The Wrap Dress by Diane von Furstenberg. Although designer Elsa Schiaparelli invented the wrap dress during the 1930s, Diane von Furstenberg introduced jersey wrap dresses in 1983. Although Ms. Furstenberg cannot be credited for introducing this style of the dress to the world, she is credited for introducing the knitted jersey fabric in bright bold prints synonymous with the DVF brand. www.dvf.com
The Bridal Skirt Suit by Eyola. British/Nigerian fashion label Eyola specializes in cocktail dresses and modern alternatives to traditional wedding attire. Eyola’s signature bridal wear includes coloured wedding gowns, mini‐dress wedding dresses and the traditional wedding gown with a twist, alongside Eyola’s signature bridal skirt suit. Inspired by an increase in mature brides and a growing trend in couples renewing their vows, Eyola introduced the bridal skirt suit for a memorable wedding outfit that can be worn again and again after your nuptials, whether separately or as a set. Eyola’s bridal skirt suit is reminiscent of Queen Victoria who, after her nuptials to Prince Albert in 1840, redesigned her wedding gown to wear again for a formal occasion. www.eyola.com
The Trench Coat by Burberry/Aquascutum. The history of the iconic trench coat begins at different times, depending on whether you choose Aquascutum or Burberry. If you choose Aquascutum, then the history dates back to 1853, when practical, waterproof, wool trench coats were designed for officers fighting in the Crimean war. Thomas Burberry, on the other hand, invented the cotton gabardine trench coat in 1901 specifically intended for British officers to wear over their uniforms to protect them from wet weather. www.burberry.com; www.aquascutum.com
The Little Black Dress (LBD) by Chanel. A style icon in her own right, Gabrielle Chanel invented a simple, accessible and versatile black dress intended for women of all backgrounds and suitable for almost all occasions. Vogue magazine hailed Chanel’s simple black dress as a “sort of uniform for all women” and it has indeed become a fashion staple for women. Chanel also invented the quilted handbag, another fashion staple.
The Mini Skirt by Mary Quant. The mini skirt was invented by British designer Mary Quant during the swinging sixties. Before the 1960s, short skirts were only worn by women taking part in sporting activities such as tennis, figure skating, cheerleading and dancing. The mini skirt was named after Mary Quant’s favourite car: The Mini. www.maryquant.co.uk
Draping by Vionnet. Inspired by her trip to Rome, where she studied ancient Greek art, Madeleine Vionnet adopted the process of wrapping large lengths of geometric shaped fabric (e.g. squares, circles, triangles) onto the body in the style of the Greek chiton. To achieve this, she cut the fabric diagonally across the grain (known as the bias cut) to produce an elastic drape. Her unique style characterized fashion in the 1930s, pioneering classic fashion styles and shapes such as handkerchief dresses, halter tops and cowl necks as well as “one size fits all” fashion. www.vionnet.com
Denim jeans by Levi’s. The word “denim” is named after a French town called de Nimes, while “jeans” owes its name to the French phrase “blue de genes” translated to “blue of Genoa”. Although sailors have worn jeans since the 1500s, Levis Strauss is credited to creating the modern and signature style of denim jeans. His aim was to supply miners with a durable work uniform during the gold rush boom of the 1870s. By the 1950s denim jeans saw a surge in popularity thanks to Hollywood stars wearing them on screen. www.levistrauss.com
The Pencil Skirt by Dior. French fashion designer Christian Dior first introduced the classic modern pencil skirt in the late 1940s using the term “H-Line” to describe its shape. A stark contrast to Dior’s previous invention, the full-skirted “New Look” A-Line skirt, the slim-fitting skirt is straight, narrow and sits just below the knee. After the Second World War, the pencil skirt became a staple item for women particularly for business and office attire. www.dior.com