The history of fashion

Often the best way to look ahead is to start by looking backward, at what it is that got us to where we are today. Since today you are looking forward at the challenge of the 80s, I would like to suggest af few minutes of looking backward at some of the peculiarities of humanity that have brought us to the 80s in the first place.

The peculiarity I find most fascinating is fashion, or the history of costume. More than 50 years ago, Anatole France said: "If I were allowed to choose from the books that will be published 100 years after my death, do you know which one I would want to read? By no means would I select a novel from that future library--I simply would take up a fashion magazine so that I could see how women dress one century after my departure. Because these rags would tell me more about future humanity than all the philosophers, novelists, prophets, and scholars!"

The way we dress goes far beyond simply covering and adorning the body. Dress determines posture and movement; it animates or slows down its wearer. It influences the way we walk, run, squat, kneel, and sit. And it reflects on our culture.

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