Milan, as the fashion capital of the world, is a name that has become synonymous with style. With its culture of art and design, Italy is second to none in fashion. Italian fashion is famous wherever one travels and has even beats out nations like France. The following is a look into the history of Italian fashion and how it has come to leave such a deep impression in the minds of all fashion conscious people around the world.
The Renaissance and Italian Fashion:
Italian fashion began its first major flowering during the Renaissance starting as early as the late 14th century. Many Italian city-states had prospered from international trade. With exclusive trade ties to the Orient, these states had monopolies on certain fabrics too, and the seeds of Italian fashion were planted. This, combined with great artistic minds of the time epitomized by the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, allowed Italian fashion to flower in the Renaissance.
At the time, Italian fashion was known for its extravagance. The elite classes and rich merchants were investing more and more money into purchasing costly clothes. Designs that were considered complex in those days were being regularly churned out by Italian designers, and people preferred wearing the designs that were in vogue at the expense of more traditional clothing.
The demand for high quality clothes gave rise to manufacturing of fine fabrics that were used in creating this costly clothing. Eventually though, Italian fashion went into decline. Spanish, English and French fashion soon became really popular with the masses and started to overshadow Italian fashion. Italian fashion was using styles that left very little room for experimentation and soon Italian fashion stopped being what interested designers most.
Giovan Battista Giorgini is hailed for his efforts to bring back Italy into the world fashion arena when Italy started to export fashion accessories after the World War II. He was also the person who held the first modern fashion show in Italy. Furthermore, he established relations with various merchants across the world by throwing a party where he invited the who’s who of the fashion world. The fashion shows were attended by journalists who covered the events exclusively on Giovan’s request.
Until the 1970’s, Italian fashion catered more to wealthier people and celebrities. Later the designers started to design clothes for the common people and Italian fashion became accessible to the general public. The 80s decade marked a great advancement in the Italian fashion industry, and Milan became the fashion capital of the world.
While it is unclear how long Italy will maintain its position in the fashion world, it will at the very least be a fashion center for the foreseeable future.