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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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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the Bikini?

    Juli 15th, 2015

    The Bikini was invented by French automobile engineer Louis Réard (1897 – 1984) and fashion designer Jacques Heim (1899 – 1967) in Paris in 1946. Réard was a car engineer but by 1946 he was running his mother’s lingerie boutique near Les Folies Bergères in Paris. Heim was a Parisian fashion designer and manufacturer of women’s furs and couture. Read the rest of this entry
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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 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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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the Blue Jeans?

    Januar 15th, 2013

    The blue jeans were invented by the Nevada tailor Jacob Davis and the German immigrant and businessman Levi Strauss in 1873. As a 24 year old, Levi Strauss came to San Francisco in 1853 to open a west coast branch of his brothers’ New York dry goods business. Read the rest of this entry
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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the Cylinder Hat?

    November 19th, 2012

    A cylinder hat, aka Top Hat, Silk Hat, Chimney Pot Hat, Stove Pipe Hat, sometimes even nicknamed as “Topper” is a tall, flat-crowned, broad-brimmed hat, predominantly worn from the latter part of the 18th to the middle of the 20th century. The first silk top hat in England is credited to George Dunnage, a hatter from Middlesex, in 1793 despite William Hogarth, the Lord Mayor of London was wearing a top hat back in 1747. Read the rest of this entry
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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the Stiletto Heel?

    März 13th, 2012

    The famous long, thin, high-heel aka stiletto heel was founded by French fashion designer Roger Vivier in 1954. The word stiletto is derived from stylus, meaning a pin or stalk and their heels may vary in length from 1 inch (2.5 centimetres) to 10 inches (25 cm) or more if a platform sole is used. Stiletto heels are also sometimes defined as having a diameter at the ground of less than half an inch (less than 1 cm).

    Originally the design of the stiletto heel came from the late Kristin S. Wagner but didn’t become known until the late 1950s. It came with the advent of technology using a supporting metal shaft or stem embedded into the heel, instead of wood or other, weaker materials that required a wide heel. Its usage in footwear first appeared in print in the New Statesman magazine in 1959. Since then the stiletto heel would become known more for their erotic nature than for their ability to make height.

    Today the stiletto heel remains one of the most essential fashion items in fashion.
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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the first Y-Line collection?

    Oktober 27th, 2011

    Christian Dior in 1954. Details are coming up soon!

    Related Articles:
    1_Definition of the Y-Line in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    2_Fashion History Classics: Who invented the A-Line?
    3_Fashion History Classics: Who invented the H-Line?


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

    Oktober 27th, 2011

    Christian Dior in 1954. More info is coming up soon!

    Related Articles:
    1_Definition of the H-Line in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    2_Fashion History Classics: Who invented the A-Line?
    3_Fashion History Classics: Who invented the Y-Line?


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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the Wrist Watch?

    September 24th, 2011

    coming up soon!
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