It was during this period that many design houses began to hire artists to sketch or paint designs for garments. The images alone could be presented to clients much more cheaply than by producing an actual sample garment in the workroom. If the client liked the design, they ordered it and the resulting garment made money for the house. Thus, the tradition of designers sketching out garment designs instead of presenting completed garments on models to customers began as an economy.
An explanation of the entire history of fashion would take up many pages, so in order for you to gain a basic understanding, the best way is to give a brief overview of the important figures and styles that have defined each era. In short, a bit of history with a few proper names thrown in for good measure.