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Fashion and Beauty - A Historical Perspective




Greater than 40 000 years ago the inhabitants of The eu adorned themselves with jewelry of ivory and bone. Clothes, worn to guard their bodies from the elements in order to provide covering for modesty's sake, came later. The people of northern Europe probably first slung animal skins around themselves as protection from the cold in about 25000 BC. In the Mediterranean and Middle East, fibers from plants such as flax, and the hair of goats and sheep, were woven to create lightweight fabrics that does not only afforded protection from the Sun's rays but also signified social status. The initial of these textiles, manufactured in Anatolia in Turkey, date about 6500 BC.
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As civilizations developed, so varieties of dress also evolved. In Egypt, Greece and Rome, clothes were draped, even though the people of northern Europe and also the East wore stitched, tubular garments. Inside the classical world the toga, worn not just by rulers but also by philosophers and teachers, was thought to be a symbol of civilization. Breeches and tunics, in comparison, were considered usual for barbarian, tribal societies.

Nevertheless the idea of fashion, with its ever changing cycles of styles and trends, first became predominant in the mid 1300 in Paris, London and also the Italian city-states, when the elite rejected their flowing garments for tight-fitting clothes decorated to exhibit the latest tastes. Men's robes, which had previously been ankle-length, now reached over the knee, while female dress was transformed by lacing, buttons and also the introduction of the d�colletage. As people wished to change their silhouettes at regular intervals - a trend that coincided having a growing international textiles trade - so cutting and tailoring developed. fashion

Early fashion belonged towards the elite, who attemptedto preserve their social superiority with 'sumptuary laws' forbidding tradesmen and yeomen from wearing expensive and lavishly embroidered fabrics. However the French code of dressing, with different fixed social hierarchy and courtly etiquette, was overturned by the Revolution of 1789. Elaborate wigs and powdered hair were abandoned, men's clothes were no longer embellished with embroidery and lace, and ladies adopted the simple Empire gown. Style had been a mark of individual freedom, adopted for its own sake. No more the preserve of the aristocracy, it soon became associated with the avant-garde, Romantic writers and artists, political activists and dandies.

In the uk affordable, mass-produced printed textiles and finishing touches were made available through the Industrial Revolution. We were holding popular with the middle classes, who saw them as a means of expressing their new confidence and success. For males power now lay in operation, not the court. The dark suit had been a male 'uniform', while women paraded the family's status through their own and their children's dress. Fashion and femininity were inextricably entwined. Women were weighed down by petticoats and their mobility restricted by delicate shoes.

Inside the late 1800s attempts begun to make female dress more 'sensible'. But ideals of beauty and fashion held sway, with malls offering ready-made copies from the newest styles featured in magazines, society photographs and, from your early 1900s, the cinema. Readily available beginnings the consumer-orientated 20th-century fashion and sweetness industries were launched.