Fashion Design School
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. (Foreshadowing another contemporary trend, the House of Worth remained in business long after its founder's stop in 1895, continuing until Worth's great-grandson closed the house in 1952.)
Worth's former apprentice Paul Poiret opened his own fashion house in 1904, melding the styles of Art Nouveau and aestheic dress with Paris fashion. His early Art Deco creations signalled 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.