Known for balancing modern designs with traditional elegance, Vera Wang is arguably the most prominent designer of bridal wear in America. Wang introduced her first bridal collection in 1990 after fifteen years editing at Vogue and a two designing for Ralph Lauren. After spending more than a decade dressing countless stars for weddings and red carpets in her ultra-elegant, custom-made gowns (even publishing a book in 2001, “Vera Wang on Weddings”), it was a natural progression for Wang to introduce ready-to-wear in 2004.
Rei Kawakubo went to university and studied art and literature, like a lot of bright girls do. But then she taught herself how to design, set up shop, and soon started to change the fashion world. In 1973, she created her own company, Comme des Garçons Co. Ltd in Tokyo and opened up her first boutique store in Tokyo in 1975. Starting with women’s clothes, Kawakubo added a men’s line in 1978. Comme des Garçons specializes in anti-fashion, austere, sometimes deconstructed garments.
Vivienne Westwood, the godmother of punk, is considered one of the most unconventional and outspoken fashion designers in the world. Westwood’s fashions woke to fame in the late 1970s when her early designs helped shape the look of the punk rock movement. The highly influential shop changed its name and décor with every collection, and would later be credited for setting off both the punk trend and the new romantic wave. In 1981, Westwood launched her signature collection and has since continued to shock and amuse the fashion world with her hard-core Anglomania.
Fashion collection and line both are common terms in the fashion industry. Collections are found within a line. A line may be composed of multiple collections. Every larger apparel companies often have four or five lines that are defined by gender; lifestyle or price point and each line will have a new collection produced for each season. Haute couture, ready-to-wear, menswear, womenswear and childrens wear are considered lines, the clothing shown in each of these categories during fashion runway shows for a particular season makes up the collection.
Currently the fashion industry relies more on mass market sales. The mass market caters for a wide range of customers, producing ready-to-wear garments using trends set by the famous names in fashion. They often wait around a season to make sure a style is going to catch on before producing their own versions of the original look. To save money and time, they use cheaper fabrics and simpler production techniques which can easily be done by machine. The end product can therefore be sold much more cheaply.