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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the first A-Line collection?

    Oktober 9th, 2016

    The term ‘A-Line’ is usually used to describe a certain type of clothing, usually a dress, skirt or coat that is shaped like the capital letter ‘A’. It is narrow at the top and flares away from the hip towards the knees. Read the rest of this entry
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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the Wrap Dress?

    Mai 4th, 2016

    Fashion designer Diane von Fuerstenberg had a breakthrough for introducing the knitted jersey ‘wrap-dress’ in 1973. Its fundamental form was already deeply embedded in the American designer sportswear collection. Read the rest of this entry
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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: Raf Simons leaving Dior

    Oktober 23rd, 2015

    Breaking news: Raf Simons, the artistic director of women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessory collections of Dior, is leaving the French Fashion House. According to Dior, Simons “reached this decision for personal reasons.” His Spring/Summer 2016 collection, which was presented in Paris last month, was Raf Simon’s last for Dior. It is the end of a three-and-a-half year tenure at the French couture house. Simons’ successor has yet to be identified, but the search for a replacement has begun, according to market sources. We’ll keep you posted!

    Christian Dior, Raf Simons, Dior, Raf Simons leaving Dior, speakfashion, speak fashion, speaking fashion, Latest Fashion News, Fashion behind the Scene, Fashion backstage
    Source of the picture: BoF.com

    Related Articles:
    1_Latest Fashion News: Raf Simons takes over the reins at Dior
    2_Raf Simons in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Latest Fashion News: Simons FW 12/13 debut collection


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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the “New Look”?

    Mai 11th, 2015

    “I wanted my dresses be constructed, molded upon the curves of the feminine body, whose sweep they would stylize,” French fashion designer Christian Dior pointed out in his autobiography. Indeed, in the spring of 1947 this was Dior’s concept when he launched his incredible new women’s line collection “Corelle” which went down in fashion history as the “New Look”. Read the rest of this entry
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    Fashion History: The Fashion Revolution Era

    April 22nd, 2014

    By the 1960s, the empire of fashion had begun to break up into various style tribes. The coming of age of the postwar baby boom generation, together with a strong economy, led to the rise of an international youth culture that completely revolutionized the fashion system. “Youth quake” styles were closely linked to popular music, especially in London, where young women first started wearing miniskirts, while men dressed like peacocks. Forth fashions were soon followed by stylish versions of hippie anti-fashion. Despite the rise of influential new designer and popular trends, the time had clearly passed when a single designer could dominate the look of a season or decade the way Dior once had with the “New Look” of 1947. Italy, Japan and New York became new centers of fashion.

    Fashion History from 1960 – 1970

    Until the 1960s Paris was supposed to be the center of fashion only. Prior to the 1960s fashion designers generally created styles for runway shows and clothing manufacturers mass produced the designers’ styles for the general public. At that time the youth generation with a power and culture that was all their own, now at an age to speak out, began to rebel against traditional clothing styles and created their own fashion trends. As a matter of fact, after trying to move forward with their traditional creations,  fashion designer couldn’t keep up with their specific trends and implement the youths’ popular creations into clothing for the masses. Even indomitable and matured women adopted a girlish, hip-style with short skirts and straightened curves in the 60s. Not to mention that at the start of the decade skirts were knee-length, but steadily became shorter and shorter until the mini-skirt emerged in 1965.

    A huge variety of clothing became popular beside the short miniskirts, including bell bottoms, hot pants and blue jeans. It was no longer shocking for women to wear pants on a daily basis. The basic shape and style of the time was simple, clean cut, neat and especially young. Synthetic fabrics were very widely-used during the 1960s. The colors of the styles were both clear and bright at the same time, very much mirroring the mood of the period. Hats weren’t worn anymore, only to special occasions and flat boots also became popular with very short dresses in 1965. Later on the boots even rose up the leg and reached the knee.

    Emilio Pucci and Paco Rabanne were two very influential fashion designers in the 1960s. Emilio Pucci’s sportswear designs and prints earned him a very high reputation of the high society. His sleek shift dresses, tunics, and beachwear, created a ‘Puccimania’ that liberated the female form in the 1960s. Paco Rabanne on the other hand produced resolutely modern designs, created garments from aluminum (Rhodoid) and pieces of scrap metal. His designs, as well as being experimental, were also closely in tune with what modern adventurous young women wanted to wear. Rabanne was also the first fashion designer to use black models in the conservative world of haute couture.

    The principal change in menswear in the 1960s was in the weight of the fabric used. The choice of materials and the method of manufacture produced a suit that, because it was lighter in weight, had a totally different look, with a line that was closer to the natural shape of the body, causing men to look at their figures more critically. The spread of jeans served to accelerate a radical change in the male wardrobe. Young men grew their hair down to their collars and added a touch of color, and even floral motifs, to their shirts. The polo neck never succeeded in replacing the tie, but the adoption of the workman’s jacket in rough corduroy, and especially the Mao jacket proved to be more than simply a political statement.

    The Swinging Sixties:

    Fashion History from 1970 – 1980

    The decade began with a continuation of the hippie look of the late 1960s, with afghans, Indian scarves and floral-print tunics. Jeans remained frayed and bell-bottomed, tie dye was still popular, and the fashion for unisex was mounting then ever.

    Due to the choices for available clothing that had become very diverse, it was nearly impossible to tell the do’s and don’ts in fashion by the 1970s. The “anything goes” in terms of fashion was increasing during these two decades of rapid social revolution and holds on until nowadays, at least for the freedom of choices.

    Jeans became an accepted part of the American fashion scene in the 1970s. Heading to the more casual sportswear, the American fashion designers adapted the best of what they learned from Europe to the massive American clothing industry. Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren became widely known in America after designing clothes for the men and women of a new world. It could be said two styles dominated fashion in the U.S.A. during the 1970s – the tailored, unisex look and the fluid, unstructured style with a strong feeling of the 1930s glamor and elegance.

    Kenzo Takada and Sonia Rykiel were the most influential fashion character to that time in France. Kenzo drew his inspiration from all over the world, mixing Western and Oriental folk influences with a fantastic ‘joie de vivre’ (joy of life) and an instinctive understanding of what his young customers wanted. He literally turned the fashion world upside down with his unusual prints, fluid lines and clever combined accessories. Sonia Rykiel, the so-called queen of knits in 1974, designed her first sweaters with reversed seams. She created a whole range of clothes that were extremely individual and yet could be worn almost anywhere.

    Men’s fashion changed more in the 1970s than it had done in a whole century. The typical male look was defined by narrow shoulders, tight-fitting lines, no tie, no interfacing, zip-up boiler suits, waisted jackets or tunics, sometimes even without shirt. Fashion designer of that time adopted the unisex look and transformed it even to the work clothes, like traditional suits and changed them to a more informal style therefore. Designers also introduced a revival of the 1930s elegance in men’s wear. The unearthing of old military clothing, preferably khaki and from the United States, English-style shoes, Oxford shirts, immaculate T-shirts, tweed jackets with padded shoulders, and brightly-colored V-neck sweaters.

    A huge change in fashion was also the influential increase of Italian’s fashion. Milan confirmed its status as the second center of international fashion after Paris. Capitalizing on the dominant trend of anti-fashion, Italy offered a glamor that had nothing to do with the dictates of Parisian haute couture. While profiting from a clearly defined style, Italian fashion was luxurious and easy to wear. The two most influential Italian fashion designers of the time were Giorgio Armani and Nino Cerruti. Armani’s first women collection in 1975, was dynamic, urban, and understated, androgynous in inspiration. Nino Cerruti presented his first women collection in 1976 while he was pursuing a menswear boutique in Milan for 19 years. A high-quality designer of taste and discernment, Cerruti occupied a unique position in Italian ready-to-wear.

    Haute couture is dead, welcome to the 1970′s fashion:


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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the Pencil Skirt?

    November 14th, 2013

    French fashion designer Christian Dior first introduced the classic modern pencil skirt in the late 1940s using the term “H-Line” to describe its shape. It is in stark contrast to Dior’s full-skirted New Look in his “A-line.” Read the rest of this entry
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    Paris Haute Couture Week: Christian Dior FW 2012/13 Show

    Juli 6th, 2012

    Former creative director of Jil Sander, Raf Simons had his debut Haute Couture FW 2012/13 Show at the Hôtel Particulier in Paris a few days ago. As the new head designer of the Parisian Couture house Christian Dior, Raf Simons showed 54 amazing looks that nodded to the history of the house — cinched waists and full A-line skirts.

    That Simons debut would be a success seemed a given, but that it would be such a triumph was a thrill. The entire collection was beautiful, sophisticated, and restrained. The answer to the question “what made his couture collection look different?” gave Raf Simons himself in an interview to Style.com: “[I am trying] to change the psychology of people who are interested in couture. The way I’ve been looking at it so far is as a still image, something you look at for that moment. I think lots of people see it as a still, an image from the red carpet. I want to make it more dynamic, appeal to a person who has a different energy. A younger person, in mind, not necessarily in age. And I think couture is very much about curating something unique for women. Fashion is so mass-produced now; I hope there will come a refocus on how people see couture. And I would also hope for a new focus on the craft.”

    We couldn’t agree more. Now, dive into Raf Simons very own couture world and watch for yourself how beautiful made his first collection was.

    Related Articles:
    1_Latest Fashion News: Raf Simon new creative director at Dior
    2_Fashion History: Couture isn’t dead, is it?
    3_Fashion Shows: Dior’ s Haute Couture Show SS 2012


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    Latest Fashion News: Raf Simons takes over the reins at Christian Dior

    April 10th, 2012

    Finally, more than one year of speculation and rumor who the “next” John Galliano is going to be for the luxurious fashion house Dior, is over. Christian Dior named Raf Simons its next couturier on Monday. He’d unviel his first collection for the house during Paris Couture Week in July.

    Simons as the new artistic director of women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessory collections was working as the creative director for the German fashion house Jil Sander for 6 years before he was ousted in February and succeeded by Jil Sander herself.

    We are glad Simons is now in good hands with Christian Dior. Good luck to him and we are looking forward to seeing his first show.

    speakfashion, speak fashion, speaking fashion, Latest Fashion News, Fashion behind the Scene, Fashion backstage, Raf Simons, Christian Dior, Dior, Jil Sander
    Photo: Interviewmagazine.com

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    2_Raf Simons in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion History: The New Look Era by Christian Dior


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    Paris Haute Couture Week: Christian Dior Spring 2012 Runway Show

    Januar 24th, 2012

    The Christian Dior haute couture S/S 2012 collection designed by Bill Gaytten, John Galliano’s right hand for his entire career, had the idea to expose, like an X-ray or blueprint, the craftsmanship of the Dior ateliers.

    Showing full-skirted dresses of delicately embroidered silk organdy, a lot of black and beige and a few pieces of purple and red designs, Gaytten didn’t add something new or made constructions that looked hard and aging.

    Watch Dior’s full haute couture show below:

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion History Classics: Dior’s A-Line Invention
    2_Christian Dior in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion History Classics: Dior’s New Look Invention


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