Why Do People Buy and Wear Those Things? Do You Run Away From The Runway?

The Runway. Do the clothes amuse you? Frighten you?  Bemuse you? Or do you look at the clothes that designers drape on the willowy models that prance down the runway and dream of wearing the outfits? Whichever your preference, let’s learn about why people buy and wear those things called runway fashions.

Women look at fashions and wonder what designers could be thinking about as the beautiful models strut down the runway. It’s difficult wondering how to translate what you see on the models into what you can wear realistically in today’s world. Is it really?

It’s the idea, the thought, the look of the fashion that the designer is trying to present to you, his audience. A designer must first conceive of new ideas for fashion. New ways to put style and colors together that will overwhelm the press and the market to keep his name mentioned and of interest to the public. Not an easy job in competition.

If you’ve watched the cable television program, “Project Runway“, you have an idea of how difficult the job of creating the perfect outfit is for a new designer. How many hours they work. How much labor they put into their garments. And after all of their creativity and hard work, they still must face the critical eye of the public, those that will critique their designs and wonder if anyone will purchase what they have envisioned as how a fashionable person would like to present themselves.

In today’s competitive world, you see many designers. When haute couture first appeared, there was one true house of fashion. Charles Worth created the House of Worth in the 1800’s in Paris, France.  Prior to this, fashion was dictated by royal families and those in power. It is believed that designing began in 1826.

Charles Worth began working for a firm that made textile goods and was their leading salesman. He eventually became their leading salesman. He opened a small dressmaking department for the company which was his first position as a professional dressmaker. In 1858 with a business partner he opened his own firm.

Charles Worth created fashion for women and would hold shows starting in the mid-1800’s. His dresses were beautiful and created with care by seamstresses that were highly trained. He was known for dresses that paid attention to detail, were well-fitted to the female body and created with lavish materials and trimmings. For more on Charles Worth, see :  http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/wrth/hd_wrth.htm

House Of Worth, circa late 1800's.

House Of Worth, circa late 1800's.

House Of Worth, circa late 1800's.

House Of Worth, circa late 1800's.

Looking at Worth’s dresses, it seemed so easy to choose back then. His dresses were beautiful. You simply had to choose your day dress, your afternoon  dress and your evening dress. You needed a tea gown, perhaps a masquerade gown, also. Of course, you would need your sleeping attire. Pretty simple.

Charles Worth sons went on to design for the House Of Worth and the haute couture business that their father created. Here are more designs from the early part of the 1900’s.

House Of Worth, circa early Twentieth Century.

House Of Worth, circa early Twentieth Century.

Originally, women didn’t have magazines to look at for the latest fashion designs. There weren’t picture books telling you how to dress. Originally, women looked to royalty and those in power for fashion ideas.

House Of Worth Royalty Fashions.

House Of Worth Royalty Fashions.

Sent to the Paris shows to draw the fashions of Charles Worth in the beginning of the later 1800’s, they were kept busy attempting to recreate fashion around the world. Department stores purchased his dresses and copies were made blatantly. You could look at some drawings of the artists if it was the 1800’s and choose what was to your liking.  Or, if it was a later time, such as the early 1900’s when magazines were beginning, you could actually flip the pages and see more styles.

House Of Worth circa late 1800s's.

House Of Worth, circa late 1800's drawings.

Look at today’s selections. So many designers. So many magazines. Mega information thrown at you telling you what colors are right for the season and right for you. Prices ranging from under $25.00 finds to well over $2500.00 “you must haves”. Depending on your income, and if you really want to look trendy and fashionable, it is possible to look good at a good price well within your budget.

That’s why people buy and wear those things. To look and feel good. To be in fashion. Because certain clothing makes you smile. People buy and wear those things because the runway is where it all starts. Without haute couture, we wouldn’t have any fashion statements.  All fashion ideas funnel down and through from the top from where it all begins. And where it all begins? The runway.

So if you really think about it? No one runs from the Runway. People may say that they could never wear those actual clothes that they see the willowy models wearing as they strut their famous walk in front of the paparazzi. But that’s not really true. Those clothes all make their transition into modified clothing, sleeker styles and more wearable, functional clothing by other companies.

The clothes you see on the models on the runway today filter down to the department stores eventually a year or so later to ready-to-wear clothing that has gone through the entire process where the original designer is never given due credit. His or her original design is modified, chopped and changed by other companies who don’t have the same expertise as the haute couture designers.

The clothing that filters down is still considered by some to be handled by design houses. Some clothing is considered ready-to-wear. There is an older term called bespoke. And another word used in the industry is knock-offs.

Haute couture refers to high sewing, custom-fitted clothing made with the finest materials. Charles Worth was the first designer associated with this term. These are the pieces sewn individually for each woman.

Ready-to-wear is associated with  many design houses that create haute couture. Ready-to-wear , produced more freely,  is still expensive,  is more readily available. It is not always more expensive, however. It is usually more casual clothing, also. It is generally more profitable for the design house.

Bespoke is a term used in a masculine sense, however, it can be used in a feminine sense. It simply means clothing tailored primarily for one person’s body frame specifically.

Knock-offs, more of a slang term, are simply counterfeits of original designer name clothing. They are illegal.  Made illegally with sub-standard materials, poor workmanship and sold at a very low price,  the quality is poor. They are copies of the original designers work made to look the original, however, the quality is not anywhere near the designers work and does not meet the expectations of what a consumer would want. As I said, they are illegal, and  when discovered by Federal Agencies are immediate seized as counterfeit property.

So next time you’re flipping through the televisions, catch one of the Project Runway shows. Read an article about it. See how difficult these people work to get their designs noticed. The runway isn’t really so scary after all. It’s Worth a look…




4 Responses to “Why Do People Buy and Wear Those Things? Do You Run Away From The Runway?”

  1. […] Why Do People Buy and Wear Those Things? Do You Run Away From The Runway? (sorceress2.wordpress.com) […]


    • No one is as free-thinking as they’d like to think they really are…Fashion is a merry-go-round and always has been. Designers take a little bit of this and a tad of that and call it their own. Those of us that call our style “our own” really are just putting together what others have made and not following the set patterns/colors that a fashion magazine has told us to wear for the season. That is the true fashion maven. The person to try to emulate. But can one really? Because as soon as one attempts to copy the individual, what happens? You guessed it. They’re on to something new, something they’ve discovered in the dark corners of a thrift shop or an attic. And how did they do this? By scouring and studying fashion and having the eye and the knack to turn a head. They’re a rare breed, indeed. Nice to meet you, Free-thinker!


  2. […] 4. Do real women actually like high-fashion? Can’t answer that one for everyone but I can answer it for me. I enjoy seeing the creativity of the minds of others. It’s fascinating to see what another person thinks what will look good on a woman’s body for the next season and how they influence fashion styles in the lesser markets that copy the designers. Remember how knock-offs are made? See this post about the runway: https://sorceress2.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/why-do-people-buy-and-wear-those-things-do-you-run-away-f…. […]


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    […]Why Do People Buy and Wear Those Things? Do You Run Away From The Runway? « Why Do People Buy and Wear Those Things?[…]…


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