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Notre Dame and the history of French fashion design

by Julie Goodwin, / Wednesday May 1st 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after the fire - Julie Goodwin Couture


In light of the recent Notre Dame tragedy, I’ve been reflecting on my design practice. Architecture and history have always inspired my designs, but in its elegant simplicity, French culture has also influenced me.

France is an epicentre of many of life’s greatest joys; fashion, food, history, art and language. There’s something effortless about Paris, it’s a feeling that can’t be described, and it’s something I haven’t felt anywhere else in the world. The wine, the cheese, the fresh white bread, the red lipstick… French culture is unto its own, and it has inspired some of the most celebrated fashion designers and artists in the world.


Woman walking in Paris - Julie Goodwin Couture Melbourne


The fashion industry can thank France for Coco Chanel. One of the most influential designers of all time, Chanel’s aesthetic is still unmissable today. Her love of suiting and her refined manner of design is something I try to emulate in my own work.

Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier, Pierre Cardin; many a modern designer has drawn inspiration from these French designers at least once. Christian Dior and his ‘new look’ were responsible for literally re-shaping fashion design, and today designers continue to reference his work.


Woman in red dress in Paris - Julie Goodwin Couture Melbourne


Some of the most iconic and well-known images in fashion history are of French culture and Parisian life, and it’s a culture that I love deeply. I appreciate the French approach to fashion design, the heritage of slow and measured haute couture, and the elevated value of clothing that has been intrinsic to generations of French designers.

Reflecting on what influences me and inspires me reminds me that while fashion is designed in the present and influenced by the past, it must also be made for a lifetime of future wear. The feeling of wearing a piece you’ve owned for twenty years is another feeling I can’t quite describe, but I can show you.

Pop into my Albert Park studio for a consultation.


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