20th Century Fashion History: 1960-1970

The 1960s often feels like a counterpart to what the 1920s were to the first 20 years of the 20th century. Corsets, body defying clothes and heavy fabrics were changed in favor of simple silhouettes, functional clothes and a fashion that eased the position of women. The past sentence is as applicable for the 1920s as it is for the 1960s. 40 years later and the liberation of women through clothes happened – again. Here’s the fashion history: 1960-1970.

20th century fashion history 1960-1970 | The Fashion Folks

The Society during 1960 – 1970

In a lot of ways, the society of the 1960s continued on the same path of the 1950s. The technology kept on improving, so did the Civil Rights Movement and the life of adults and teenagers became more distinct. The 1960s were in many ways a decade of fear of WWIII but also 10 years of growing culture and major improvements for mankind. The obsession with space influenced the fashion heavily. So did also London, the music scene and icons such as Twiggy, Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin.

As the decade moved along, the focus on war would shift to politics in matter of equality as well as the environment. The hippie movement would emerged from the 1960s with the music festival in Woodstock 69’ being a major influence. 

Style of the 1960 – 1970

If there’s only one thing to thank the 1960s for – it’s the length of the skirts and dresses. Never in history had the length of women’s skirts been shorter. Women were not only allowed to show their calves but also their thighs during the decade. The miniskirt would be an important style feature for women’s liberalisation as they could move freely in the clothing piece and also show skin without being sexualized. The short length, in combination with the 20th century fashion history 1960-1970 | The Fashion Folksvibrant prints and colors, created a youthful and optimistic style vibe. The short skirts, tight tops and makeup of Twiggy was mainly a style for the young adults and the liberated fashion would indicate of the more progressive views of the new generation. Twiggy in specific would be a leading style icon as she embraced a boyish silhouette which contrasted the heavy curves of the 1950s. Some people blame the skinny ideal of the 1960s for starting “the skinny model” debate.

As for the adults, the style remained quite ladylike with sets of pencil skirts and blazers being a look for the office. The silhouette shifted from A-line to body defined with a small belt marking the waist. The colors and prints differed somewhat depending on what style you embraced. The ladylike office style (think Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn, Mad Men) was kind of colorful but remained refined in the style and heavily elegant. The youthful A-line style was both colorful and energetic with a lot of vibrant prints being 20th century fashion history 1960-1970 | The Fashion Folksmatched. This style was connected to Carnaby Street and London, which put London in center as the fashion capital. It was all about the Mod style.

Another fashion that was embraced was the one of the Space Age. The clothes were minimalistic, functional and were often white or silver metallic. The fashion, led by André Courrèges, was inspired by space and looked quite futuristic and emotionless. 

The clothes between 1960 – 1970

Which designer that should have the cred for the invention of the miniskirt? Some say it’s Mary Quant and others that its André Courrèges: I say it’s both. Nevertheless would the clothing piece be an important symbol for feminism and women’s rights with its short length and liberal style. The skirt would be embraced by Twiggy and become a popular go-to piece for teenagers. Another important piece, the shift dress, would grow into becoming a defining piece of the decade. No wonder as they were comfortable, existed in different colors and prints, and left room for food babies!

The miniskirts were worn with sweaters, cardigans or matching tops. Especially the long sleeved sweaters (sometimes with a turtleneck) would be a popular piece to wear under dresses and cardigans. Often in a contrasting 20th century fashion history 1960-1970 | The Fashion Folkscolor or print of the dress. The prints were often stripes, floral, geometric or optic print. Black and white became a popular color combination to work in prints and worked excellently with the bright orange, pink and pea green shades that were trending.

As for the lady style, Chanel influenced the fashion. Her tweed jackets and matching skirts would define the decade and were loved by the ultimate style icon, Jackie O. The lady style mainly consisted of knee long dresses and coats that often were matching. The details were often buttons and the main focus remained on the shape of the coats. The coats were a brilliant extension of the early coats of the 1950s (last pic in this post). They were one of the most important pieces of the decade and worked for both the youths and adults. Also sweet pastels and bright colors (see left) were popular.

Beauty between 1960 – 1970

The beauty of the 1960s is still beloved today. The decade was kind of the first decade where people experimented with makeup, but still kept it wearable. Even though the makeup of the 18th century was more extravagant, it’s not something we can relate to today. However, the 1960s makeup is relatable in terms of heavy eyeliner, big lashes and a 20th century fashion history 1960-1970 | The Fashion Folksplay of bright eyeshadows and lines. Twiggy’s iconic makeup look was leading with the doe eyes and heavy eyemakeup. The lips were often peachy in the shade and white, bright blue and other pastels were popular as eyeshadows. Heavy lashes and eyeliner(s) remained in focus though.

As for the hair, well, similar to the 1920s when women cut the hair short: some women embraced a pixie cut during this decade (like Twiggy, again). The pixie cut worked well with the masculine ideal that grew popular (sans curves, straight silhouette etc). If you didn’t work the pixie style, your hair should only have one focus: be voluminous. Brigitte Bardot was leading in this hairdo with her iconic beauty look (see slideshow below). The fringe would be framing the face while the rest of the hair would be voluminous and bun-shaped. The name of a popular hairstyle? Bouffant. Another popular hairstyle? Beehive. We obviously need these names back in style (hairstyles too, lol).

Spotlight of 1960 – 1970: YSL

As talked about in last week’s 1950s post, YSL would define this decade through his powerful position in the fashion world. When he had conquered and convinced the fashion people with his designs at Dior, he moved on to have his own brand. Through his own-named label he would create iconic looks such as The Mondrian Dress (see left) and Le Smoking (a female version of a tuxedo). YSL kept on playing with the classic definition of womenswear and menswear by exceeding the previous lines. He gave women a simple silhouette, translated men’s clothes to women’s bodies and would continue on to set the tone for the decade. He mixed elegance with energy and wearability.

Transition to the 1970s

The later years of the 1960s would raise awareness of the gender gaps and injustice of the world. This would reflect the clothes as women’s fashion and men’s fashion would grow closer than before (naah, they were pretty similar during the 17th century tbh). But a unisex fashion would emerge, where women and men would wear the same, if not similar clothes. Both regarding style, colors and prints. The overall would be an important piece and the fashion of the bohemians was more or less same for women and men. As the 1970s arrived, the fashion had gone from strict, geometric and straight silhouettes to flowy fabrics, flower power, and a reflection of nature and earth. Pucci was an important designer for the transition, so was also YSL, Mary Quant and Guy Laroche.

And that’s a wrap on the fashion history: 1960-1970. Next week I’ll go powerful as in flower power, more unisex fashion and a mix of nature and disco! Oh btw, if anyone is wondering (giving the image below), I’m still madly obsessed with the coats of the late 1950s and 1960s. Like hello, give me them puhlease.

20th century fashion history 1960-1970 | The Fashion Folks

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Highlights From The Fashion Weeks 2017

Folks! I think it’s time to slowly begin to wrap up the fashion weeks and I do only have a few posts left. I thought it would be about time to pin down some highlights from the fashion weeks 2017.  Looks that were genius in one way or another and deserves a(nother) round of applause. I’ve talked about some before and others are new! And yes, I’d like to apologize in advance for being a hypocrite on this. The past weeks I’ve been praising all the popping colors and prints we’ll see this fall and my highlights includes….zero? Ouch. Sorry about that!

Co

I do very much indeed realize that the cape has no opening for the arms and it makes it highly impractical, but who cares? It’s gorgeous. (If you can find the opening for the arms though, please let me know). I’ve always thought that capes are on the balance of fashion drama and elegance, so a cape for fall is kind of a go! That exact length and camel shade, are both trendy features. The statement button might not have been my first choice, but a nice detail that adds to the excitement. The boots (let’s hope it’s fake) are a fashionable touch and underlines the camel color. I was about to praise the subtle pocket, but as I look at it again, I’m not even sure what it is. The opening for the arm? Lol, folks, whatever this look is: I love it. It looks like an everyday cape for a fashion hero, or something. See full collection here.

Highlights From The Fashion Weeks 2017 - Co

Courtsey of Co

Calvin Klein

The most celebrated look from Raf Simons’ first collection for Calvin Klein is this yellow one with the plastic cover. I’m not too hooked up on that look, but more in love with this all denim look. It’s definitely a nod to denim’s brilliance, but its also a nod to the American fashion heritage. The look ticks off the classical features of an outfit that would be considered as lack of style, but does it with a refined and more sophisticated touch. It’s denim on denim, which to many is either a hit or miss. Above that, it’s paired with a white turtleneck, that looks more uncomfortable than good, and also paired with clumsy shoes that are quite ugly. But. it. still. works. I’m not completely sure what it is, but the exact shade of denim being matches and the simple lines of the jacket are all so good. I love the pointy collar and the pockets too. Well, it shouldn’t work, but it does! See full collection here.

Alberta Ferretti

I know, I know. I’ve already dissected this look to its seams, but can we just embrace it one time more? Because yes, it is that good and I’m far from being over it. First of all, the color choice of navy and white is a perfect classical combination. Secondly, the choice of doing the stripes natural and like brush strokes adds a nice contrast to the preppy feeling. The flow of the dress and the shorter jacket creates a nice balance in the silhouette. That exact choice of hat is not only unusual but feels like an hat for strolls in the city on any given day? Why this looks excels to me is that it presents an idea beyond the material of clothes. Like Paris or Venice. So yes, hands down to this look one more time. See full collection here.

Marchesa

I feel like I have to throw in at least one look that embodies glam as we want it: with fringe, embellishment and a touch of the 20s. And where else to turn if not to Marchesa and their precise feeling for red carpet glam? This blood red dress is a gorgeous creation with the layering of fringe and embellishment. The placement of the two sculptures the dress and frames the body perfectly. The center part is done gorgeously not to mention the effect the long fringe creates. Dramatic, a bit smokey and a modern feeling of the 20s with the length, the features and the neat styling. See full collection here.

 

Carolina Herrera

Okay fine, this look is not genius. It’s quite plain and perhaps a bit too conservative to feel contemporary and upbeat. By its first impression: it lacks energy, excitement or a fun statement to keep the interest going. But but but, take another look at that collar. Yes, that’s damn right. That collar is a work of art. It’s quite simple with its simple lines and all white shade, but the work of layers balanced with the small bow is so good. The collar extends to a statement of shoulder which is a nice, if yet subtle, touch. The three layers of fabric are not only something else but also a nice demonstration of how simple details can take a look far. Cute and delicate might not be your cup of tea, but that collar surely should be everyone’s. See full collection here.

Balenciaga

I talked about this look only a week ago but my crush remains. This contemporary 1980s festive evening gown is fashion geniusness. The petite top of the dress is a perfect contrast to the heavy bow as well as the fall of the lower part. The fabric looks luxurious as few and embodies simple elegance. This dress is a great example of doing a subtle statement: it’s highly visible but not tooo attention-seeking (making sense here). The bow adds a fun twist, but the rest of the dress’ simplicity still keeps it in the safe zone. A lot of us, if not all of us, would choose another pair of shoes – but hey – it’s a fun twist to say at least. On another note: How heavy is that bow? See full collection here. 

Folks! Which one is your favorite look, if it’s even one of these? Leave a comment below and have a darling weekend! Xx

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20th Century Fashion History: 1950-1960

I don’t get to use the term swinging 60s until next week really, but I’m pretty sure the swinging life started in the 1950s. Youth culture, housewives, Hollywood icons and a fashion balancing between elegance and energy. Here’s the fashion history: 1950-1960:

20th century fashion history 1950-1960

 

The Society during 1950-1960

I often think of the 1950s as a doll house. Where the focus is centered to having the perfect home and a happy family. Where the interior is matching the clothes of the family, the furnitures of the house are all the latest trends and the surface is polished to perfection. You know?

The 1950s were a decade of youths against adults.The growing youth culture would become the first distinct decade where teenagers differed from their parents in the way they dressed but also lived. During the 1950s the teenage culture would be inspired by Hollywood stars and their work: music or movies. School cliques as in gresaers, jocks and preppy are strongly associated with the decade. Including teenage things like high school prom, drive in restaurants and the American high school dream. (Think Grease).

The decade would also be a development for technology, iconify the idea of a housewife and embed every person’s (man’s) possibility to self-actualization. The car industry bloomed and technology peaked with television for the home. Even though the 1950s, with a retroperspective, feels like quite the youthful and joyful decade – the years were defined by the Cold War as well as reconstruction after WWII and also the Civil Rights Movements. Topics that contrasted the handbooks in how to be a perfect housewife (yup, those existed).

Style of the 1950-1960

The differing of youths and adults would reflect in how people dresses. The core would be the same however, but with youths going for simpler details and more functioanl. The so called greasers would approach a more edgy style with denim, leather jackets and – of course – greasy hair. Style icons were Elvis Presley and James Dean. The people that still kept it more or less conservative 20th century fashion history 1950-1960would have Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn as style icons. If one went for a more pinup style, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor would be more defining.

The hourglass silhouette was defined by Dior and The New Look. The bust was pointy, the waist tiny and the hips large. This was often enhanced with a corset or clothes that defined and hid the body in the right places. The illusion of  large hips was, of course, helped by the voluminous skirts and dresses that gave the effect of an even thinner waist. This iconic and lively look of the 1950s has it similarities to the mid part of the 19th century, where women looked like porcelain dolls. The latter is partly relating to the women of the 1950s where they looked polished and perfected. – just like how their homes should be. A matching doll house that is.

Parallelly to the feminine style, a more boyish look was developed with Audrey Hepburn being a popular icon. The look mainly consisted of cigarette/capri pants with a neat jumper and a pair of flats. Functional and minimalistic.20th century fashion history 1950-1960

The color scale for women was bright, sweet and sugary. Pastels in all shades possible, a lot of gingham and floral patterns. Pearls for the neck, gloves for the hands and scarves for the hair. Denim became an everyday item and red was a common statement for makeup as well as clothes (especially for the pinups). For the boyish look, the colors were similar to men’s with brown, camel, grey and black.

The clothes between 1950-1960

Several looks of the 1950s remains characteristic to this day. The tight cigarette pants paired with a sleeveless blouse is one iconic outfit. The twin sets with same colored top and cardigan (often with a pearl necklace) would be a popular go to (see below by Beauty). The skirts were fluffy and matched with a blouse or 20th century fashion history 1950-1960jumper. The collars and necklines of the blouses and dresses were a cute detail (see here). Bows were a popular choice of detail, often added to necklines.

Sunnies were an accessory that grew in popularity, often with pointy frames and matching to the rest of the outfit. The skirt length was right below the knee which was a favorable length for the effect of the skirt. The jackets and coats of the 1950s were important to the fashion, an importance that remains today. Or how about leather jackets and college jackets? The coats of the decade are insanely pretty with sack coats (with a silhouette like an oval shape). Even more popular were the sack dresses by Hubert de Givenchy that became more popular towards the end of the decade.

Beauty between 1950-1960

The beauty of the 1950s is more or less a more natural version of the 1940s beauty. The eyebrows were naturally thick with an arch in the center. The winged eyeliner got its full love in the decade, often done with the classic red lip. Eyeshadow could be white or bright blue.  I often think of apples (lol) whenever I see a makeup look from the 1950s. The skin is porcelain, the cheeks perfectly blushy, the lips are the 20th century fashion history 1950-1960perfect shade of red and the overall makeup look is polished to its core. 

The hair was wavy and curly, often framing the face hanging down from the sides. Another hair look was curly with the curls brushed away from the face, giving the face its full spotlight and an ladylike appearance. Ribbons were also popular to tie ponytails and braids.

Spotlight of 1950-1960: Givenchy

Even though the queen of fashion, Mademoiselle Chanel, made her big comeback during this decade (she despised Dior’s silhouette and clothes that stopped women from mobility and a functional life), this decade belongs to Hubert de Givenchy. The french designer got his big breakthrough during the 1950s with his new silhouettes, design and simplified glamour. He launched the sack dress, which was a major success, and stood behind several of Audrey Hepburn’s most iconic looks (Roman Holiday, Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the 60s). The two of them were close friends and Hepburn was his muse. Givenchy’s style was simple but glamorous with a focus on the fabric/silhouette rather than details, which was a nice contrast to the current trends.

Transition to 1960s

The years after the mid 1950s, fashion began to go more functional. Chanel was back in fashion and embraced a more straight silhouette. So did Pierre Cardin (as seen below, just look at the coats – hello gorgeous!). Christian Dior passed away in 1957 and his successor, YSL, launched the trapeze silhouette (A-line) in 1958 with his Trapeze Line for Dior. The A-silhouette would define and enable a lot of the fashion in the 1960s, from the mini skirts to the iconic shift dresses. The fashion of the late 50s went more simplified and functional but still kept the core of fun colors and patterns. The latter would be intensified and underlined in the 1960s – and with its full force be a part of the swinging 60s.

And that’s a wrap on the fashion history: 1950-1960. Next week will be about London, the final liberalisation for womenswear and space!

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Summary of Paris Fashion Week Fall 2017

Some people call Paris the capital of love, I don’t know about that, but I do know that the city constantly cements its position as the fashion capital of the world. The last week of fashion month delivered a good mix of French style, refined classicism as well as trendy looks going youthful. Here’s the summary of Paris Fashion Week Fall 2017!

Paris Fashion Week Fall 2017 | The Fashion Folks

(Pic 1.0 CC0)

Notable Shows

Chloé Fall 2017

There were two shows in specific I pointed out as extra interesting this fashion month. One of them is Chloé, with this being Claire Waight Keller’s last collection for the brand after 6 years.  Waight Keller has always kept her design for Chloé a bit retro, a bit feminine and practical. Her last collection might  not have been the best one, but a worthy adieu to an extraordinary run. It was a bit 60s, some 70s, it was floral, yellow and brown in combination, cute collars and looks that felt very Parisian. This cape also existed and if you ask me, it’s pure geniusness and a piece that would justify life, you know. Mercí Claire! See full collection here.

Givenchy Fall 2017

The other one of the two anticipated shoes is Givenchy. It’s the first collection without Riccardo Tisci and a collection of the Givenchy Studio (a successor has yet to be announced). The collection consist of earlier looks from Givenchy with one twist: everything is in red. It’s the iconic Bambi sweater, but in red. It’s the mermaid look (at least that’s what I call it), but in red. And so it goes. The looks are some of the best from the Givenchy’s catalogue and the color red might not make all the outfits justice, but a fun touch nevertheless. This is by all means not a hint of the direction Givenchy is heading towards, but more of a pause and summary of the work so far. See full collection here.

Trends Fall 2017

The trends from Paris are all, not so surprisingly, kind of vintage. We have the space vibe from Chanel, the lady life from the bigger fashion houses and a good dose of the 1980s. The eyes are bronzy and the lips are mahogany (very fancy stuff). It’s a fall for blazers, tweed and dark shades of jewel tones!

Fashion Trends Fall 2017

Space – I rarely speak of Chanel, if not in terms of the brand’s historical impact, as Chanel is a modern reflection of a chocolate box (with the descriptive pictures) – you always know what you’ll get. This year the theme was space and 60s in one good mix. Still very lady, very Chanel and look after look that goes into one another. Anyways, let’s go space with boots, glitter and shades of metallic, I’m here for it! See collection here.

Lady – Leave it to Paris to go full lady style for fall 2017. Or kind of lady meeting the 1980s but also lady style as in houndstooth, tweed, blazers and blouses. The only thing missing is a dog, a pair of red gloves and red lipstick. Chanel, of course, took it to the lady life. So did Stella McCartney, Louis Vuitton, Dior and Giambattista Valli. Ladylike for life? Perhaps.

1980s – If there’s only one trend you should know about this spring and upcoming fall, it’s the 1980s (cause I talk about it in every other post). The oversized clothes, the pastel shades and the power suits are everywhere this year. Balenciaga presented a gorgeous dress with a 1980s feeling. Stella McCartney also embraced the decade with oversized blazers and silhouettes. Isabel Marant touched the decade too, with layers, belts and shoulders in focus.

Beauty Trends Fall 2017

Bronzy eyes – Acne took it smokey with bronzy shades for fall. One or two shades of bronze and frame the eyes accordingly. Easy and so good! Also a great match with the darker colors of fall. Both jewel tones, but also the rusty shades! See close-up here.

Mahogany lips – I feel like I’m being very opinionated in this post, but I’m not the biggest fan of celebrity collections in fashion. However, Fenty x Puma hits some high scores every now and then. As for fall, doing a Mahogany shade for the lips is a homerun! Play with the depth of the color with more red or brown in the lipstick to find your precise shade. And yes, kind of chic with the sporty fashion. See below.

@joansmalls is hot hot hot at Rihanna's #FENTYXPUMA show in Paris #pfw

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Designer Spotlight: Giambattista Valli Fall 2017

Ironically enough, Givenchy didn’t give us the dark design aesthetic that Tisci often did, but – so did Giambattista Valli. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought of this collection as Givenchy but more romanticized. Well well, a lovely collection nevertheless with quite a high level. A lot of floral, lace, ruffles, bows and classic shades of red, white and black. This look is one of the best from all the fashion weeks. This look might not be something new, but is done so well. I like the flamenco vibes as in this look and this one. Not too keen on this jacket, nor this look. But that are kind of the two distinct low points too. Valli might be trying new styles for his brand, but he is still playing rather safe with it. Nothing too unusal or innovative, but in line with looks that are likeable. It works of course, but it might not capture the fashion heart fully. See full collection here and more looks below!

 

Some thoughts

  • I have all the respect in the world for Elie Saab and his team. They’ve managed to win the hearts of millions of people around the globe, with different style preferences, in only a few years time. But c’mon, the runway’s design was a disaster. It looked like the models were a part of the interior as they blended in too well with the floor, the colors, the front row people and the light reflections. Only I that felt this way? Stunning collection though, if I only could see it better, lol. See collection here.
  • Dior is continuing the line of a young Parisian woman in the 90s. This is kind of good though, as the brand need to approach the younger generation too (even though we definitely can’t afford it, lol). Love the inspiration anyways. See collection here.
  • Except the Hermès bags, Hermès is not as famous for their clothes. But I liked them this season, kind of a Paris version of Burberry. Great play of colors, silhouettes and details. See collection here.
  • Even though this is the last summary of the fashion weeks, there are still posts left centering the weeks. So hopefully, you’re not too tired of them, if not, I’ll make sure that you are in a few weeks time, lol!

Folks! That’s a wrap of Paris Fashion Week Fall 2017! Favorite looks, shows, hits or miss? Leave a comment! Xx

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20th Century fashion history: 1940 – 1950

The 1940s are a decade of fashion lows and highs. From the product ransons of the war to the revival of couture – the decade surely lived through its changes. The 1940s fashion began in a world of crisis and ended with the new bloom of fashion. From fabric ransons to Dior’s 15 layers of underskirts: This is fashion history: 1940 – 1950!

The Society during 1940-1950

The 1940s began with WWII dominating (obviously) the world situation. People had to adopt their life after the current situation with ransons of food, fabric and luxury products. As with WWI, women overtook the men’s work and dressed accordingly to the new tasks. The fashion from the 1930s, of not looking too rich, stayed as people showed respect to the war. The focus in society shifted from the everyday life to survival and fighting WWII. When the war ended, society and fashion began to slowly recover. Fashion was relaunched with Dior, the movie and music industry expanded and people faced a new type of life.

Style of the 1940-1950

The 1940s style can be divided into two categories. The first half was practical, masculine and a rougher version of the 1930s fashion. The latter half was luxurious, with a clear focus on elegance. The early 1940s was an extension of the past decade, but with a reality check. The length of the skirts and dresses hit right above the knee due to fabric ransons. The shoulders 20th century fashion history 1940-1950went a bit oversized, similar to the men’s. The waist was slightly defined with a simple belt. The hat was still an important accessory and print was popular for dresses and blouses. Similar to the 1930s, the details were kept simple with a focus on buttons, collars and perhaps a bow or two.

The overall silhouette was rather slim and long. Women looked elegant with their knee-long skirts and heels that gave a longer impression. As they often worked the hats too and coats or trench coats – they embodied sophisticated elegance. Even though the fashion had a masculine touch, it was still done with refinement through the flow of the fabric, the makeup look and the slightly defined waist.

For the latter part, Dior’s style vision for women emerged and he brought back the joy of fashion again. With his collection The New Look in 1947 he brought back the focus on the female shape with corsets, heavy skirts and puffy blouses. Dior’s idea of fashion was similar to the one of the early 1900s, where fashion was more of a constellation than practical. Fashion was supposed to be pretty and not functional. More on him below!

The clothes between 1940-1950

Dresses, skirts and blouses were three of the most popular go-to pieces. Women’s dresses hit knee-length, had defined shoulders and waists. They were decorated with buttons and pockets (inspired from military clothes). They were common in floral prints, but gingham, dots and neutral colors were popular as well. Even though it was a restriction on fabrics, the skirts and dresses of the 1940s were quite flowy. Something that added to the femininity and balanced the strict lines of the military fashion.

Pants became a clothing piece to count on and was often worn with blouses or defined jumpers, often knitted. The blouses had a similar style to the men’s, commonly in bright colors and sometimes with a matching blazer. With matching pants, blazers and blouses, women embraced a masculine fashion. Clothes that were more functional and suitable for work. As with the 1930s, movie stars such as Ingrid Bergman kept the inspiration level high and pulled of the pants.

Towards the end of the decade all details of the 1940s were intensified. The skirts were wider and heavier, the waist even thinner and the shoulders wider. This was Dior’s fashion, and a fashion that, according to many, brought back femininity into fashion again. (Just compare the looks to the right and the ones above in floral!)  

Beauty between 1940-1950

Makeup became acceptable and the red lip was the makeup star of the decade. The beauty look consisted of relatively plucked eyebrows, long lashes, a winged liner and perfect skin. The ideal was dark brown hair. It was longer than before and often curly and done in a hairdo. It was popular to take the fringe and curl it backwards to a loop (making sense, see left). The beauty look gave a quite perfected impression with done hair and porcelain skin.

Spotlight of 1940-1950

The New Look, and Christian Dior behind it, is undoubtedly the fashion star of this decade. With his launching of The New Look in 1947, he rewrote the game of fashion. Gone was the days of restricted war fashion and here was the celebration of couture, luxury and the sculpturing of women’s bodies. Dior was tired of the simplified fashion that had been dominating fashion since the 1930s. He withdrew inspiration from La Belle Epoque and re-launched the hourglass-silhouette. To achieve the right look, it’s said that one single look could consist of 15 skirts to get the right volume. This, with precise and refined couture skills, he would set the tone for the fashion of the 1950s. Thin waists, voluminous skirts and femininity in focus. He re-established Paris as the leading capital of the fashion world – something he did with success. See more of the collection below!

Transition to the 1950s

Dior stood for the transition to the 1950s. His collection was a game-changer on a fashion, societal, historical and even economical level. The defined waist, the elegance, the luxury and the refined surface would all underline the petite fashion of the 1950s. The focus on women’s role of fashion, housewife and be dressed accordingly, would be stressed through the fashion that yet again emphasized women’s appearance. Corsets were back, the woman’s body in full focus and fashion as a product of consumption. Some thought this was a feminist backlash and others welcomed the old fashion back. The New Look can thereby be interpreted as an old one –  Literally and metaphorically.

So that’s the summary of the fashion history: 1940 – 1950. Next week there’ll be the ideals of the 1950s housewives, the youth culture revolting against parents and Hollywood stars going influential!

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