Iconic Fashions

Updated: Jul 24, 2020


Before the 1920s, wearing the colour black was strictly reserved for times of mourning. It was considered distasteful to wear it otherwise. All of this changed at the will of a woman named Coco Chanel. In 1926, Chanel published a simple, short black dress in Vogue. The magazine called this dress "Chanel's Ford," because like the Model T, it was accessible to women of all social classes. The LBD remained popular throughout the great depression because of its simple elegance They were popular in Hollywood during the Technicolor craze, because a black dress wouldn't clash with the other colours on the screen as a brighter dress might. During the post-war conservative era of the 1950s and early 60s, the little black dress took a bit of a social hit. Though still worn, it was seen as a little dangerous -- that the woman wearing it wasn't quite as pure as the conservative woman in powder blue. The 1960s gave it a bit of a revival, with the younger mod generation looking for all new lengths -- hello mini skirt! -- while the older more conservative set looked to classic sheaths, like the one worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The little black dress has, for the most part, maintained its popularity through the decades since Chanel brought it into our lives in 1926.


Fast-forward 45 years, and it’s clear that what was actually unveiled that day at 5 Avenue Marceau, Paris was one of the most influential and iconic designs in 20th century fashion history.

We’re talking about Le Smoking, the first tuxedo for women. It consisted of a classic dinner jacket in black grain de poudre wool or satin and trousers with a satin side-stripe with a ruffled white shirt, black bow tie and a wide cummerbund of satin.

This was a bold evening wear alternative to the little black dress by the Algerian-born designer. Despite the so-called "second-wave feminism" of the 60s, encouraged by developments like the availability of the contraceptive pill, well into the decade it was still controversial for a woman to wear trousers in public.

So, dressing in an YSL trouser suit declared the wearer was irreverent, daring and on the cutting of fashion, whilst suggesting their alignment with burgeoning feminist politics—le smoking effectively demanded: "If men can wear this, why can’t I?"

Saint Laurent was influenced by the avant-garde style of artist Niki de Saint-Phalle, who reportedly often wore men’s suits with heels, as had Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich in the 30s.However, Saint Laurent was the first high profile couturier—the designer who had taken the reigns great House of Dior, no less—to promote this aesthetic for high fashion evening wear and heightened the impact by offering not just trousers but a slick, monochrome take on the classic tuxedo, usually worn to the most formal black-tie events.

Le Smoking became such an icon that the brand ensured that some manifestation of it was included in every subsequent fashion collection, continuing up to present day with the YSL’s current head designer, Stefano Pilati. Over the years, the tuxedo suit has reappeared in a huge variety of guises and fabrics: reworked as a dress or trench coat, given a bolero in place of a jacket and shorts instead of trousers, incarnated in velvet, silk or leather.

It was the original 1966 Le Smoking that remained the designer’s personal favorite, though. Saint Laurent himself attributed the enduring appeal and iconic status of Le Smoking to the fact


On 12 February 1947, Dior launched his first fashion collection for Spring-Summer 1947. The show of "90 models of his first collection on six mannequins." was presented in the salons of the company's headquarters at 30 Avenue Montaigne. Originally, the two lines were named "Corolle" and "Huit". However, the new collection went down in fashion history as the "New Look" after the editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar Carmel Snow exclaimed, "It's such a New Look! The silhouette was characterized by a small, nipped-in waist and a full skirt falling below mid-calf length, which emphasized the bust and hips, as epitomized by the 'Bar' suit from the first collection. At a time of post-war fabric restrictions, Dior used up to twenty yards of extravagant fabrics for his creations, favoring the luxury textiles of Robert Perrier. The New Look became extremely popular, its full-skirted silhouette influencing other fashion designers well into the 1950s, and Dior gained a number of prominent clients from Hollywood, the United States, and the European aristocracy. As a result, Paris, which had fallen from its position as the capital of the fashion world after WWII, regained its preeminence. The New Look was welcomed in western Europe as a refreshing antidote to the austerity of wartime and de-feminizing uniforms, and was embraced by stylish women such as Princess Margaret in the UK. According to Harold Koda, The Costume Institute curator in charge, Christian Dior credited Charles James with inspiring The New Look.

Thanks For Reading :) (taken an edited from Wikipedia)

#Fashion #Icons #Chanel #YSL #Dior #Iconicfashions #lbd #Vintage #classic

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