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Minimalism

Lorynn Divita

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Since the early twentieth century, the fashion pendulum returns periodically to minimalism, with its focus on simple lines, geometric shapes, architectural tailoring, and high-quality fabrics. Early renowned minimalist designers include Madeline Vionnet, who in the 1910s was known as the “architect among designers,” and the style reached widespread popularity with Coco Chanel’s Little Black Dress in the 1920s. American designers such as Claire McCardell incorporated minimalistic principles in gar

Vionnet, Madeleine*

Rebecca Arnold

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Around 1900 Vionnet moved to Callot Soeurs’s celebrated couture house in Paris. There she began to understand the significance of garment design that sprang from draping fabric directly onto a live model, rather than sketching a design on paper and then translating it into fabric. This approach necessarily focused attention on the body and its relationship to the way fabric was draped and sculpted around its contours. Vionnet exploited this technique to the full. For Vionnet, draping—in her case

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

Vionnet … Classicism

Rebecca Arnold

Source: Classic and Modern Writings on Fashion 2nd Edition 2009

Book chapter

‘The nude body and draped cloth became essential elements of idealised vision; they came to seem correct for conveying the most valid truths of life, entirely through the persuasive force of their appearance in works of an rather than through the original significance attached to them in real life. The “natural” beauty of cloth and the “natural” beauty of bodies have been taught to the eye by art, and the same has been the case with the natural beauty of clothes.’HollanderA., Seeing through Cloth

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