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Victorian Era with an Indian Twist at Asian Designer Week – 2019

Victorian era, a glamorous time period for rich Indian textiles. The fusion of these two far apart poles was the theme of our project this time. The challenge at hand was to bring to life, a garment which was set in the victorian era but fabricated in authentic Indian Textiles. It may seem like an easy thing, in theory, it did to us too, but when it came to practicality, this was the hardest thing about the project.

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We began our quest with updating our knowledge on everything related to the victorian era fashion: the silhouettes, the fabrics, the colors, all design elements, accessorization, utility wear, etc. The Victorian era was a time of flowy, fluffy ball gown, of lacy parasols, of large, feathery hats, of elegance, of feminity. People of that era had dress codes for specific occasions, there were high societal expectations for women, and to fit those expectations women’s fashion was changed drastically.

Next came our research on Indian textiles, which was an eye-opening experience because we happen to neglect our beautiful collection of textiles every single day. Indian textiles are rich in culture, color, and history of their origins.

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This collection was to be displayed at the Asian Designer Week 2019, so our deadlines were tight. I personally believe in practical learning, and taking on a challenge to stitch a garment to be displayed in a fashion show, was on my list for long. This time, I was able to successfully take that challenge head-on. After all the approvals in line, and the fabric ready at hand, I drafted patterns for my design with the help of my wonderful faculty always ready to help me. It took me around 4-5 days to completely perfect my garment, and another couple of days to complete my accessorization. I chose to make a parasol on my own as part of my accessorization, along with a waist belt and a ruffled necktie, which completed the whole look.

Our show was scheduled on 6th October 2019 at Hotel A Dot by GNH, ambiance island, Gurugram. We reached the venue around 1 pm the same day, with all our things ready for the show. After a few minor issues backstage, we were able to get our models ready for the display in time, which was a feat in itself, but also a nerve-wracking experience, because that entailed that the show was about to begin.

Our display went wonderfully well, without any mishaps, which made us all let out a breath we didn’t know we were all holding in.

To me, this whole project will always be dear to my heart, because it was an amazing concept, brought to reality by my own hard work, day and night, and I’ll forever cherish it as a student, and furthermore.

Abhilasha Sharma
3rd Semester, BBA FE (2018-2021)

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Style our hair with Twist Knot Headbands

If there’s anything that’s equally important for a perfect picture, a flawless social media look or even a feel-good factor then it’s undoubtedly the way you style your hair. Your hair is the extension of your personality deserves all the time and care required to strike a chord.

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Just like the quality of salt doing so much for the dish and remaining in the background, styling your hair simply with quirky trending accessories helps you bag fawning adorations and adulations.

Twisting your everyday look, the trends that are popping up everywhere and has become “the must-have for all casual affairs” is the knotted headbands, cut out for mastering retro style.

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These effortlessly cool bands can be donned with so much ease giving a high style quotient to your overall look. These are cute, hip, and chic and definitely fly for nailing summer attires.

They run in a huge variety from ordinary to extraordinary, from velvets to houndstooth, from polka dots to Sequined Kitsch, leaving us with a plethora of options to explore our styling sensibilities.

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These fun bands are also very simple DIYs, all you need is any knit/ woven fabric, your basic sewing supplies, a few stitch lines here and there following some simple instructions and adding the final finishing touch with a knot at the end, making this accessory a fashion staple of your style wardrobe.

Peeping in the past tells us, these “full of beans” twisted knot bands have made a huge comeback from the trends of the ’80s. Sundresses, casual denim or even cruise wear, twisted turban bands have worked well with almost everything, making “everyday good hair day” possible even retrospectively.

Kriti Mehta
Fashion Faculty
International College of Fashion

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DELHI TIMES FASHION WEEK

The Delhi Times Fashion Week (DTFW) had a glittering start in the capital on Friday. The three-day fashion extravaganza, powered by Danj Entertainment, had an impressive line-up of designers from the fashion industry showcasing their finest collections. Day 1 was all about festive fashion and had known names like Rina Dhaka, Anupamaa Dayal, Nikhita Tandon and designer duo Anjalee and Arjun Kapoor headlining the event, which is being held at Roseate House, Aerocity. The event began on Friday, 20th September and ended till the 22nd of September. The event also showcased collections by Madame, Cantabil, Charu Parashar, Marks & Spencers etc.

It was an initiative by the Times group and had many other sponsors which include Toni & Guy, Delhi Times, Transworld, Danj and many more. We, as design students got an opportunity to visit the shows on different days in different groups.

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We went to the first show on the 20th of September with a group of 10 fellow classmates. While waiting long for the show to start, we saw celebrities like Harsh Khullar and Bandhana Sondhi. As we entered the hall, we got all the fashion vibes as we saw the ramp, dim-lit and all lights, camera, actions ready! We took our allotted seats and in no time, the show started. It was Anupama Dayal’s “Banjaran” collection that was being showcased. The garments were all very bright and colourful yet not blazing to the eye. They were in Indian silhouettes and comprised mostly of lehenga-choli with dupatta and suit-salwar. There was a smart use of fabric and fabrics of different prints were used in contrast-different fabric print and colour for the shirt, sleeve, skirt and dupatta. Gota work was quite prominent in the hemlines of the skirt and dupatta in many outfits. Tassels were hanging around in the dupattas and the blouses along with the braided hair of the models. This was a catchy part of the show as all the models were styled in two braids with colourful tassels and ribbons hanging around their hair to give the banjara look. Models were also seen in nicely draped sarees in red and green with a dangling belt around the waist. Overall, the collection was quite lovely and very traditional and festive. It gives playful and quirky vibes-Indian yet not traditional. One unique and overlooked element of the show was the footwear-all models were wearing same footwears i.e beige jootis with tassels handing round them!

The show ended with the entry of Anupama Dayal on the ramp and all her models following her and dancing around. They all gathered at the front and bent down on their knees, dancing depicting the joy and merry that banjarans have. Anupama wore a yellow saree with a red blouse, almost matching her collection.

We absolutely loved the collection and the show itself! We had many takeaways and learnings from the show and are looking forward for more such opportunities.

Tanisha
BBA FE 2019 -2022

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Internship opportunity with Fascino Kids Fashion Week 2019

Right from our very first day at ICF, we have been gaining experiences in the fashion world and this July got us one very exciting one.

An opportunity to work at the Fascino Kids Fashion Show, an exclusive Fashion Week for children between 3-14 years of age, with a series of interactive workshops leading the participating children with sessions on Personal Hygiene, Etiquettes, Personality Grooming putting forward a holistic, confident personalities on the ramp.

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This was an exciting opportunity for me and my other enthusiastic lot of friends since none of us had ever had the experience of handling these little bundles of energies. Glad we all enrolled ourselves for this and were prepared to take this new challenge head-on.

The show was scheduled from 25th-27th of July 2019 and was held at Eros International, Nehru Place.

We were involved from day one….from the trials to training and practice days for the child models and handling schedules for all the participating designers.

Time management was one of the major factors that we needed to learn and report to work an hour early than the kids’ schedule since all the arrangements for the day were to be organized and put in place to avoid any delay or glitch during the sessions.

We were about to be hit with a real challenge of handling small kids throughout the day while helping the Organizers. The kids started to pour in and some of them came in “like a wrecking ball”. Some of the kids were not ready to leave their parents at all and kept wailing and crying. That was truly a challenge, to get them separated from their mothers, get them changed and make them practice along with everyone else. But we were not there to give up easily. All through the days this cycle continued, designer after designer, kid after kid, and we would generally wrap up the day around at about 9 in the night right after a short meeting with our team heads….just to repeat the whole process every day for the next couple of days; but the second day was less chaotic, thanks to our experiences gained the day before.

Then came the big day, the actual show on Saturday the 27th of July, 2019. We all reported at the venue sharp at 8 am, dressed and ready to work in our Fascino Kids Fashion Show custom t-shirts, that gave us the sense of responsibility to shoulder the brand we were working for.

We began readying up the first lot of kids for our first scheduled show at 11:00 a.m., which was actually delayed by an hour due to technical issues, but hiccups like this are common in such fashion events. With each show, our work gradually got easier, and we had a smooth functioning through the fashion shows……. till the finale show……That was when chaos broke. We ran out of hands to help backstage, and 3 people barely kept the kids in control, but with immense help from one of the team heads, we were able to deliver an amazing finale of the day that was widely appreciated and adored.

The after-party to celebrate the success of the show had us all as a team had us all danced and celebrate the successful line of shows the whole day, and we all retired to our homes in groups and pieces, to finally rest our feet which had been working on and on through the week.

Even though the whole experience was tiring and we ran out of energy to function by the time we got to leave, it was all worth it when we received our certifications when we rejoined college.

We were also awarded a beaming trophy to represent all the hard work we all collectively put in, and it was truly an amazing moment to be able to hold it in our hands.

The trophy now rests in the office of our Chief Mentor, Ms. Jaivani Bajaj’s office, as a beautiful memory of something so demanding and challenging yet so rewarding and full of knowledge.

This was an experience gained, that will forever be with us all.

Abhilasha Sharma- BBA FE 2018

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A WARM WELCOME TO ICF

Oof! With a mix of thoughts and high spirits I carried the load of my pretty bag and started my day with a classic smile. I rushed through the metro and headed straight to the college. As I moved towards my class, probably every new face I saw could hear me breathe heavily. I entered the class, greeted my new mates and took a seat to catch my breath. Within a moment, my teachers came in with a big smile and I could sense a lovely vibe of aspiring learners ready to embark on this new journey. The teachers introduced themselves and their respective subjects to us in a very semi-formal way. It was way better than I expected it to be. I enjoyed their session as they gave us an inside sneak peak of the industry we were going to step into.

Then arrived the snack break and we were served with some authentic Delhi street food alongside some soft drinks to fill in our young stomachs.

The seniors came in and initiated an ice breaker activity to help us interact and perhaps improve our social skills. We enjoyed playing different character roles, singing, dancing and mimicking comic characters.

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The college organized a few designer talks for us to get pumped up with inspiration and zing to work hard and brace ourselves for the course. The teachers seemed so determined and energetic to impart their knowledge to us. This gave me a feeling of satisfaction and that very moment I knew I came to the right place to learn. Down the week, the college had many activities for us. This helped us to get more comfortable with the college atmosphere.

Alumni students dropped in to share their experiences with us and we got a chance to clear out our doubts regarding different job/business aspects after college. The exposure we had in the first week was outstanding. We got exposed to the people from the industry and got to clear view of the life ahead waiting for us.

To be honest, in the beginning, I was a bit apprehensive about college life at ICF. But now, after 3 weeks I can proudly say I am at the right place. This place is a metal and it means education at its best. The teachers are hardcore and willing to give the best they’ve got. I hope to experience a wonderful educational journey with ICF along with memories to cherish throughout my life.

Moin Shaw BBA 2019 – 2022

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The Pret Imperative

I became the head (Executive Director) of the FDCI, now nearly a decade ago. Our office was in an apartment in Saket, a common practice at that time. To reach the office on the second floor, we had to walk up the stairs and jump over a sleeping dog known for being aggressive when provoked. As I took up the onerous reins of the fashion industry in India, I realized that much like the dog, the gross artistic talent of Indian designers was immense but the fashion design industry was still in its infancy and had made a little impact at home in India, much less the World. Coupled with the rich Indian heritage and culture we should have been talking of a major industry. In reality, designers were living from hand-to-mouth and quite literally operating from their father-in-law’s house!

This is when I commissioned research through the well-known consultants KPMG to study the level of the current industry and also to benchmark the West where billion-dollar brands such as Giorgio Armani, Versace, etc. all mocked us. Surprisingly, my initiative did not find sympathetic support from the FDCI Board which, unfortunately, consisted entirely of designers who were sure they knew it all. The results of the study, however, were seminal.

In the West, the industry started at the top of the design totem with couture (exclusively one of a kind) remaining exclusive and relatively small. It did make a handful of designers personally rich but as an industry, it was nowhere, and it was extremely risky for investors. The industry grew as designers moved down the chain to diffusion – multiple but limited lines which were sold in studios with, most often, the designer himself in attendance. The real breakthrough came when a few enterprising designers pushed to move into pret-e-porter (ready-to-wear) available off the shelf and at affordable, even if premium, prices to a vast upper-middle-class!

The move to Pret was not easy.  Designers quickly realized that Pret required large numbers to make business sense. This required efficient factories, distribution to a large number of stores, marketing, etc. This was usually beyond the competence of designers and was also beyond their interest areas. This is the classic clash in a fashion business – how to mate the vagaries and subtleties of art with the heat and dust of a competitive marketplace. The solution, of course, was the partnership of the high-flying designer with down-earth businessmen. The partnership could be in the form of a joint venture with a corporate which could bring in finances and skilled managerial support. That is how the West got into the big leagues.

Unfortunately, we in India faced many hurdles on many sides. At the FDCI, to promote Pret, we instructed all participating designers to show only Pret collections at the India Fashion Week. However, this was easier said than done as designers still displayed what they were most comfortable with – couture! Those who did venture forth most often came up with watered-down lines of their couture lines or worse still, Western wear! We could see that Indian fashion had a long way to go to mature. Customers were also in a time warp where they valued the weight of the garment, the amount of embroidery or surface work done and hesitant to move beyond drapes.

On the creative side, designers had to learn, to their dismay, that pret is not a mini version of their couture collections with, say, a little less embroidery but required a fresh new approach and a totally new collection.

The other challenge at the FDCI was to get investors and corporates to partner Indian designers. The trouble was both ways – with designers and with Indian corporates.  From the FDCI we extolled Indian designers, but businessmen found it difficult to relate to persons who ‘got up only after 11 o’clock’, did not care much about business civilities and wanted to be treated as prima donna’s! On the other hand, designers could not accept that the corporates valued their business to just a simple multiple of one year’s sales rather than the hundreds of crores they thought they were really worth. Further, they found it unthinkable to sell their label, which was usually their own personal name, to an alien entity and risk the possibility of losing it entirely. The result was that potential corporates such as Raymond, who even launched a Designerwear chain called BE:, baulked from backing any designers. Instead, when expansion was called for, they preferred to buy out premium, mass brands which in the case of Raymond was Color Plus. It finally devolved on foreign businesses such as LVMH, who better understood the dynamics of fashion, to invest into Indian designers.

Luckily, the new breed of Indian designers, having much less baggage of yesteryears, is far more business savvy and are able to quickly appreciate business complexities. However, Indian corporates are still tardy at making investments in Indian designers as they are still uncomfortable with the risks of the industry and still face a less than robust retail infrastructure. The saving grace has been the VC’s and other foreign investors who have made that move. Today there are a handful of Indian designers who have made it close to the Rs 100 cr. annual turnover. This includes the like of Rohit Bal, Ritu Kumar, Sabyasachi, Tarun Tahiliani, Manish Malhotra and Anita Dongre. Of particular pride for us is Anita Dongre, whose pret labels and retail chains, Indo-western styled Global Desi (138 retail stores) and  Western-styled AND (125 retail stores) together with other labels add up to a solid Rs 725 cr per annum.

Although having less flourish or creativity than her brethren, Anita’s Dongre’s phenomenal success has been due to a relentless focus on Pret, sharing the business end of the stage with her MBA brother, Sawlani and the VC’s who put up the money. This is just a tip of the iceberg of what Indian fashion can do when everything falls in place. To be sure, there is still a long way to go but now the glass ceiling for Indian designers has been broken!

Vinod Kaul

Jt. Managing Director, ICoFP

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India is a country with various cultures and tradition

It was around 1980s; the late 80s and the 90s saw a spurt growth of fashion in India.

It was only in 1999 that India showcased its first-ever fashion show. Of course, there existed many designers before the 90s but the fashion industry was never that widespread until the late 80s and 90s.

The main trademark of fashion in India is because of the Bollywood industry. Since its inception, people get really inspired and keep trying to copy the designer’s styles.

In the year 1986, the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India opened the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Delhi with the help of the Fashion Institute of Technology in India.

The word fashion brings the glamour. There are 100s of designers now. Some are really popular and some are still expanding. India today is one of the mostly dense countries which are mainly giving a hand to the fashion industry in order to magnify.

The western culture has most influenced our fashion industry. However, Indian cultural fashion has not loosened its popularity too.

Our fashion industry has started to grow and is expected to propagate exponentially in the next two years.

The growing population itself is predicted to hand the fashion industry to develop manifold. The love for brand names has already gone crazy and that will increase the consumerism.

In a nutshell, it can be said that the Indian fashion industry is budding at a high pace. This industry is offering a wide range of opportunities to the creative people, artists, hard-working and innovative people.

There are plenty of job opportunities in this sector; so what I personally feel about this is that the Fashion Industry is totally going to be a professional’s career choice with a lot of fascination. Rest, the time will showcase what the industry beholds for us.

Saloni Sharma

BBA-FE (2019-21)

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Met Gala 2019: The Camp, No Selfie Rule

It’s always very fascinating to feel that enthusiasm during the summers when there is a vibe of Met Ball, also known as Met Gala all around the world. This year on the first Monday of May, the magic held again inside the United States, New York City at ‘Metropolitan Museum of Art’.

This year I must say that the Gala touched off beat heights with its theme ‘The Camp’; we all got our heads blown with the boots, backpacks and the things belonging to the nature, camping and what not but the Gala stated a different definition for it. The theme was to get the Biggest Fashion Fiesta! People were there to show up there skills, to redefine fashion in terms of irony, humor, pastiche, artifice, theatricality, and exaggeration. The No Selfie Rule was set by Anna Wintour with the concept to ban the invitees from taking selfies and not leaking anything from inside for the photographers to get a good value on the pictures later on.img12334

People like Harry Styles, Lady Gaga, Serena Williams rocked the Met Ball with great concepts that made the night worthy. Other outstanding names to mention for the evening are Kim Kardashian, Kendell Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone who appeared to be wearing very interesting attires.

Designers like Manish Arora, Dior, Donatella Versace, Iris Van Herpen again stated the creativity and out of the box thoughts in the field of fashion out there.

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The Met Ball was taken by Lady Gaga and when she stepped in, there was the zeal and fire all around with the concept; the four stages she showed up defined every element of the real ‘Camp’. The androgynous look, exaggerated outfit, sexy straight dress, and the exposure she presented was commendable .

The Met Gala always proves and shows the daring aspects of fashion and always creates a fashion environment with the rebel and risky moods. This increases the confidence of whole of the society and states the affection towards the one in the best attitude with a confidence.

Moreover, the prices of the tickets sold ranged from $35,000 to $300,000 towards the tables at upwards. No matter what the prices are, the Met Ball is always the one of its own and proves to be the platform for everyone to find something new and strong within themselves.

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Ritika Raj,

BBA-FE(2017-20)

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JOB ROLES in FASHION INDUSTRY

The Fashion Industry has evolved significantly! Over the last 20 years, the industry has seen rapid growth, not only in terms of production, revenue and design but also in terms of the kind of career avenues that have opened up. Gone are the days when one could think of being in the Fashion Industry only as a Fashion Designer. There are countless careers in and related to the Fashion Industry today and the roles are ever-evolving.

It’s not just Glitz and Glamour, Fashion Industry is one of the most hard – working industries in the world. Living up to the constant demand and need of the changing times, it will keep you on your toes.  If you have a creative mind and you come up with interesting ideas, this industry is a great place for you. Let’s look at some of the career options one can explore in the industry.

1.      FASHION DESIGNER – Fashion Designing is an integral part of a Fashion House. Everything starts with a design. Being a Fashion Designer can be challenging but if you can live up to the constant changing dynamics of the Seasons then you should definitely explore this career. If you’re fresh out of a fashion college, consider interning at a reputed Fashion House to learn the nuances of design.

2.      STYLIST– From Editorial Styling to Celebrity Styling, the Styling Career has evolved over time. If you have a keen eye for detail, if you can communicate and understand who your client is and what they want, you should consider getting into Styling.

3.      FASHION TECHNOLOGIST – Fashion Technologists work on the creation of Fabrics. They ensure the fabric is made using the most cost effective and efficient methods. Today we see companies coming up with Sustainable and Eco Friendly Fabrics. Students with Science background can opt for this Career.

4.     FASHION E-COMMERCE – Coming from a Fashion E-commerce industry, with an experience of almost 6 years now, I can safely say that it’s one of the fastest evolving industries out there. It’s exciting and cut throat at the same time. Today almost every Brand has an e-commerce Website. There are e-business MBA programs. If you have a Fashion & Business Background, you should definitely look at starting an e-commerce website. If that’s not possible financially, you can start with selling your Designs, Merchandise on E-commerce Marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart etc. Consider interning at an E-commerce Company before starting your own to gain Business experience. 

5.      LUXURY BRAND MANAGER – Major responsibility of a Luxury Brand Manager is to cater to a Specific Clientele. Understanding Consumer Psychology plays an important role in this career. One must understand the vision of the Luxury Brand and implement Strategies accordingly.

6.     FASHION BLOGGER – From Blogging Part-time to taking up Blogging as a Career, Blogging has come a long way. The Popular Content Creators/Bloggers are now known as influencers because of their reach and the impact they have on their audience. They’re now Celebrities & Brands in their own right. One should have a voice because there’s a plethora of Bloggers out there; you don’t want to get lost.

7.     DIGITAL MEDIA SPECIALIST – With almost every individual on social media today, companies are hiring professionals to manage and create content for their social media handles. If you love creating content, you should consider this career option.

8.     FASHION SHOW PRODUCER – For a 10-15 minutes runway show, the planning and work starts almost a year in advance. A Fashion Show Producer is in charge of every aspect of a Fashion Show. The responsibilities are both creative and business. Scouting Locations, Budgeting, assisting in selecting the designers are some of the aspects. Making decisions quickly and communicating effectively are one of the most important skills for this job.

There are many other career opportunities in fashion industry which includes Fashion Illustrator, Fashion Business Management, Fashion Photography, Fashion Retailer, Trend Forecaster, Retail Buyer, Fashion Editor and many more.

Shivani Pikhan,
Founder and Director, Semessta

 

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WHO IS THE FATHER OF FASHION?

It’s Charles Frederick Worth…..A fashion designer of note, born on the 13th of October 1825, who founded a leading fashion house in the 19th century called “The House of Worth” in 1958.

Charles Fredrick Worth is considered to be the father of “Haute Couture”

He began sewing dresses to match the shawls. Initially, these were simple designs, but his skillful tailoring stood out for his clients to notice.

His Fashion Innovations……

Worth transformed the connection between a client and the couturier. Earlier there were seamstresses who would visit the client’s residence for a one-on-one discussion on the client’s design requirements; but with Worth, clients mostlyvisited his store for a consultation, which also became a get-together place for the who’s-who of the society.He was the first to use live models to show his collection to the clients.

Worth’s garments were well-known for their extravagant textiles and accessories and for including features from historical clothing. Amongst his many significantrevolutions in women’s fashion were to the lineup of dresses and their lengths.

Silhouettes….

He transformed a very popular trend…….the crinoline. By the way, a crinoline is a structured petticoat designed to hold out a woman’s skirt. Originally, crinoline was a stiff fabric made of horsehair (“crin”) and cotton or linen which was used to make underskirts and as a dress lining.

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Worth’s Innovation….

Now because crinoline was ever more huge and bulky in size, it made it hard for women to walk through doors, sit, takecare of their children and even hold hands. Charles Frederick Worth designed a new practical silhouette and thus transformed the crinoline into a narrower piece moving the largest part to the back, hence freeing up the front and sides. His new crinoline was a huge success.img2

Progressive Innovation….

In due course, Worth gave up the crinoline in all, and created a straight gown shape without a defined waistline that we now know as the princess line……”Princess line” describes a woman’s fitted dress or other garment cut in long panels without a horizontal joint or divisionat the waist. Instead of relying on darts to shape the garment, the fit is achieved with long seams and shaped pattern pieces.

FUN FACT: Alternative name for the Princess line was French-dart-line dress.img3

 

 

Shorter Hemlines…..

Worth also fashioned a shorter hemline; interestingly this was done at a suggestion of Empress Eugénie who loved long walks and hated long skirts. Thus calling it “A Walking Skirt”. This was primarily seen as very drastic, even scandalous, since it was at ankle length, but it’s practical benefits wereembraced over time.

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Gulbash Duggal, 
Associate Dean, ICF

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