectors of life. Fashion can be termed into two groups: One group which follows fashion trends and adopts them and the other group who create fashion and style statements for the others to follow them. It can also be extended to another set of people who rarely have anything to do with fashion trends but yet follow their own style to create their own unique personality; adding one more style to the fashion world.

Fashion is not just about cosmetics and make up or the hair-do. It is a sense of creating the charisma of looking good in anything you wear and this magic is created with the right kind of accessories going along with the foot wear and the clothes, making up a pleasant picture to view. Many a times, people who do not afford to buy expensive clothes look their best in their casual wear, just by presenting themselves in that manner of sophistication and creating an aura around them with the confidence of looking good.

There are myriad forms of fashion, and trends keep on changing with the seasons. From the early 60s and 70s to the present millennium, there has been an immense change in the forms, looks and thoughts about fashion trends.

In India, much of fashion has been influenced by the Hindi Film Industry, popularly called Bollywood. The trends that have changed through time can be fairly seen in the movies made during the 60s and 70s and how they have evolved in various forms bringing about a style that can be followed by the general public. People have aped the west from very early times and this was no exception. The clothes made in the 60s and 70s were very much influenced by the western countries and given a traditional touch. The Bell Bottoms, scarves and the hair style was very much prevalent in those days as an icon of style. Later in the 80s and 90s, Fashion world sizzled like never before. There was a craving by the people to look different, stylish and modern and this could be seen in their outlook towards their outfit, new styles of hair, makeup, accessories like purses, earrings, necklaces, matching footwear etc.

People were conscious about each and every new thing that was marketed and they copied the styles from their Bollywood idols. Bollywood started as a platform for theatre artistes and went on to become a commercial entry to the youths and aspirants for a career in the film and fashion industry. This gave the youth of today to emphasize on the fashion world. Art and music have become an inseparable thing of the past and so it is deeply rooted in the present as well with more features and facilities.

Today fashion, art, music, designers, dance etc all have a place in the industry and people can choose to take up anything related to this industry as their profession too. Art and music have long been implemented in the school co-curricular activities and the Higher colleges are now offering various courses for better professionalism in these areas. There are also various acting schools and the small screen i.e., the television has opened up avenues in bringing out the talent in the young minds through numerous platforms of music and dance. This is the innovation of the millennium in creating jobs and work in the fashion industry. The trends that we see are brought about by the fashion houses that have regular seasons to showcase their invention, many of which are popularized in FTV, Zee Trendz and TLC channels. We can also get a glimpse of the stylish outfits through these shows that the models present. Today, Modelling is also one of the platforms for an entry into the world of fashion.

In the yester years, fashion was constrained only to the actors in the film or those that were bold enough to carry themselves in the public that they were considered fashionable. Others just wooed them behind close doors. Slowly when times began changing, we could see the women showing off their styles in the traditional saree with an embroidered blouse and a different neck style. Then we saw the saree being draped in various styles like the Bengali style or the Gujarati style etc. The women were liberating their choice of freedom and it could be seen in their appearances with a high heeled slipper or the handbag she carried or the way she held her saree or the hair and the makeup she wore. All these changes brought about the invention of churidhars and then the salwar kameez and finally the fashion of dresses was out in the open. Women accepted to the fact that there was nothing wrong in looking good and the men of course, loved to see the attractive side of women and fantasized the idea over their spouses.

This change in attitude of the public was very well taken by the fashionistas and a huge market was created to meet the demands of the public. Today fashion creates a new look with distinct style for a particular person and keeps oneself updated with the latest trends seen in the market. This industry is popular for its glamour as well as the mixture of Indian tradition and culture put into the designer wear that the models showcase.

People love to experiment different textures of materials used in the outfits and so the designers give them a wide collection of dresses using all kinds of clothes. There is the traditional Khadi and silk combination that is presently creating waves seen in both men’s and women’s wear. Then we have the embroidery work in zardosi, swarovski studded tops and lehangas and multi stoned work in bridal collection sarees etc. Then the most sought materials like cotton, polyster, chiffon, crush materials used in varied iconoclastic designs and styles.

Always there is a hope for the designers that the youth want a change in the fashion and are glad to keep up the trend with a fusion of Indian and western mix of fashionable wear. Also the youth of today are very practical in their sense of styling for a particular occasion. Be it a party or for a marriage or the casual look, they want the best and they believe in looking the best. And to achieve this, people go one step ahead in ensuring that they have everything in their wardrobe for any kind of occasion.

Apart from the stylish clothes and fashion that is currently popular people want to try something that goes along with their outlook. So the market started towards the very own friend of a woman- The Hand Bag or the Purse. The Fresh look of a purse with magnificent colours and its stylish features like the chain handle or the jazzy zips with numerous pockets in different shapes attracted the public like never before. And with the increasing demand of the prices of branded purses, it became a must for every woman to complete her shopping. So did the other accessories line up by creating a place for themselves in the market. Just a few to quote, the earring and necklaces, the various Belts, hand bracelets and brooch, the stiletto and its wonderful embroidered, party wear slippers along with its brotherly high rugged shoes giving a perfect cowboy look etc.

Fashion has always been a very interesting topic for all women and now the trend has even challenged the men to compete for a more appealing look for a remarkable future in the world of Fashion to make it a full fledged acceptable thing for all genre of people.

Kiriti C Chavadi

Bangalore