Designer Dresses Through the Ages

Fashion design has been around for centuries, though it has only existed as we know and understand it since the middle of the nineteenth century. Applying artistic design, aesthetics, and the natural beauty of materials to clothing is a booming and enviable industry.

Prior to the Twentieth Century 

According to Jacqueline Grant Kent, the author of Business Builders in Fashion, the first haute couture house to be fully recognized as such didn't open until 1858, in a location in Paris. The concept of style and the designer clothing industry dates back centuries earlier, though, to a time arguably no later than the fifteenth century.You can also browse many women designer dresses via

At this point in time, there were no design houses or designer dresses such as we might think of them, instead women relied on dressmakers who made custom gowns to the stipulation of the customer. There were always many trends related to women's hairstyles and clothing, but it wasn't until the eighteenth century that fashion truly took off among the elite, in an effort to separate themselves from the peasants.


Considering the dressmaker to be an artist of clothing, he was the first to design his own garments for customers to choose from, and the first to dictate to his consumer base what they would wear, as well as initializing the addition of designer labels in clothing, according to the Gale Encyclopedia. Worth was the first ever fashion designer, and his innovation led to countless designers following in his footsteps, such as Callot Soeurs, Patou, Poiret, Vionnet, Fortuny, Lanvin, Mainbocher, Schiaparelli, Balenciaga, and Dior.

The Twentieth Century and Beyond 

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the design world was centered in Paris. From all over the world, fashion houses, magazines, and the newly developed department stores would send employees, editors, and buyers to Paris fashion shows. Their goal was to copy the elite, high designs, and trends of Paris for their own customers, while dressmaker them to the budget and needs of their own base. As magazines at the start of the century began to include photographs, designers became even more influential and sought after.

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