A brief history of fashion and how it influenced the current trend

Fashion has always been surfing on decades. There is not a single collection without referring to previous years. But lately, as we are all concerned about ethic and because ‘ fashion is an eternal coming back’, is great to own a vintage piece and create your own and unique style. Which decades influenced nowadays catwaIks and in what way do they influence us?

If I talk to you about the 1920’s style, does anyone knows what was the key silhouettes?A refined step to the modernity, the 1920’s fashion was finally becoming more relaxed with looser fit. We were replacing the thighs fitted corset by the loose silk or cotton camisoles. We are inspired by 'Art Deco', the geometry arrives in fashion leaving the romantic and complicated style behind us.

The first pant appears in the woman wardrobe the pyjama or tuxedos. Remember, Coco Chanel was on of the first woman who was wearing them and made them fashion. the femininity and delicacy of the woman appears in different ways, the long pearl necklace and sequins enrich the simplified fashion. We say good bye to the flowers and butterflies romantic necklace, is time to enamels flat colors jewelry and  chokers. We keep the idea of this fashion without fuss, pure volumes, we succumb to the strong graphics and contrast ubiquitous in the collections.

What about the 1940’s? Fashion during the 1940’s is punctuated by the geopolitical events of time. To understand the major trends, we must distinguish three points of reference: the war, the liberation and the beginning of Christian Dior's New Look. 

The beginning of the decade is marked by the Second World War. The Chanel and Vionnet houses are closing, although other workshops (Lucien Lelong, Elsa Schiaparelli) remain open. It is for them to preserve the French tradition of sewing under occupation. The restrictions imposed by war do not allow fashion to create new trends. 

The first ration coupons appear in 1941: they concern initially the purchase of textile products. With the occupied zone experiencing a shortage of clothing, the 1939 collections dominated the fashion of the 1940s during the war. To cope with the restrictions of war, it is fashionable to adapt oneself to one's lifestyle. The feminine silhouette of the early 1940s has broad shoulders, the woman wears shortened dresses, waist tight and belted, and balloon sleeve. Little by little, the big coats are abandoned to make room for the jacket, like men, often worn on several layers. The first wedge soles appear to lengthen the feminine silhouette. At the end of the Second World War, the fashion and textile industry is in bad shape. The French are desperate to have fun and the fashion of the 40s adapts to the current state of mind. The women return to femininity: they wear large dresses under capes, their shoulders are often naked and we see their chest through the neckline in U. Gradually, the skirts lengthen until reaching a few centimeters above the ankles.

On February 12, 1947, Tout-Paris discovers the ‘Corolle’ collection of a certain Christian Dior who has just opened his fashion house. Fashion actors of the 1940s attend a mini-revolution: the skirts are barely thirty centimeters above the ground, the size is extremely marked which puts the chest forward and the shoulders round out: it is the New look. Christian Dior creates women flowers, it meets the dreams of femininity of French women. Very quickly, Europe and America succumb to the Dior woman. While the ration tickets are still in use (they will be until 1949), Christian Dior shocks: he uses nearly 20 meters of fabric for making a dress, when before only 3 were needed. This will not stop his New Look from dominating the world and being one of the dominant trends of the next decade.

50’s fashion, what is it? After the rigor due to the war, it is the return of optimism and glamour. No more shortage, we find length for pencil lines and width for bustle skirts. we treat ourselves to look like the Hollywood pin-up and Parisian stars, makeup and hairstyles are sophisticated and impeccable.

The silhouette becomes curvy again. The size is marked and the bust is showing, thanks to the tailor Mr. Dior and the corset Marcel Rochas. We love the tapered shoes and the stiletto heel. We return to the splendour of gilded jewels and colored stones. At weekends we study his look in corsairs and flirtatious ballerinas. We are more afraid of adopting this glamorous attitude, made of peps and colorful good mood, we take the playful prints. To play the femme fatales at the Madmen, we do not suffer any more, we benefit from the new materials that make us a beautiful line while keeping our freedom of movement to trot in stilettos. Chic chic chic ...

How about the sixties look? The revolution of the Chiffon follows May '68, we finally talk to the young people. The new generation explodes at the same time as the new couturiers Pierre Cardin, Courrèges or Paco Rabanne, they change the time and looks.

We say YES to plastic and metal. Long live optical prints drawn with bubbles, peas and stripes in all widths. We see life in color like the swinging London pop stars and the yéyé stars of the Champs Élysées. T

he jeans make the first appearance, fashion has no borders. Dresses and skirts are mini and the pants evaluate to Flair pants, while the sweaters become too small. Even the shoes are reinvented in ultra-compensated perched versions while the clogs are invited in the city. We keep this desire to stay young by playing mixtures of materials and colours, with a preference for primaries. We go for the couture style but in a playful. We avoid the too perfect, eyeliner yes, but with free hair, a silk blouse, jeans, and pink shoes candy, that's the impertinence.

And what about the 1970’s? It's the decade of freedom, fluidity and demands. After the 60's that dedicated the women emancipation, the 70's give way to pacifist claims.

The 70s were really dynamic thanks to three different streams at that period. The hippies have started the trend of the long flowered skirt, the disco has democratized shirts and sequinned dresses, and the punk wave of the seventies pierced the jeans of all teenagers!

The jeans become unisex, it's a real dress code for the hippie generation! It’s 'Patte d’eph' pant, so tight to the thighs and flared from the knees, and very often customised with the help of paintings, embroidery, shells, rhinestones ... In parallel, we tear his jeans at the punks, and it is worn with Dr. Martens! 

The long skirt: part of the essential outfit of the hippies of the seventies. The skirts were fluid, with ethnic or floral prints, always in very bright colours. The total hippie look was complemented by headbands and scarves in the hair, and a hip belt at the hips.

Glitter dresses or dresses in gold and silver. These dresses are directly copied from Diana Ross and Abba's stage outfits, and worn with platform sandals for a total disco look!

So yes, vintage is one of the best way to wear and understands those different eras. Some have been a really big fashion revolution and some have been just a necessity, but all inspirational.

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cbyuwlsVJthOILoj December 02, 2019

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