What I’ve Learned

Creating this project I’ve learned a lot about the history surrounding simple articles of clothes I wear.
I’ve learned where the “bikini” got its name, I learned the origins of “fake” tanning and tanning, I learned about where American couture really took off, and I experienced war’s effects on countries worldwide.

There was an endless amount of material connected to the 1940’s; more than I had the time to blog about, and more that I look forward to learn. I not only learned things which I blogged about; such as the “Adefa” labels in Germany during the war, and the styles of silhouettes that were created out of fabric shortages. I also learned things that never fit into the assignment description, and were never written up. I learned about prints created in Japan, which in their design and execution, propaganda. I learned about pieces of clothing, and designs, influenced by customary dress in countries such as Germany and Italy — to influence the people of those countries to feel increased patriotism.

More than the facts absorbed from this project, I learned the greater depth fashion had. I never realized it was a reflection of its culture. I never understood how greatly fashion designs and pieces of clothing are created by the people through their actions and their lifestyles.
It was also interesting to me, to learn about clothing in the contexts given by the assignment. I was able to pick an era of time which interested me deeply, and evaluate the cultural context behind dress choices being made at that time. I was able to use the classification system that I learned in class to evaluate the dresses and silhouettes of that time, which I had never thought of past “they look pretty.” This also held true for Sheldon’s somatotypes, and examining if the dress practice was body dominate or subordinate.

I gained from this experience an appreciation for the fashion decisions that other people wear, I’ve come to view them as expressions of their own personal experiences and their own culture.
In looking at fashions world-wide I never gave thought to Siple’s concept of clothing zones, or any “constellation” of cultural traits that changes what fashions they create, or  which designers I should look to for really nice weather-proof coats and shoes.
In looking at fashion decisions of those closer to home, I never thought of what I viewed as “odd” as something that could be described as an expression of “the spirit of the times.”

It’s been a fantastic semester-long project, one that I’d happily do again… if taking this class again were a legitimate option.


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