Fashion 1900s-2000s

Topics: Clothing, Hippie, Coco Chanel Pages: 5 (1445 words) Published: April 15, 2013
Rebecca Almonte
J.K. Offerman
FMM 114
Museum Trip Visit

The 1920s represented a time of tremendous social change, which was reflected in fashion as well.  For women, short bobs because fashionable as did shorter skirts such as pinafores that would never have been allowed in previous decades.  There was a certain androgynous look to women's fashion that borrowed from men's clothing liberally. 

Forward thinking designers like Coco Chanel and Jean Patou made sportswear fashionable as well as functional. The designs of Coco Chanel were so foreword thinking that they have resonated down through the decades even to today. 

The bob hairstyle which Chanel innovated has returned to fashion often since its 1920s premiers.  Other styles such as the small black dress, the jersey knit and a more flamboyant use of knitwear and jewelry were fashions that Chanel was able to launch in the 1920s.

1930s fashion was an era of feminine and romantic style as influenced by America’s captivation with the silver screen and the beautiful stars who wore sensual silks, luxurious lace and backless bias cut gowns.

The ’30s silhouette embraced the female form for all to see. Bias cut slip dresses and natural waistlines replaced drop waist dresses, backless gowns replaced the mini dress trend, and voluminousness adornment a la cap sleeves, ruffles and maxi lengths replaced the straight, frill-less lines of a flapper dress meant for comfortable shimmying about the dance floor.


War World II was in full effect. Wool, silk, leather, nylon, etc. were utilized for making uniforms, shoelaces, parachutes and other items needed in the war. As the time was tough, the men and women rose to the occasion and did not give up on war or fashion.

As opposed to earlier times, the focus turned to lighter cloths with the introduction of many different fabric materials. Women preferred broader shoulders. Padding for it was added in their clothing. With stockings being sparse, 1940s' fashion saw women ingeniously drawing a line at the back of their legs, to give the impression that stockings were worn.

When Paris and Milano were cut off from the rest of the world during the battles, United States fashion designers had to rely on their wits, instead of getting 'inspired' by their French and Italian counterparts, to create something out of the blue. They conjured up the sportswear that was ready to wear.

1950s' clothing for women is synonymous with feminine sensual elegance. The clothes of this period focused on imparting the hourglass silhouette to the wearer by replacing the short-skirt wide-shoulder silhouette with longer, fuller skirts, which put emphasis on the waist and soft shoulder lines.

While older women opted for the subtler Pencil Skirts, younger women often flaunted their swinging Poodle Skirts with flamboyant elegance. Utmost importance was given to acting and looking "every inch the lady", hence impeccable grooming and a well-tailored look were the most popular look.

Pleated skirts were also very popular, which gave a boost to this much-coveted neat, elegant, tailored look. The hemlines usually ended just at the knee or a little below it.

Floral prints were in vogue in the 1960s. Big and bright flowers were a common sight during this period. These were often seen on dresses and even skirts. The fashion was dominated by such dresses with daisy prints. Polka dots were also quite popular during this period.

The hippy culture strongly caught on in the 1960s as well. The hippy culture had its own way of defining their groups; one could see the youth wearing bell-bottom jeans and tie and dye prints. Color was the one factor that bound hippies together. Long skirts in contrasting colors soon became a huge hit with women. Headscarves and headbands were used to complete the look. Men and women who belonged to this hippy culture also loved wearing a whole load of jewelry. This jewelry...
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