During the 1920s and 1930s, with the increase in popularity of Hollywood movies, screen idols became role models for the masses. Most major fashion trends not were dictated only by the highest Paris-based fashion houses. the garments and hairstyles worn by glamorous movie stars, both on and off the screen, grabbed the eye of yank and European moviegoers and launched countless fashion fads.
The influence of Hollywood on fashion began during the silent film era, which led to the late 1920s. Pola Negri (c. 1894–1987), a well-liked actress of the 1920s, purchased white satin shoes that she had dyed to match her outfits. Once this was publicized, women by the thousands followed her lead. Clara Bow (1905–1965), another silent screen star, helped to popularize bobbed hair, sailor pants, and pleated skirts. Swanson (1899–1983) made fashionable high-heeled shoes decorated with imitation pearls and rhinestones.
Hollywood costume designers played an important role in dictating fashion trends. Between 1928 and 1941, Gilbert Adrian (1903–1959) headed the costume department at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, then the foremost prestigious Hollywood movie studio. Not only did Adrian create the signature sorts of the studio’s top actresses, but he launched various fashion crazes. One was the recognition of the gingham dress, a cotton fabric dress featuring a checked or striped pattern, which he designed for Garland (1922–1969) to wear within the Wizard of Oz (1939) and for Hepburn (1907–2003) within the Philadelphia Story (1940). Another famous Hollywood designer was Hubert de Givenchy (1927–), who was a favourite of influential actress Audrey Hepburn and dressed her in such movies as Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Sabrina (1954), and Funny Face (1957).
Outfits worn in movies were quickly copied by retailers. a lady who found a dress or gown worn during a movie appealing could purchase a low-priced copy during a emporium or from a Sears catalog. Magazines published clothing patterns supported film costumes, allowing women to stitch their own Hollywood-style frocks. The era’s most favored pattern reportedly was a dress worn by Leigh (1913–1967) during a picnic scene in Gone with the Wind (1939), one among the era’s hottest and publicized movies.
Individual performers became related to clothes or hairstyles that became their trademarks. within the early 1930s sultry Harlow (1911–1937) was famed for her platinum blonde hair, which was a really light, almost-white blonde color. In fact, Platinum Blonde (1931) was the title of 1 of her early film successes. The platinum blonde effect was achieved by bleaching the hair. When Harlow ascended to stardom, women began coloring their hair so as to repeat her look. within the 1940s Veronica Lake (1919–1973), a rising star, launched a trend by wearing her hair in peek-a-boo bangs, together with her long blonde locks falling over one eye. Dorothy Lamour (1914– 1996) popularized the sarong, a one-piece, wraparound garment worn primarily as a skirt or dress, when she played the exotically beautiful title character within the Jungle Princess (1936).
If Harlow, Lake, and Lamour represented desirability , child star Black (1928—) personified sweetness and innocence. During the mid-1930s Temple enjoyed a run because the movie industry’s number-one box office star. Mothers dressed their daughters like Temple and styled their hair to repeat her trademark ringlet curls. No little girl’s toy box was complete without a Black doll, of which over six million were sold. Meanwhile, the good popularity of cowboy movies, particularly among the young, hiked the sales of western-style shirts for adults also as children.
Katharine Hepburn, Garbo (1905–1990), and Dietrich (c. 1901–1992) were strong-willed personalities, both on and off the screen. Each preferred wearing trousers at a time when females were expected to convey their womanliness by donning dresses and skirts. Hepburn’s, Garbo’s, and Dietrich’s choice of attire communicated to women that they neither would squander away their femininity nor be any less appealing to men if they chose pants over dresses.
Occasionally what stars chose to not wear had a serious impact on fashion trends. within the early 1930s men commonly wore undershirts. Then Gable (1901–1960), one among the era’s top stars and most influential male icons, appeared in It Happened One Night (1934). At one point
in the film Gable brashly removes his shirt, revealing his bare chest. He wasn’t wearing an undershirt. After the discharge of It Happened One Night, undershirt sales across the us plummeted by a reported 75 percent. Films and film stars still influence fashion trends to this day.
During war II (1939–45) fashion had taken a backseat to the war effort, and dress designers had been severely limited in what they might make as governments placed severe restrictions on the kinds and amounts of fabric designers could use. within the fifteen years that followed the top of the war, fashions within the West went through a series of sweeping changes. Women’s fashions reached levels of richness and luxury that had not been seen since the turn of the previous century. additionally , fashions across Europe and therefore the us highlighted women’s femininity and Paris, France, reclaimed its spot because the fashion capital of the planet .
In 1947 French designer Dior (1905–1957) introduced a set of women’s clothes that shattered all the wartime rules. Called the New Look , this collection was most notable for its long, billowing skirts with many pleats. one among his dresses used fifteen yards of cloth . many of us were offended by the surplus of Dior’s collection. They felt his dresses were an insult to a world economy that was still deeply troubled after the war. But Dior’s New Look soon became extremely popular. Wealthy women clamored to wear his dresses, and makers soon copied his styles, introducing a variety of clothing modeled on the New Look . For subsequent seven years, Dior’s look, including soft, rounded shoulders, a narrow waist, and accessories like gloves and umbrellas, was the only biggest influence on fashion.
Dior’s New Look was a part of a bigger return to femininity across the Western world. The war years had forced women into unusual roles. Many worked outside the house for the primary time, and therefore the clothes they wore didn’t accentuate their female forms. As men returned from the war to say jobs and begin families, women also returned to more traditional roles. During the good Depression (1929–41) and war II women’s magazines had emphasized
career advice for ladies , but following the war they focused far more on beauty and fashion. Advertising increased greatly and showed women how they might use makeup, accessories, and clothing to form themselves more appealing. All of those influences helped encourage women to settle on more feminine clothing.
The rise of ready-to-wear
Ever since the nineteenth century Paris had dominated the planet of fashion. the simplest designers lived in Paris. They introduced their styles, and people styles were loved and copied round the world. But when German conquerors took control of France during war II, the dominance of Paris was interrupted. Some French designers left their country, and designers within the us and England looked to develop fashion houses of their own. (A fashion home is the term for alittle company that designs, makes, and sells high-quality clothing and accessories. it’s usually related to one designer.) After the war the daring designs of Dior , Balenciaga (1895–1972), Hubert de Givenchy (1927–), et al. helped refocus attention on Paris, and Paris did remain a crucial center for fashion. However, the emergence within the 1950s of Italian designers like Roberto Capucci (1930–) and Simonetta Visconti, and of yank designers like Claire McCardell (1905–1958), seriously challenged French dominance of women’s clothing design.
Another major challenge to the dominance of the Paris fashion houses was the increase of the ready-to-wear clothing industry controlled by large international corporations. Before the war if an individual wanted well-made clothing that they had to possess it custom made by a tailor, and that they paid a premium price. During the war manufacturers developed skills in making clothing, especially military uniforms, that allowed them to form quality clothing to suit different sizes of individuals . As a result regular people could now afford well-made, quality clothing called ready-to-wear, because it had been purchased able to wear without need for alterations from a tailor. Ready-to-wear clothing companies sent representatives to the main fashion shows, purchased top-quality clothing, then made and marketed clothing lines supported high-fashion designs. This allowed folk to wear fashionable-looking clothes, but it certainly changed the style industry. The Paris fashion houses clothed the very wealthy, and therefore the ready-to-wear industry provided inexpensive imitations for the masses. Before too long the designers found out that there was extra money to be made selling to the masses, and that they began to develop ready-to-wear lines of their own. This was a serious change within the apparel industry from the primary half the century, and it continues to the present day.
Conformity and therefore the youth explosion
One of the drawbacks of the increase of the ready-to-wear industry was that it allowed everybody to seem an equivalent . Major retail chains like Sears and J.C. Penney sold clothes nationwide within the us , and that they didn’t make major changes in their clothing lines from year to year. Also, the trend within the us after the war was to suit in with the gang and not cause a disturbance. These trends led to real conformity within the way that Americans dressed. People didn’t want to stay out and appearance different, in order that they chose safe, conservative clothes. For businessmen this meant the grey flannel suit, the uniform of the white-collar, or business professional, worker. for ladies this meant an easy tight-waisted dirndl skirt and a sweater, or a variety of mix-and-match sportswear. This mix-and-match search for mature women was referred to as the American Look. And for school students the favored look was called the Preppy Look.
While American adults valued conformity in their clothing styles, within the mid-1950s children began to develop distinctive sorts of their own. In France within the late 1940s children calling themselves “Existentialists” wearing shabby clothing to point out their disdain for fashion. As their name implied, they existed just to exist, so clothes didn’t matter such a lot . an identical group of usa citizens called themselves beats, or beatniks. Both groups favored jeans for men and ladies , leather jackets, and therefore the color black. In England stylish youths pursued the teddy-boy look, wearing long jackets with velvet collars and other extravagant outfits. By the mid-1950s, however, youth styles had gone more mainstream. the increase of rock ‘n’ roll music encouraged youths round the world to rebel against their parents’ values, and one among the most ways they did so was through clothes. The uniform of the rebellious rocker consisted of blue jeans, a T-shirt, a leather jacket, and black boots.
The 1940s and 1950s were a desirable time for fashion. On the one hand there have been daring innovations a la mode , offered by big-name designers; on the opposite hand many of us tried to seem like everyone else by buying ready-to-wear clothes from major chains. it had been a time when even the rebels tried to seem a bit like other rebels, and tiny girls round the world took their fashion cues from a teenage fashion doll named Barbie.