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Fashion Design.

Exercise 1. Practice the pronunciation of the words from the text. Write the transcriptions of the words using a dictionary.






































Exercise 2. Read and translate the text using a dictionary.

Fashion design is the applied art dedicated to the design of clothing and lifestyle accessories.

The first fashion designer who was not merely a dressmaker was Charles Frederick Worth (1826-1895). Before the former draper set up his maison couture (fashion house) in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by largely anonymous seamstresses, and high fashion descended from styles worn at royal courts. Worth’s success was such that he was able to dictate to his customers what they should wear, instead of following their lead as earlier dressmakers had done. With his unprecedented success, his customers could attach a name and a face to his designs once they learned that they were from the House of Worth, thus starting the tradition of having the designer of a house be not only the creative head but the symbol of the brand as well. Worth’s former apprentice Paul Poiret opened his own fashion house in 1904, melding the styles of Art Nouveau and aesthetic dress with Paris fashion. His early Art Deco creations signaled the demise of the corset from female fashion.

Following in Worth’s and Poiret’s footsteps were: Patou, Vionnet, Fortuny, Lanvin, Chanel, Mainbocher, Schiaparelli, Balenciaga, and Dior. Hand in hand with clothing, haute couture accessories evolved internationally with such names as Guccio Gucci, Thierry Hermès, Judith Leiber, and others.

The early twentieth century: Throughout the 1920s and ‘80s, all high fashion originated in Paris. American and British fashion magazines sent editors to the Paris fashion shows. Department stores sent buyers to the Paris shows, where they purchased garments to copy. Both made-to-measure salons and ready-to-wear departments featured the latest Paris trends, adapted to the stores’ assumptions about the lifestyles and pocket books of American customers.

Post-War fashion: The fashion houses closed during occupation of Paris during World War II, and several designers including Mainbocher permanently relocated to New York. Paris recovered its primacy in the post-war era with Dior’s New Look, but Paris was never the sole arbiter of trends again.

By the early 1960s, celebrities were becoming the new Fashion icons, even though they in turn wore designs from the couturiers of the day: influential “partnerships” of celebrity and highfashion designer included Audrey Hepburn and Givenchy, and Jackie Kennedy, Oleg Cassini.

The rise of British fashion in the mid-sixties and designers such as Mary Quant and Betsey Johnson signaled the end of French dominance. Taking their cue from street fashion, these designers catered to a younger consumer and offered retailers a new source of inspiration. Vivienne Westwood’s street- inspired styles “created” the image which is now generally considered as Punk.

Later, New York designers including Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren raised American sportswear to the level of high fashion. The trend dictation of the old couture houses was over.

Modern fashion design and designers: Modern fashion design is roughly divided into two categories, haute couture, and ready-to-wear. A designer’s haute-couture collection is meant exclusively for private customers and is custom sized, cut and sewn. To qualify as an official “haute couture” house, a designer or company must belong to the Syndical Chamber for Haute Couture, a Paris-based body of designers governed by the French Department of Industry that includes American, Italian, Japanese, and other designers as well. A haute couture house must show collections twice yearly with at least 35 separate outfits in each show. It is often shown on the catwalk and in private salons.

Ready-to-wear collections are not custom made. They are standard sized which makes them more suitable for larger productions. Ready-to-wear collections can also be divided into designers/creature collections and Confection collections. Designer/creature collections have a high quality, a superb finish and a unique cut and design. These collections are the most trendsetting compared to Haute Couture and Confection. Designer/creatures ready to wear collections contain often concept items that represent a certain philosophy or theory. These items are not so much created for sales but just to make a statement. The designer’s ready-to-wear collection is also presented on the international catwalks by people who do fashion modeling.

Confection collections are the ones we see most commonly in our shops. These collections are designed by stylists. The brands that produce these collections aim only for a mass public and are in general not searching for new grammar for the language or a new point of view on of fashion.

Although many modern fashion designers work in a “traditional” way - making clothes that are fancy and expensive, but still based on standard/traditional construction and design concepts - some designers have broken these “rules” over the years. These include some now-deceased designers such as Elsa Schiaparelli, who worked in the thirties, forties, and fifties; Japanese designers Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garcons, and Clarence Davis from the early eighties to the present; and designers from the mid-nineties onward. An example of a modern-day rule-breaker is Martin Margiela. These designers approach clothing, Fashion and lifestyle from new angles and explore also the boundaries of Fashion itself in order to create new concepts and views for fashion design. Their collections are not only restricted to garments (ready to wear as well as couture) and other fashion-related products, but also contain work in other media. The works of this breed of designers can also be placed in a certain Art movement.

Most fashion designers attend an Academy of fine arts. Fashion design courses are considered applied arts just like graphic design and interior design.

The types of fashion designer - stylist versus designer - are often confused. A stylist inspires his/her designs on existing things, trends and designers collections. A designer starts from scratch; he/she develops a unique concept and translates this into garment collections, other lifestyle related products or a statement in various other types of media. Some designers approach their work just as a fine arts painter or sculptor.

Inspiration for fashion designers comes from a wide range of things and cannot be pinpointed exactly. However, just like all artists, they tend to keep an eye on things going on world-wide to inspire themselves towards making their future clothes lines.

Most fashion designers are trained as pattern makers and modelers. A typical design team is made up of one or more: designer(s), pattern maker(s) /modeler(s), sample maker(s), buyer(s) and salesman (men). For presentations and catwalk shows the help of hair dressers, make-up artists, photographers, modeling agencies, the model and other support companies/professions is called upon.

As fashion became more and more a large business, designers also began to license products (for example, perfume and bags).

Vocabulary and Grammar Exercise

Exercise 3. Find in the text English equivalents for the Russian words:

Russian words

English equivalents

Russian words

English equivalents

дома высокой моды




дизайн одежды


угождать молодому потребителю


стиль, носимый при королевском двору


источник вдохновения


непредвиденный успех


поднять до уровня высокой моды


женская мода


коллекция предметов женского туалета


образ жизни


показывать коллекции


показы мод


прикладные искусства


лицензионная продукция


модельные агентства


восстановил свое первенство


превосходная отделка и уникальный крой


единственный арбитр тенденций


исследовать границы самой моды


влиятельные «партнерские отношения» знаменитостей и дизайнеров высокой моды


продукты, связанные с образом жизни



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