Fashion has been ever-evolving throughout the centuries, ranging from style statements to statements of self-expression. Much of this expression has been guided and shaped by iconic figures in history, expressing their unique perspectives on fashion in their own way. From Audrey Hepburn to Vivienne Westwood, we’ll explore the influential figures who have redefined style throughout the ages, and changed fashion for the better.
1. Ancient Fashion Icons: Shaping Style Throughout the Centuries
Throughout the centuries, fashion has been regarded as an art form, and it is no surprise that the world has been witnessing fashion icons that have shaped style and made it their own. Here are a few of the ancient trend-setters that have kept the fashion community in awe:
- Cleopatra: Ruling the hearts of ancient Egypt, Cleopatra is renowned even to this day for her daring wardrobe that defined luxury and sophistication. She was the trend-setter of fashion with her floor-length sheer gowns as they were seen as regal and powerful. Her figure was further accentuated with bold and eye-catching jewelry.
- Marilyn Monroe: Beauty personified, Marilyn Monroe has been a legendary icon throughout the decades. Her iconic style featured beautiful jewelry, form-fitting dresses and stunning long gowns that accentuated her priceless curves. She left an everlasting mark in fashion history by bringing the concept of sensual style and being an inspiration for many of fashion.
- Coco Chanel: Another name that has changed fashion throughout the centuries is Coco Chanel. Her iconic ‘little black dress’ was a revolution in fashion when it emerged. She made simplicity the essence of glamour with her clothing style, and she believed that clothing can be beautiful while still being comfortable. Her other contribution to the fashion industry was introducing trousers for women that are still in vogue.
- Audrey Hepburn: A constant inspiration to the fashion industry, Audrey Hepburn’s timeless style and grace created ripples in her time. She was a trendsetter of making headscarves and pearls glamorous and setting a standard of luxury for all modern fashion icons. She was also known for her short and fitting little black dresses that were both comfortable and well-fitted, showing how design and fashion sense can come together to create classic masterpieces.
From Cleopatra to Coco Chanel, these iconic figures have truly made their mark on the fashion industry. Every era has had trend-setters who gave unique insight to fashion, inspiring the world and paving the way for modern fashion even to this day.
2. Inspired By Inspiration: Fashion Icons of the Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural revolution that delivered a new wave of inspirations in the world of fashion.
- Isabella d’Este: As the Marquise of Mantua, Isabella d’Este was a leader in the Renaissance fashion scene. She was known for her extravagant, ornate garments that often featured bright colors and pricey fabrics. Above all else, Isabella was a staunch advocate of high quality craftsmanship.
- Catherine de Medici: Queen of France, Catherine de Medici was a monarch who fully embraced the luxurious dress of the period. Her wardrobe featured glittering jewelled gowns, often adorned with intricate embroidery. She could mix gowns of velvet, silks, brocades, and furs in the same outfit. Her exquisite style helped to elevate the fashion scene in France.
- Elizabeth I of England: Queen Elizabeth I was an equally influential fashion icon in England. She had a deep affection for ruffs – particularly those of the low, conical variety. Other features of her wardrobe included voluminous cloaks and sleek masculine-style doublets. When mixed together, these elements created a unique, masculine-feminine style that Elizabeth was well known for.
- Maddalena: Last but not least is the incomparable Maddalena. The love of the Florentine nobleman, Maddalena became a symbol of beauty and fashion in her time. She wore a signature look of loosely-crafted, colorful robes. Her outfits were unique in that they blended the formal robe of a courtier with a less structured silhouette, making them lightweight and comfortable.
These pioneers of fashion took the Renaissance style into new directions and helped to define the look of the fashionable court. They created pieces that are still studied and admired in the modern day – an enduring legacy of their contribution to the history of fashion.
3. Out with the Old, In With the New: Exploring the Impact of Modern Fashion Icons
The world of fashion is ever-changing, with new trends popping up every season, as well as old trends coming back into style. However, in addition to these designs that are the product of broad-reaching cultural influences, there are also distinct figures who advance the zeitgeist and set the tone for an era. Fashion icons help identify the essential elements of the modern zeitgeist, and promote a sense of identity and freedom of expression.
There is no doubt that modern fashion icons have influenced the world of fashion in an unprecedented way. As many have moved away from traditional forms of dressing, the presence of fashion icons is essential to this transition. These individuals have been able to redefine style and introduce an unprecedented amount of creativity into the world of fashion. As such, they have been able to establish a unique and distinct identity in the fashion world.
- Size-Inclusive Statement Pieces – Figures like plus-sized model Ashley Graham have pushed for a more size-inclusive approach to fashion, and established a new standard of beauty. This has had a tremendous impact on the fashion world as it has opened up opportunities for people of all sizes to find stylish clothing that is flattering to their body shape.
- Gender Neutrality – With the emergence of gender-bending icons like Andreja Pejić and Jaden Smith, the lines between male and female fashion have become increasingly blurred. People can now explore a more diverse range of clothing options and express themselves in a more creative and unique way.
Fashion icons have also had a tremendous impact on the formality of fashion. Gone are the days where people felt obligated to wear formal clothing for all occasions, as icons like Kanye West have paved the way for a more casual approach to fashion. This has allowed people to experiment with different styles and express their individual personality in a more relaxed way.
Ultimately, modern fashion icons have had a major influence on the world of fashion, and their impact can be seen in the diverse range of clothing options available. They have pushed the boundaries of traditional fashion and established a whole new set of standards, which has opened up opportunities for people of all shapes and sizes.
4. Present-Day Style Makers: Who is Redefining the Fashion Industry Now?
The fashion industry has seen many prominent designers pass through the years, and new names are quickly making their presence felt in the competitive world of fashion. Here are four of the hottest style makers right now who are determined to reach new heights in their craft.
Aleksandar Stanic – An affable Serbian designer who initially failed out of industrial design school, Aleksandar Stanic now heads the Paris atelier Vrai Couture. His pieces combine modern minimalism with traditional techniques to create futuristic but timeless designs that are as daring as they are elegant. With endorsements from fashion luminaries such as Beyonce, Kirsten Dunst, and Cate Blanchett, Aleksandar has changed the landscape of fashion forever.
Demestik – Founded by Canadian fashion mavens Gigi Campi and Cebile Mpumlwana, Demestik is rooted in street culture but takes on a high-fashion approach. Campi and Mpumlwana have made a name for themselves by creating daringly trendy garments from upcycled materials. Their bold statement-making pieces have graced runways for some of the world’s premier fashion brands and earned the brand a massive cult following.
Emily Ann Moore – Emily Ann Moore is a Brooklyn-based fashion designer with a passion for sustainability. Her eco-friendly designs combine vintage and modern styles to create a unique look that is both timeless and eclectic. Moore has become the go-to designer for conscious celebrities such as Emma Watson and Mandy Moore and was recently awarded the United Nations Environmental Design Prize for her continued commitment to promoting eco-fashion.
Rachel Antonoff – Known for her quirky and nostalgic sensibilities, Rachel Antonoff has become a favourite of fashionista and hipster alike. Growing up in a creative household, Antonoff drew much of her inspiration from childhood memories. With her playful mix of colour and patterns, Antonoff has earned the admiration of fashion editors and celebrities moonlighting as muses, and her label has become renowned for its whimsical and offbeat take on preppy style.
These four talented designers have revolutionized the fashion industry with their boundary-pushing designs. They may look and sound different, but they all share one common trait: an unwavering commitment to creating stunning, one-of-a-kind looks that embody the present-day spirit of fashion.
Fashion icons have a long and enduring history of redefining the very definition of style. From early icons such as Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel to contemporary icons like Rihanna, these influential figures have proven that style doesn’t have to exist within limits. They have pushed fashion forward and done so with an unparalleled confidence and grace. Their influence will continue to sow the seeds of ever-changing style for many generations to come.