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    Fashion History: The Haute Couture Era

    Mai 11th, 2017

    By the end of the 19th century the horizons of the fashion industry had generally broadened. The more mobile and independent lifestyle causes many well-off women to begin to adopt and to wear the practical clothes they demanded.

    Fashion History from 1900 – 1910

    Throughout the early 20th century Paris dictated high-end fashion. Parisian designers set the fashion tone for the rest of the Western world, and their designs were highly sought for women of the upper classes. Although the two most important fashion terms and their division haute couture and pret-a-porter wasn’t sharply defined, nevertheless both fashion magazines and department stores all over the world sent their editors and buyers to the exclusive Paris Fashion Shows to follow the newest high-end fashion trends and styles. At this time fashion style magazines started to include photographs in their article and became even more influential than in the future.

    Remarkable wastes defined the fashion of the decade. And the couturiers of that time created incredibe extravagant outfits which were meticulously made. Worn by the fashionable women of the Belle Époque the outfits highlighted the S-Bend silhouette of the full-figured body. The S-Bend corset was very tightly laced at the waist which forced the hips back and the drooping mono bosom was thrust forward in a pouter pigeon effect creating a S shape. Toward the end of the decade the fashionable silhouette gradually became somewhat more straight and slim, due to Paul Poiret’s high-waisted, shorter-skirted Directoire line of clothes. Curvy hips were also flaunted by the dress styles of the era. In the early years of the first decade, skirts were only long and full. No fashionable lady could (or would) dress or undress herself without the assistance of a third party. Unlike today, the constant radical changes of the fashion trends were still literally unthinkable. The use of different trimmings were all that distinguished the styles season after season.

    This video shows Fashion in the early 1900′s:

    Fashion History from 1910 – 1918

    From 1910 until the start of the First World War in 1914, skirts gradually grew shorter and began to reveal tantalizing glimpses of the ankle. The overall silhouette of dresses also changed slightly, moving toward a slimmer, narrower and straighter line that emphasized the hips and busts. As the war began in 1914, attention and materials were drawn away from fashion design, and no significant fashion developments occurred again until peace was declared at the end of 1918.

    The most influential fashion designers of the time were Paul Poiret, Jacques Doucet and Mariano Fortuny. Paul Poiret has evolved the first outfit which women could put on without the help of a maid. He was one of the first who translated his vogue into the fashion world with his exotic kimonos and vivid colors. While the French designer Jacques Doucet excelled in superimposing pastel colors and his elaborate gossamery dresses suggested the Impressionist shimmers of reflected light, Mariano Fortuny was a curious figure with very few parallels in any age. For his dress designs he conceived a special pleating process and new dyeing techniques. Each garment was made of the finest silk.

    Fashion History from 1918 – 1920

    World War I changed the fashion world for ever. Women chose to dress like men and borrowed their clothes from the male, corsets were refused and both bustless, waistless silhouette and the flapper style became very popular among yound women. The sporty and athletic look for both women and men were popularized equally as well.

    The menswear emphasized youthfulness and relaxation in the 1920s. Unlike before the young men were no longer afraid to show their growing mood of informality, especially not the Americans. What was very tradional in the past, wearing a special outfit for every event in the well-dressed gentleman’s day, wasn’t popular any longer. Men began to wear the same soft wool suit all day long and felt confident. Short suit jackets replaced the old long jackets of the past which were now only worn for formal occasions. Men prefered more the sport clothes, including sweaters and short pants and the London cut, with its slim lines, loose-fitting sleeves, and padded shoulders were very popular.

    At that time the couturière Coco Chanel was a major figure in fashion for her chic and progressive designs. Chanel evolved the little black dress, the Chanel-Costume and the use of jersey knit for women’s clothing.

    Watch how Fashion changed after WWI due to Coco Chanel’s influence:

    Related article: Couture isn’t dead. It’s an article about how haute couture is demand than ever after the economic crise in the 21st century.
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    Streetstyle New York: Dress of the week #8 – Denise

    Mai 1st, 2017

    Throwback Thursday

    (We met Denise in September 2010 in New York)

    Denise approaches another level of top boots. We call them “over the top boots” without being negative or sarcastic. This boots are just an amazing, artsy piece of Versace and Denise certainly knows how to combine it with a vivid red Chanel handbag and catchy Marc Jacobs glasses. We don’t know about you but in our mind Denise is just Manhattan-Style at its best.

    Related Articles:
    1_Balenciaga boots worn by Michelle, Streetstyle New York #23
    2_Versace in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Latest Fashion News: Versace for H&M


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    Fashion History: The New Look Era

    Januar 27th, 2016

    During World War II fashion responded to the restrained mood and economy of the war. Many fashion houses closed during occupation of Paris.

    Fashion History from 1940 – 1950

    During the World War II (1939 – 1945), all types of cloth were needed for a variety of wartime purposes, and material for clothing was severely rationed and limited for each year and its number decreased steadily as the war progressed. From 1940 onward, no more than thirteen feet (four meters) of cloth was permitted to be used for a coat and a little over 3 feet (1 meter) was all that allowed for a blouse. No belt could be over 1.5 inches (3 centimeters) wide. Despite this, haute couture tried to keep its flag flying. Fashions of the era emphasized shorter skirts than ever before, buttons for any type of clothes were limited to three per item, evening wear was also shortened and women were encouraged to make do with ankle socks and bare legs.

    Among young men in the War Years the zoot suit became popular. After the war, the “American Look” became very popular among men in Europe. Certain London manufacturers ushered in a revival of Edwardian elegance in men’s fashion, adopting a tight-fitting retro style that was intended to appeal to traditionalists. This look, originally aimed at the respectable young man about town, was translated into popular fashion as the “Teddy boy” style.

    By the late 1940s and early 1950s, designers were tired of the utilitarian, minimalist clothing of the wartime era. Paris fashion, which had fallen from its position as the capital of the fashion world after World War II, made a strong comeback after the war in part due to the international success of couturier Christian Dior’s first women’s collection “Corelle” which went down in fashion history as the “New Look” in February 1947. His new clothing styles which emphasized rounded shoulders, full skirts, and narrow waists was so successful that it went down in fashion history. The “New Look” became revolutionary, strongly popular and influenced fashion and other designers for many years.

    Christian Dior’s New Look from 1947:

    Fashion History from 1950 – 1960

    The 1950s were years of nuclear anxiety, economic expansion, social conservation and the rise of American popular culture. Yet even as bourgeois standards of propriety and “good taste” were expressed in fashion through girdles, hats and gloves, young people were developing fashions of their own.

    As the installation of central heating became more widespread the age of minimum-care garments began and lighter textiles and, eventually, synthetics, were introduced. A new youth style emerged in the 1950s and changed the focus of fashion forever. During the same period of the time, in men’s fashion ‘plaid’ was very common, both for shirts and suits, which was often viewed as a symbol of rebellion and banned in schools.

    Three of the most prominent of the Parisian couturiers in the 1950s were Cristobal Balenciaga, Hubert de Givenchy, and Pierre Balmain. Balenciaga is well known as one of the few couturiers in fashion history who could use their own hands to design, cut, and sew the models which symbolized the height of his artistry. In 1951, he totally transformed the silhouette, broadening the shoulders and removing the waist. Followed by the tunic dress which he designed in 1955 and which later developed into the chemise dress of 1957. The French designer Givenchy created a sensation with his separates, which could be mixed and matched at will. His first couture house was opened in 1952. Balmain liked to dress up sophisticated women luxurious elegance, simple tailoring, and a more natural look. His clientele was typified by the tailored glamor of the “New Look”, with its ample bust, narrow waist, and full skirts. Along with his haute couture work, the talented businessman pioneered a ready-to-wear range called Florilege and also launched a number of highly successful perfumes.

    In 1954, after closing different boutiques in the war years, Coco Chanel’s strong comeback went in history. She detested the “New Look” to the fashion world and presented a collection which contained a whole range of ideas that would be adopted and copied by women all over the world: her famous little braided suit with gold chains, shiny costume jewelry, silk blouses in colors that matched the suit linings, sleek tweeds, monogrammed buttons, flat black silk bows, boaters, quilted bags on chains, and evening dresses and furs that were marvels of simplicity.

    By the end of the decade off-the-peg clothing had become much more popular than in the past. It was literally the start-shot for the general public to access the fashionable styles for affordable prices.

    See some beautiful designs of the most influental fashion designers of the 1950′s:


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    Latest Fashion News: 12 Fashion Designer who changed fashion forever

    September 2nd, 2015

    Today, I’d like to introduce you to 12 most influential fashion designers you should know about.

    Coco ChanelElsa SchiaparelliJeanne LanvinMadeleine ChéruitJeanne PaquinMadeleine VionnetMadame GrésValentinaClaire MccardellBonnie CashinMary QuantKatharine Hamnett


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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the Chanel Costume?

    März 4th, 2015

    The great couturière Coco Chanel was a major figure in fashion history during the 20th century, as much for her magnetic personality as for her chic and progressive designs. Read the rest of this entry
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    Latest Fashion News: Coco Chanel’s Birthday

    August 19th, 2014

    In honor of her birthday today, we’d like to remind you what a great style icon Coco Chanel was.

    The French fashion couturier, Gabrielle Bonheur ‘Coco’ Chanel, lived from August 19th 1883 to January 10th 1971. Coco Chanel made history as the most risk taking designer of her time. With her futuristic philosophy of combining menswear items with chic and sophisticated women’s fashion, she became one of the most iconic fashion figures of all times. Chanel, who established her namesake brand in 1909 in Paris, has been credited with liberating the conservative women’s fashion post World War I. Throughout her life, Chanel’s sense of good taste and visionary entrepreneurship helped to grow the brand to one of the biggest and most influential fashion houses up to this day. By now, Chanel sells everything fashion related from handbags to accessories and fragrances. Chanel’s perfume creation ‘Chanel No. 5′ remains one of the most iconic fragrances ever made. The brand, still headquartered in Paris, sells its products in more than 300 locations around the world. At present, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is acting as Chanel’s Creative Director.

    Our favorite quote of hers: “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” – Coco Chanel

    Coco Chanel, speakfashion, speak fashion, speaking fashion, Latest Fashion News, Fashion behind the Scene, Fashion backstage, Coco Chanel birthday
    Source of picture: www.westendfashion.net

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion History Classics: Invention of Chanel Costume
    2_Coco Chanel in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion History Classics: Invention of the LBD


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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the Little Black Dress (LBD)?

    August 13th, 2014

    Coco Chanel was a style icon and trendsetter in the 20th century. In 1926 she invented the ‘little black dress‘ aka LBD. A convenient evening dress for women, which could be easily dressed up with certain accessories for more fancy occasions. Read the rest of this entry
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    Latest Fashion News: The Return by Karl Lagerfeld

    Dezember 13th, 2013

    “I don’t talk about fashion, I talk about style, about my style.” – Coco Chanel.

    “The Return” by Karl Lagerfeld is a great little movie about Coco Chanel, played by Geraldine Chaplin, who began her incredible return to the center stage in 1953. Watch the 24 min-long film and get inspired by Chanel’s fighting spirit to succeed.

    The Return by Karl Lagerfeld

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion History Classics: Invention of the Chanel Costume
    2_Karl Lagerfeld in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion History Classics: Invention of the LBD


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    Chanel

    Juni 16th, 2013

    Chanel is the namesake brand of french fashion designer Coco Chanel which she established in 1909 in Paris, France. Today, the brand is recognized as one of the biggest and most influental fashion houses around the globe. Chanel sells its products in more than 300 locations all over the world and carries everything fashion related from handbags to accessories and fragrances. After more than a hundred years of existence, the brand is still headquartered in Paris. At present, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is acting as Chanel’s Creative Director.
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    Coco Chanel

    Juni 14th, 2013

    Gabrielle Bonheur ‘Coco’ Chanel, French fashion designer, lived from 1883 to 1971. Coco Chanel made history as the most risk taking designer of her time. With her futuristic philosophy of combining menswear items with chic and sophisticated women’s fashion, she became one of the most iconic fashion figures of all times. Chanel, who established her namesake brand in 1909 in Paris, has been credited with liberating the conservative women’s fashion post World War I. Throughout her life, Chanel’s sense of good taste and visionary entrepreneurship helped to grow the brand to one of the biggest and most influential fashion houses up to this day. By now, Chanel sells everything fashion related from handbags to accessories and fragrances. Chanel’s perfume creation ‘Chanel No. 5′ remains one of the most iconic fragrances ever made. The brand, still headquartered in Paris, sells its products in more than 300 locations around the world. At present, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is acting as Chanel’s Creative Director.
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