The History of Costumes and Fashion Legends



With Halloween less than a week away, now is the perfect time to explore the fascinating and incredible history of costumes and fashion legends throughout the centuries. From ancient times to the present day, costumes and fashion have been central to culture and identity, serving as both a statement of self-expression and a source of admiration for others.

The world’s first recorded use of clothing as costume dates back to 5000BC in Egypt, where members of higher society donned elaborate headdresses and jewelry. This practice soon spread throughout Europe and Asia, where royal families wore robes to distinguish their power and wealth from the common people. In many cultures, costumes were thought to ward off evil spirits – making them integral to rituals, religious ceremonies and other forms of entertainment.

Modern fashion began around the late 1700s when the distinction between costume and clothing started to blur. French designers such as Jacques Fath and Jean Patou were two of the first to create garments that made a statement while still providing comfort. The emergence of haute couture in Paris during this time saw a surge in creativity and craftsmanship as people sought to upstage one another with stylish designer pieces. By the 20th century, this trend had gone global with Coco Chanel famously transforming the look of women’s clothing with her iconic “little black dress”.

Today there are many legendary figures who continue to be revered within the world of fashion. Among them are luminaries like Alexander McQueen, Dior’s Gianni Versace, Yves Saint Laurent and Donna Karan who have all created diverse looks that remain timelessly stylish. While some fashionistas prefer a more classic approach with elegant suits or evening gowns, others pride themselves on standing out from the crowd by wearing outrageous costumes that demand attention.

Costumes have come full circle over time, from protective armor worn in ancient times to chic design statements today. As you hunt fore those last minute Halloween outfits or simply browse for your next evening wear ensemble, remember that what you put on could be more than just clothing – it could be a profound way of communicating who you really are.

Today’s fashion trends can trace their roots back to ancient civilizations and the beginnings of wrapping, draping and sewing fabric altogether in an effort to create clothing. Not surprisingly, clothing styles varied a great deal around the world throughout history, as people explored new ways to express themselves through fashion. From breezy wonders of the Oriental tradition to the edgy looks of the Western world, inspirational fashion icons have taken many shapes and forms over time. Here is a look at some of the most influential costume and fashion legends who have defined our style concepts through ages.

Egyptian Ruler Cleopatra is believed to be one of the earliest fashion trendsetters in history. This female pharaoh was considered a beauty icon renowned for her exotic blend of Egyptian and Mediterranean styles, with signature accessories like headdresses, scarves and jewelry. Her fascination for intricate gowns and lavish fabrics had a major influence on the costuming of Egypt at the time.

In medieval times, King Charles II of England was an early champion of setting dress codes and creating style-conscious citizens. His enthusiasm for elegant attire led to changes in costume design during the period and an emergence of heightened awareness among people in terms of fashion and luxury items.

The French Revolution in 1789 is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest influences on modern fashion trends. With Marie-Antoinette as one of its key figures, France saw a remarkable shift from heavy lace-laden costumes for women to more free-flowing styles including rococo gowns complete with plunging necklines and puffy sleeves paired with high-heeled sandals. This new age look aptly showcased femininity as it became a part of mainstream culture during that period.

In the 20th century, Coco Chanel played an important role in revolutionizing women’s wardrobe yet again by liberating them from tight corsets and structured undergarments. She created a whole new movement with her loose silhouettes and simple designs featuring linear lines and soft fabrics that highlighted feminine curves without binding their bodies into uncomfortable layers of clothing.

Not all costume legacy makers were female though – Levi Strauss completely changed how men dressed by introducing ready-made jeans as workwear for cowboys in 1873. His thick canvas pants quickly evolved into what we now know as denim jeans, which are today made from cotton twill fabric but are popularly remembered for being hardy, comfortable and stylish enough for just about any occasion.

These classic examples prove that costumes have come a long way over time – from being symbols of wealth that signified social status to expressions of individuality in this day and age. No matter whether you are shopping from physical stores or online boutiques, always remember that your sense of style is inspired by those who came before us!