Womens Fashion and Designers Through The Decades
Two weeks ago, I saw Cameron Diaz at Fred Segal and talked her out of buying a truly heinous angora sweater! Whoever said that orange is the new pink is seriously disturbed, said Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) from the 2001 Legally Blonde production. As you can see, someone was trying to start a new fashion by changing pink to orange. Fashion trends are changing almost all the time. It is hard to keep up with what is old and what is new. There have been many different styles of fashion throughout the 20th century and part of the 21st century; with many major designers such as Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, and Louis Vuitton setting the styles.
When the 20th century first started, women started thinking about their fashion styles and choices. Though the womens outfits covered them up allowing almost no skin to be shown, they did have a sense of style. Their attire was very formal and very ladylike, with lace and ribbons, and big feathery hats that were much desired. The women had to change their outfits many times a day for different occasions for proper etiquette.
Underneath their frilly dresses they wore a tight fitting corset. The corset
was used to create a longing full hourglass shaped figure. The corset then
turned into a full body corset to trim the thighs. The 1900-1920 decade was very prim and proper.
In the 1920s different styles started with women that were much different from their old formal attire. Now the flapper style was very popular. The dresses were dropped-waisted and fringed with beaded or sequined material. They were also much more showy than the past decade, thanks to Coco Chanel. For a night on the town, a feather fan was the most fashionable accessory.
The popular hairstyle of the 20s was a bob or a short cut with loose waves. They made a machine for these types of hairstyles. What the machine did was wrap each chunk of hair around a long rod until it would look like your hair was standing straight up and then they would let it set for a while.
In the 1930s Hollywood was all about glitz and glam. The stars were definitely showing it. The actresses would wear sleek dresses that were flattering and allowing no corsets. The dresses were mostly made of silk.
The 1920s fashion was very influential to women. During the 1940s and 50s American fashion once again had major changes. Women were now in the work force and designers were coming out with more practical clothing. Some women started wearing pants and overalls, while some were wearing victory suits, which were long with square shoulders resembling a military uniform. For the uniform look, corsets came back
into fashion for a desirable pair-shape.
For teenage girls in the 1950s, full skirts, otherwise known as poodle skirts, became very popular. The poodle skirt was designed by Christian Dior. The teenage girls, along with their poodle skirts, would wear a casual sweater, a white blouse, or maybe even their boyfriends varsity jacket.
In the 1960s,issues had changed dramatically and so did the clothing. Former First Lady, Jackie Kennedy, wife of John F. Kennedy, popularized the pillbox hat, the pea coat, and the big, round, Gucci sunglasses. She was known as one of the best dressed First Ladies.
Teenage girls, once again, wanted their own style. This style that they would be wearing, was called Retro. The ever popular miniskirts, with knee-high boots, and the prettiest plaid shirt they could find was groovy to these teenage girls.
Hippies came out in the 60s with ideas on peace, love, and happiness through times of war and other big issues. They showed their views by wearing beaded necklaces with peace and love symbols. The smiley face
also came out in this era. The women would keep their hair long and straight with tinted granny glasses on their face. They would usually wear a suede vest and pants with fringes with a tie-dyed or floral pattern on their shirts. Once this style had faded out, the gogo style replaced it with bold designs and colors on the womens clothing, usually short dresses with tall boots and a newspaper boy hat.
In the 1970s people were happy that the war was over and were ready to get on with their normal lives. That meant a big party. The popular style of this decade was DISCO FEVER style! The women would wear low and tight bellbottoms and a peasant shirt that flared. Short-shorts replaced the miniskirts that were once popular. Disco was full of fashion disasters and pluses.
The natural look in the 70s was brought on by the sitcom Charlies Angels. The women would diet and die to be the size of the actresses in Charlies Angels. The women wanted to look as natural and flawless as possible with neutral color make-up, shoulder length, feathery hair, and natural style clothing like tan pants and a preppy shirt.
At the end of the 1970s women started to get very casual in their everyday clothing. The women would wear spandex pants with leg warmers and a
shirt that fell off to the sides. Sometimes the women would even wear a sweat band around their head. This is when the big, curly hair came in. Though all this didn't become fully popularized until the 80s.
The 80s was a time of expressing yourself, it that was through music, art, sports, culture, trying things that weren't good for you, and even fashion.
The casual style of the late 70s was the all time popular style all throughout the 1980s. Now these spandex and leg warmers came in many different colors and styles.
Punk became a big look also in the 80s. It began in the mid 80s all the way up to the early 90s. The punk style was leather, big boots, and black. It would involve a lot of jewelry; crosses, pearls, and metal chains. The make-up would be very heavily packed on the face and the hair could be styled and colored anyway you wanted, they made it all.
Another style of the 80s was bold colors and bold designs. Anything neon, striped, circled, or squared was in. This style was also related into the punk style.
The 1990s was a time in our nation to grow and become more independent. Independence meant to go out on a limb, grow up, and maybe even change your style in fashion! The women were very much into designers. A popular designer of this decade was Tommy Hilfiger. Everyone liked the preppy look and that is where the designers came into hand.
In the mid 1990s singing sensations came into affect. There were many different singers and groups. Some stayed popular because of what they looked like, and some drifted out of the spotlight because they didnt have what people wanted to see. The industries and people didnt really seem to care what singers sounded like or what their morals were. That gave teenage girls the privilege to dress as Britney Spears or the Spice Girls. Pants started to get lower and lower, shirts began to get lower cut and higher to show your stomach, lets not forget tighter. Shoes would get the biggest heel on them that you could possibly find and all the teenagers loved it. Some girls would even have to change into less revealing clothes at school because their attire would be too unsuitable.
It wasnt until the millennium ball dropped that we began to develop some fashion sense again. The pop culture revenue was still pulling in money because of what they looked like. The clothing market was still selling the Britney Spears attire, but style began to get a little better. So far in
the 2000s we have almost repeated some of the decades with 70s coming
back in, 80s came back for a slight bit, and the 50s came in with the letter sweaters and the purses and jewelry with initial letters. Then Old Hollywood was coming back in Hollywood at the award shows.
Women began to get a little casual but still look dressy and ready for work with natural looking clothing.
Let us not forget the famous purses of the 2000s. The Louis Vuttion purse was at its all time height and still is in the 2000s. Another purse was the initial purse with your first initial on the front. There have been many other purses like the tote, the cylinder purse and any other bags that may look cute to you. Purses now come in all different shapes, colors, and sizes.
In the decades there have also been many designers and influencers to different styles of womens clothing. Some designers have stayed longer than others and have been more popular.
Coco Chanel was one of these popular designers. In the 1912-1920s she was the most popular designer of her time. She designed corsets much more comfortable for womens wearing. She designed suits, little-black dresses, and very elaborate jewelry. She designed short skirts, casual wear,
and the boy look which consisted of women wearing paperboy hats and shirts, even pants. She started a perfume line which was Chanel No. 5. She then served as a nurse in W.W.II and had an affair with a Nazi officer which diminished her popularity. Then in 1969 a Broadway musical was made for the biography of her life. She died in 1971.
Christian Dior makes not only womens fashion but also jewelry, fragrances, make-up and skin care. Many of todays celebrities wear Dior products, clothing, and sunglasses such a Jena Elfman, Justin Timberlake and Mary J. Blige.
Gucci, another popular fashion industries, was created in the 1920s with luggage and bags. By the s Gucci started to design the bamboo handled hand bags. Gucci became very popular with scarfs and sunglasses for Hollywoods most glamorous celebrities and the very wealthy people. By the 1990s Gucci came out with womens clothing and became an international public company.
Tommy Hilfiger has been one of the most influential designers in the late
20th century now into the 21st century with men, women, and childrens clothing. They also make golf products! Tommy Hilfiger first came out in
Lastly is Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton makes, shoes, clothing, watches, jewelry, luggage, leather wear, and the famous Louis purse, cradled by such celebrities like Jessica Simpson (which she named her bag Pet Louis) and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Louis Vuitton was developed in 1854 by also, making luggage.
The years will still go by and old styles will leave and new styles will come but we still will remember how womens clothing style changes have affected what women wear today. Woman could still be wearing corsets and poodle skirts. Thanks to designers, they have made it so women can wear anything they want and still look halfway descent. If it wasnt for the designers women wouldnt have anywhere to go with their clothing styles. That is why fashion is important and influential in our everyday life.