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Ups and Downs of Paris Fashion

Valerie Steele

Source: Paris Fashion. A Cultural History 3rd Edition 2017

Book chapter

Nous sortions d’une époque de guerre, d’uniformes, de femmessoldats aux carrures de boxeurs. Je dessinai des femmes-fleurs, épaules douces, bustes épanouis, tailles fines comme lianes et jupes larges comme corolles.ChristianDior, Christian Dior et moi (Paris: Amiot-Domont, 1956), p. 35. Translation in text by Valerie Steele.

Shape/Volume

Lucy Adjoa Armah

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

To fully understand the significance of “volume” in fashion, it is necessary to discuss everything from the exaggerated shoulders in the trend for tailored power dressing in the 1980s to the unconventional draping and pleating of Issey Miyake. The prism of volume enables the unpacking of aesthetic traditions in dress and fashion that appear to have little in common. When designers utilize volume, they are often presenting a fantasy from a distant land or a reimagined time. When individuals choose

Valentino

Lauren Bowes

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Maurizio Baldassari

Katy Conover

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Véronique Branquinho

Alessandro Esculapio

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Kosuke Tsumura

Alessandro Esculapio

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Carven

Stephanie Edith Herold

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Spring/Summer 1987

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Chanel’s spring/summer 1987 haute couture collection was shown in the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where a student demonstration outside the venue required there to be tight security. On the stage, a fake statue of the Winged Victory was clothed in Chanel and holding a quilted bag. Critics derided the bustle-inspired “parabola” line and peplum hems that “obscured the real fashion originality” and “made the models look a bit like roosters.” Despite the criticism, the empire

Bill Blass, Spring/Summer 1984

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This collection was all about simplicity, which led Nina Hyde at the Washington Post to comment, “Blass’s clothes have never been more simple, less contrived.” The hems were short because Blass believed that his couture customers had the money to keep their body in great shape. There were bra-like tops under conservative suits for day, and evening gowns in silk charmeuse draped in silk chiffon. Because of the simplicity of the clothes, the models’ hair was more extreme. Critics commended Blass’s

Bill Blass, Spring/Summer 1988

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This collection was inspired by Matisse paintings that Bill Blass saw while at the National Gallery in Washington. Shown at the Parsons School of Design in New York, the clothes were short and full of froufrou due to the influence of “the sugar daddy of bonbon chic” and designer of the moment Christian Lacroix, and his short, little-girl styles. Hems were well above the knees, which concerned retailers servicing working women needing office-appropriate clothes. Even though critics liked his use o

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Spring/Summer 1983

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

In 1983, twelve years after Gabrielle Chanel died, the Chanel brand was given new life by Karl Lagerfeld’s debut Chanel collection. His first couture collection was highly anticipated, but was met with mixed reviews. Some believed it was a good first effort that honored Chanel’s legacy, while others believed that the Chanel house should not have been revived because no one could replace her. Lagerfeld kept the silhouettes and classic styles that Chanel popularized in the 1920s and 1930s, but adde

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Fall/Winter 1984

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Shown at the Palais Garnier in Paris, home of the national opera, this fashion show was the most lavish and over-the-top fashion event in Paris at the time and began Karl Lagerfeld’s tradition of showmanship and set design. As with Karl’s first Chanel collection, this collection was panned for its deviation from Chanel’s trademark of easy comfort, with the classic Chanel suit made in a fitted silhouette that outlined the derrière. But it was also praised by others for updating Chanel’s image from

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Fall/Winter 1985

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This collection continued the development of Lagerfeld’s Chanel. Beaded looks were made to look like intricate tapestries and the hems of skirts were either floor-length or well above the knee, a deviation from Chanel’s strict rule of creating skirts 2 in. (5 cm) below the knee, no matter the fashion. The final bridal look was a white satin miniskirt suit. Two-tone, matronly pumps were a Chanel signature; the black stilettos in the collection underscored the younger, sexier direction of the house

Men’s Blazers and Jackets of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s

Tracy Jennings

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Men’s blazer and jacket styling in the West went through a number of iterations during the latter decades of the twentieth century. These fashion changes were often a result of prevailing economic, social, and technological conditions. The 1970s gave rise to the three-piece disco suit. A booming 1980s economy was reflected in the exaggerated shoulders of the power suit. The grunge movement countered this fashion excess. An individualistic philosophy took hold in the mid-1990s, with consumers no l

Balenciaga

Casey Mackenzie Johnson

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Luciano Soprani

Nanna Marie Lund

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Zandra Rhodes, Spring/Summer 1984

Veronica Maldonado

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Rhodes’s spring/summer 1984 collection made its debut in London’s Ritz Carlton hotel. Having studied textiles before designing fashion, Rhodes’s garments utilize fabric with a high degree of detail and craftsmanship. This collection was no exception, with dresses made of embroidered chiffon, metallic sequined ensembles, and dresses encrusted with hanging pearls and crystals, all in pastel color schemes accented with blazes of magenta and deep cerulean. While a few typical 1980s body-conscious, sh

A Stylish History of Jazz: 1900–1960

Alphonso D. McClendon

Source: Fashion and Jazz. Dress, identity and subcultural improvisation 2015

Book chapter

jazzorigins ofNew Orleansslave performancesBechet, Sidneyon slave performances/New Orleansartinfluence of AfricanAfrican ritualsAfrican art/dressDecades before the Civil War, a gathering of inspired people seeking self-determination initiated the birth of a musical genre that flourished throughout America. Congo SquareCongo Square in New Orleans, Louisiana is the highly renowned ground where slaves gathered for spiritual communion on free Sunday. By 1800, these assemblies swelled to six hundred i

Shoulder Pads

Jennifer Mower

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The 1940s and 1980s were two style periods where traditional gender roles were challenged as women entered or returned to the workforce in greater numbers than in the preceding years. In both periods, shoulder pads served as a visual representation of the changes to Euro-American society and culture. In the 1980s the padded look was seen on the runway in collections by postmodern designers like Thierry Mugler, Yves Saint Laurent, Claude Montana, and Giorgio Armani, who appeared to sometimes look

Carolina Herrera

Emily M. Orr

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Issey Miyake

Emily M. Orr

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Thierry Mugler

Emily M. Orr

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Claude Montana

Lauren Downing Peters

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Ungaro, Fall/Winter 1987

Vanessa Semmens

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The major trend for fall/winter 1987 was short, skintight dresses and low necklines. Designers crafted garments that emphasized women’s bodies, and “Emanuel Ungaro in Paris, for example, presented the most blatant of sexy statements with panache, wit and skill,” according to journalist Carrie Donovan. Ruching, ruffles, and frills were prominent. High necklines abounded: Ungaro employed these as design features as he liked to emphasize the graceful shape of a woman’s neck.

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