Versace. Armani. Karan. Just a few one-name wonders in the world of fashion design but ones that have created a multitude of fashion trends that are so iconic there is no one in the world who doesn’t recognize their work, even those who claim to not be even remotely interested in fashion.
Fashion is one of the biggest industries in the world today, not just because people need to be able to dress themselves in appropriate outfits but also because it is considered one of the backbones of our existence. Without fashion, we would have no outlet for our individuality, no way to express to the world who we are and what we are inside and out.
While both men and women benefit a lot from fashion, there is no denying that it is the female race that benefits more. If you’ve ever been to any Fashion Week or avidly follow all the Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, you’ll know why. Women just have a natural inclination towards anything fancy, frilly and pretty which is no wonder they are the best inspiration for fashion designers.
And yet, despite the fact that women wear fashion designs beautifully, their presence in the world of fashion is still distinctly lacking, particularly in the realm of fashion design which up to the present is being dominated mostly by the males. When a woman says she is working as a fashion designer, people remark that it makes sense because she loves shoes but when it’s a guy who says he’s a fashion designer, they look at him in awe and suddenly, fashion is no longer frivolous and shallow but essential and necessary. Go figure.
Well, actually don’t. The fact is, when women work in an industry that is mostly associated with them, people automatically assume you’re there for the perks and frivolities but you don’t have what it takes to understand what makes it tick with society, that women plus fashion somehow substantially lessens the brain cells. Thank God for powerful women CEOs who have proven that wielding power while clad in the latest and most fashionable power suits doesn’t mean you don’t have brains.
It is also perhaps due to the fact that men in fashion are a novelty. There was a time when men in fashion were thought of to be gay or very confident of themselves and their abilities to forego more significant job opportunities in the normal world. But if you really think about it, wasn’t it true that there was only one fashion designer who was included in Time 100: The Most Important People in the Century and that it was a female? So really, the truth is female fashion designers are the novelty and not the men.
As far as glamorizing the world of fashion goes, it was also a woman who started the concept of runway shows. Jeanne Paquin, considered one of the world’s first female couturiers, would often organize fashion parades and send outfitted models to society events like operas and races. She was also renowned for her eighteenth-century inspired pastel evening dresses which was totally unheard of at that time since evening gowns were always in dark colors to emphasize formality.