The Top 5 Fashion Inventions

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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Sponsored by Sprint

We talk a lot about fashion classics here at Stiletto Jungle. Those indispensable items that belong in every wardrobe, and inevitably get reworked each season into new takes on the same old (yet fabulous) story. In fact, we talk about fashion classics so much that we often forget that what is now a classic was once an innovation.

When Sprint -- the first carrier to introduce 4G technology, which has revolutionized the mobile space -- asked me to write a post about fashion firsts to help commemorate the introduction of Spring 4G technology, I jumped at the chance. What a great opportunity to share with all of you some of the amazing fashion firsts that now influence nearly every amazing fashion find we talk about.

Picking the five best fashion inventions was incredibly hard. There are just so many fashion innovations to choose from, and each has such a fascinating story to tell. But, after weeks of agonizing, I narrowed it down to the five fashion innovations that continue to influence me most.

Diane von Furstenberg Wrap Dress
Diane von Furstenberg Wrap Dress

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1. The Wrap Dress
While there are many inventions that have revolutionized fashion, few have also risen to the level of creating a social movement. The wrap dress did just that. Created by Diane von Furstenberg in 1972, the wrap dress instantly became a wardrobe staple for legions of working women and came to symbolize "female power and freedom to an entire generation." The wrap dress now has a permanent home in the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

2. The Stiletto Heel
Although there is some dispute as to whether the stiletto heel was invented by Roger Vivier, Salvatore Ferragamo, or a now lesser-known shoe designer, it remains that the stiletto heel has transformed the footwear landscape and become a symbol of female power dressing. Without the stiletto heel, would we have women with hundreds of pair of shoes, half the puns in SATC, or the current Louboutin craze? I think not.

3. The Little Black Dress
No listing of the top fashion inventions would be complete without a reference to Coco Chanel, it's just a matter of picking which of her amazing contributions to highlight. The Little Black Dress made its debut as a drawing by Chanel in the May 1926 issue of Vogue magazine. Before Chanel exposed the fashion world to the LBD's simplicity and versatility, black as a clothing color had been used almost exclusively by servants and the clergy. Thanks to Coco Chanel's foresight, we now praise the Little Black Dress and proclaim anything and everything "the new black."

Sergio Rossi Peep Toe Platform Stiletto
Sergio Rossi Platform Stiletto

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4. Le Smoking
Yves Saint Laurent has contributed much to the fashion world, but if we're going to talk about fashion inventions that have really changed the status quo, we have to talk Le Smoking. YSL's androgynous tuxedo pant / smoking jacket combination for women, introduced in 1966, not only became a forefather of the minimalist clothing style that we're still loving for Fall 2010, it showed us that pants on women can be sexy. Beyond that, without Le Smoking we wouldn't have the pantsuit, which dramatically altered the balance of power when it comes to women in traditionally male professions.

5. Denim Jeans
Denim the fabric, by most accounts, has been used continuously since the 17th century. But, it took a 23-year-old Bavarian immigrant to start the denim revolution. Levi Strauss's riveted blue denim "waist overalls" became the official uniform of working-class America and went on to play an important role in the myth of the American individuality. These days, many a fashionista has a closet full of $300+ designer denim...and we owe it all to Levi Strauss and his desire to outfit the working man.

Did I miss something big? Is there a fashion innovation you feel should be in the top five? Tell me all about it in the comments!

America’s first 4G phone is also the first to deliver download speeds up to 10x faster than 3G and be a mobile hotspot for up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices. Not to mention front and rear-facing cameras and the ability to stream live video to the Web. And you get access to over 65,000 apps you’ve come to expect from an Android. So the only question is, what will you do first with EVO?

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Sprint via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sprint.