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Haute Couture in Paris, 1990s

Tony Glenville

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The beginnings of haute couture are generally accepted as being with Charles Frederick Worth in 1858; during the intervening decades, the rise and fall of the business of made-to-measure clothes in the salons of Paris has been a subject of endless discussion and debate. Flourishing in the early years of the twentieth century, and kept alive throughout the occupation of Paris during World War II, it was rejuvenated by Christian Dior in 1947. Haute couture was threatened by the rise of ready-to-wea

Jean-Louis Scherrer

Emily M. Orr

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Christian Dior: Nostalgia and the Economy of Feminine Beauty

Ilya Parkins

Source: Poiret, Dior and Schiaparelli. Fashion, Femininity and Modernity 2012

Book chapter

Dior’s initial stylistic ‘innovation’, though, had a complex temporal logic. As the strong reactions to it—both favourable and unfavourable—testified, it undeniably represented a return of a much older, if not precisely historically definable, silhouette. Its temporality was captured in an apparent contradiction: embraced as ‘revolutionary’, the New Look’s groundbreaking quality derived from its unabashed reclaiming of what might be read as a more conservative, older ideal of feminine beauty. Jus

France

Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The French Revolution abolished the rigid dress etiquette and bureaucracy of the ancien régime fashion industry. Napoleon’s campaigns inspired fashions with soldierly details and created a vogue for exotic accessories. His imperial court ensured the survival of French luxury goods industries, while promoting a more modern silhouette. Napoleon encouraged pre-Revolutionary tastes for classical Greek and Roman styles, to glorify his own reign. The restoration of the Bourbon monarchy and the Romantic

Historical Dress in French Film

Jennie Cousins

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Films featuring recreations of historical dress have long been a staple of French cinema. Genres such as the war film, the historical film, and the colonial film all frequently feature costumes informed by the past, yet it is the costume drama that has come to be most readily associated with historical dress. Indeed, in this type of film, costume has become inseparable from drama. Despite falling in and out of favor with film critics, academics, and audiences alike, the costume drama has never be

Paris as a Fashion City

Martine Elzingre

Translated by Pierre Hodgson

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Paris fashions—clothes, lingerie, accessories, and jewelry, together with other beauty products such as hairstyles, fragrances, and cosmetics—have come to dominate the world beyond the borders of France, as well as beyond Europe and indeed outside the West. In Paris itself, the two arts of dressing and seduction have thrived because innumerable ideas and techniques for applying those ideas have constantly been discovered—a continual process of experimentation.

Gender

Gertrud Lehnert

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The basic distinction between female and male dress in the Western world is between women’s skirts and men’s bifurcated trousers. Only in the twentieth century was this abandoned—but in one direction, since, even today, men do not wear skirts, despite some attempts by fashion designers. This does not indicate that trousers are more natural for men, but that in the West, they denote supremacy and masculinity. From the late Middle Ages onwards, increasing emphasis was put on gender differentiation

The Dynamics of Fashion in West Europe

Bo Lönnqvist

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Fashion in Europe can be defined as a cultural phenomenon since about 1500. Sociological definitions of fashion have emphasized collective and individualistic processes, expressed in such notions as: leaders and adherents, court fashion, bourgeois fashion and social class, fashion restrictions, and mass fashion. All can be found in West Europe, where modern fashion originated. Social change, reflected in changing fashions, has been closely connected with cultural change. Sumptuary laws promulgate

Fragrances and Perfumes

Brian Moeran

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The development of modern perfume may be traced to the court of Louis XIV (1643–1715), whose palace at Versailles had no bathrooms. Quantities of perfume were used at court, primarily to mask odors. In the fifth century, an Arab perfumer, Avicenna, had pioneered the distillation of rose water. Arab perfumers established businesses in Granada, and from the eleventh century onwards, the crusaders brought back knowledge of Oriental fragrances to Europe. The first alcohol-based eau de toilette was l’

New Look

Eric Pujalet-Plaà

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Dior, Christian*

Eric Pujalet-Plaà

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Jean Ozenne, who was designing for couture houses, introduced Dior to the fashion world and to his clientele. At the age of thirty, Dior devoted himself to studying fashion drawing, referring only to what he knew and appreciated of Edward Molyneux, Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Jeanne Lanvin. He managed to sell his first sketches of hats and then of dresses. His clients were fashionable hat makers and couture houses but he “also sold ideas to foreign buyers.” Publication of his drawings in

A-Line Dress

Susan Ward

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

From Hitler to Dior

Valerie Steele

Source: Paris Fashion. A Cultural History 2nd Edition 1998

Book chapter

There was no honorable way of publishing a magazine under the Germans; there was no way without compromise and collaboration. I stalled and formed slippery answers for the Germans…. The problem was to work without selling out. We all helped each other break enemy regulations. Finally I found a way of publishing fashion albums without saying please to the Germans. It was all very complicated. It jumped borders and involved quite a lot of risk—but it was exciting. Our secret staff, artists, engrave

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