First Fashion Publications
FIRST FASHION PUBLICATIONS
Finding out what the latest fashions were before the seventeenth century was fairly difficult. Members of royalty—kings, queens, princes, and princesses—set fashion trends, and one had to actually see noblemen or women to get an idea of new trends. Some royals sent their tailors around the country with life-size dolls dressed in the latest styles to spread news of fashion changes. Then, in 1672, the first fashion magazine began publication in France. Called Mercure Galant, the magazine began to regularly offer comment on the latest clothing styles and was read throughout Europe. The French also led the way in the creation and circulation of fashion plates, beautiful illustrations of the latest garments that guided the work of tailors. (The term "fashion plate" would later be used to describe someone who was always dressed in style.) By the end of the century, many Parisian printers began selling fashion plates, or engravings of fashionable clothes. The trend has not yet stopped, with fashion magazines, such as Elle and Vogue, selling internationally by the millions in the twenty-first century.