What a Difference 100 Years Makes
Looking back over fashion trends for the past 100 years can only cause one to marvel at the drastic changes that have occurred, often in lockstep with societal changes. Women's liberation, for example, can be visually measured through the evolution from suffocating corsets to jersey fabrics to bikinis. A timeline of the past century shows how the times have changed.
During ancient times people wore limited clothing made from animal skins and grasses. Then for hundreds of years during Greek and Roman times, cloth was merely draped over the body in various ways. By the Renaissance period in the 15th century, the fashions were elaborately constructed and women wore up to five layers of clothing. However, fashion changes still occurred slowly, sometimes hundreds of years apart.
It wasn't really until the 1900's that fashion trends began to emerge more rapidly. A brief overview of these trends is outlined below: …show more content…
Think elegant bias cut gowns, worn with feather boas. Chanel introduces costume jewelry that is just as attractive as the real thing. Pleats, fur, and understated elegance replaced the exuberant styles of the Roaring Twenties. Skirts lengthened. Fashion was dominated by perfection, not creativity.
In the first part of this decade fabric was rationed due to World War II. Therefore fashions were understated, colors were dull and styles often had a military influence. However, in 1947 Christian Dior released a thoroughly feminine look called "The New Look". This was a dress with a tight bodice and extremely full skirt, sometimes requiring as much as 25 yards of fabric. Silk, which was used for parachutes, fell out of fashion grace. Most women couldn't afford hosiery, so they painted long lines down the backs of their legs with eyeliner, to mimic the look of seamed hose.