This essay will discuss Fast Fashion and the Impact of Technology. I will focus on the different levels of the market, the effect of fast fashion on fashion design, how copying effects high end designer brands and the impact of technology on the fashion industry.
There are three different sectors in the fashion industry. These are Haute Couture, Prêt- à-Porter (Ready to Wear) and High Street (Mass Market.) There is a huge difference between the three sectors ranging from the cost, manufacturing, design and its customers.
1. Haute Couture
Haute couture can be referenced back as early as the 1700s. Rose Bertin, the French fashion designer to Queen Marie Antoinette, can be credited for bringing fashion and haute couture to French culture. French leadership in European fashion continued into the 18th century when influence was sourced from art, architecture, music, and fashions of the French court at Versailles were imitated across Europe. Visitors to Paris brought back clothing that was then copied by local dressmakers. Stylish women also ordered fashion dolls dressed in the latest Parisian fashion to serve as models.
As railroads and steamships made European travel easier, it was increasingly common for wealthy women to travel to Paris to shop for clothing and accessories. French fitters and dressmakers were commonly thought to be the best in Europe, and real Parisian garments were considered better than local imitations.
‘Haute Couture, or High fashion, refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted apparel. Wearing Haute Couture is a very expensive way of life, It is manufactured by using expensive, often unusual fabric and produced with extreme attention to detail and finished to spec. Considering the amount of time, money, and skill that is allotted to each completed piece, haute couture garments are also described as having no price tag - in other words, budget is not relevant. Each couture piece is not made to sell. Rather, they were designed and constructed for the runway, much like an art exhibition’ (Haute Couture News, 2011).
2. Prêt- à-Porter (Ready to Wear)
‘Due to technological advances, military uniforms were the first ready-to-wear garments to be mass-produced during the War of 1812.High-quality ready-to-wear garments for men became generally available soon thereafter, as the relatively simple, flattering cuts and muted tones of the contemporary fashion made proportionate sizing possible in mass production. As female fashion was, at the time, still highly ornate and dependent on a precise fit, ready-to-wear garments did not become widely available for women until much later’ (Hollander 1992, p27-33).
Ready-to-wear has rather different connotations in the spheres of fashion and classic clothing. In the fashion industry, designers produce ready-to-wear clothing intended to be worn without significant alteration, because clothing made to standard sizes fits most people.