How Radical is Fashion Innovation?

This is what I think of innovation:  It takes creativity to have the vision of a great idea, concept, or product. It takes courage, conviction, and determination to believe in it and follow it through to full execution and exposure [this is true of all artists].

One of my favorite magazines is i-D. I recently found myself re-reading the Summer 2014 issue – insi-De the new issue – and was inspired with its editorial direction and wanted to share what inspired me and give my point of view.  “New photographers, new stylist, new writers, new ideas, new mood. There’s a lot of ‘new’ going on . . .so much so that we had to make it an issue!”, said Holly Shackleton, editor-in-chief.

These contributors and models are the “up-and-coming” voices that offer up a fresh perspective on what newness means to them in the fashion community. The quotes that follow represent the spirit and philosophy of EDGE.

Newness comes from looking internally and thinking about what would be the most fun to create. – Michael Hauptman [photographer] and Sasha Kelly [stylist]

Newness is the quality of innovation and creativeness and going beyond limitations to bring something to life. -Juliana Schurig [model]

To me newness means surprise. We live in a world where we get used to continual conformity, so it’s magical when newness happens. – Carla Ciffoni [model]

Newness is nothing but the temporary result of a series of events and innovations. A visionary is simply someone who looks a bit further than the rest of us. – Thibault [model]

The following 10 designers [the epitome of radical changes in fashion] not only transformed newness in fashion but created a singular vision, silhouette, technique or style unlike that which came before. Their looks continue to inspire and influence successive generations of designers.

Coco Chanel with model. photo Willy Rizzo,
Coco Chanel with model, 1959. photo Willy Rizzo,
  • Paul Poiret – culotte skirts;  harlem pantaloons; t-shirt dress
  • Coco Chanel – slimline shapes; corset-free frocks; LBD
  • Christian Dior – corsets and full skirts
  • Cristobel Balenciago – invented many dress shapes like the baby-doll and straight-line silhouettes
  • Yves St Laurent – the female tuxedo, today’s power suit
  • Mary Quant – mini dress – 60’s
  • Emilio Pucci – geometric prints and lightweight fabrics
  • Rosita and Ottavio Missoni – raising the profile of knitting as an elaborate art form; color, color and color
  • Vivienne Westwood – ‘mother of punk’; fashion freedom; self expression
  • Diane Von Furstenberg – the wrap dress
Furstenberg appeared on the cover of Newsweek in 1976 wearing her signature wrap dress. Photo Newsweek
Furstenberg appeared on the cover of Newsweek in 1976 wearing her signature wrap dress. Photo Newsweek

We look to today’s emerging designers, EDGE, to give us that profound newness and change in fashion.

feature photo: Portrait of Coco Chanel by Man Ray – ca. 1935 Flickr – Photo

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Rhonda P. Hill

Founder, Publishing Editor

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