Fashion is Cyclical: Looks from Fashion’s Golden Eras

In Fashion & Culture, Fashion Featuresby Otaymah Bonds

Fashion is Cyclical: What Goes Around Comes Around

Christian Dior, source: Fashion GPS

Christian Dior, source: Fashion GPS

What was worn at one period of time will inevitably be worn again in the not-so distant future.  Fashion, dress, and costume are all based on a bell-shaped curve that pointedly determines when different clothing styles will re-occur.  This bell-like pattern has three separate stages:

  1. Innovation stage-Includes the introduction of a style of dress, and its rise.   A particular style of dress is introduced to a select target market.  Only a very limited number of pieces are introduced.
  2. Culmination stage – Encompasses acceleration and mass acceptance.  The cost of the garments are lowered so that they can be purchased by the general public.  The amount of supply increases and said fashion can be seen across a wider audience.
  3. Decline stage – The fashion is losing its mass appeal and pieces are sold at discounted prices.  Demand drastically decreases and the fashion begins to become obsolete.

What’s Old is New Again

Fashion is usually an evolutionary process.  The bell like pattern lends itself to resembling waves across time spectrum and history.  Thus the process of costume lends itself to being cyclical.

Contrary to popular belief, designers do not determine what is popular. Various trends are reintroduced, at pointed moments in history, and the timing is precise according to the rigid cycle of fashion trends. The general public or customers determine the tempo and temperature of fashion.

Paul Poiret, source: Fashion GPS

Paul Poiret, source: Fashion GPS

Fashion Icons

Those who are successful at redirecting the fashion landscape are considered fashion revolutionaries, or icons.  Fashion revolutionaries are forever forged into the pages of fashion history.  There are four particular persons, and their one-of-kind fashion looks, that have been revolutionary in terms of fashion: Marie Antoinette, Paul Poiret, Coco Chanel, and Christian Dior.

This is an part one of an innovative series about fashion history.  The series will delve into how fashion is cyclical, how to change the fashion landscape,  what it means to be a fashion icon, who would be considered to be a fashion icon, and why.  The series will explore the designers Poiret, Chanel, and Dior, and discuss their important contributions to the fashion world.

 Enjoy these classic looks from fashion’s greatest icons in our slidedeck below, and stay abreast of the best fashion news by subscribing to today.

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About Otaymah Bonds

Otaymah Bonds is the Detroit Fashion Examiner for and a contributing writer for Fashion Decode. As a contributing writer for she has covered New York Fashion Week. She is CEO of Eternal Women Educational Center Inc., and La Petite Dance Company Inc.

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