• No More Restrictions

    No More Restrictions
    During the first years of the 20th century, the main characteristics of changes in womens dress were less restriction and an increasing influence in naturalness. While the 19th century dresses were abounded with bustles, crinolines and frills, the new century was heading in a direction of simplicty. Strating with the 'walking suit' from the late 1890's, women's clothing designs strove in tandem with the fight for independence, to be more practical, feminine, and free-form.
  • Hips Don't Lie

    Hips Don't Lie
    By 1910, gone were the skirt trains. Hips became more emphasized with little semi-fitting coats that cut away to reveal frills. The freedom of movment in womens dress was being demanded by more and more women.
  • The War is Here

    The War is Here
    World War 1 had a major influence in womens dress. During this war, women worked in factories, drove ambulances, tened to the wounded in field hospitals and by necessity, rearanged their wardrobe to suit their everyday activities. Skirts became shorter and hair was either cropped or tied Tailored suits with gentle waists became normal for women to wear and was increaingly being demanded.
  • Bearing Arms

    Bearing Arms
    By 1917, womens frocks had become sleevless with the decolletage as low as an evening gown. Now with evening gowns daringly exposed at the back. Short hair is now accepted (as most women worked in some way or other for the war effort).
  • Let's go for a swim!

    Let's go for a swim!
    The first genuinely feminine sportwear and swimwear began to appear just after 1918. New American synthetic matetrials such as nyon and rayon were not very openly welcomed by the old guard of fashion housed during this time. However, young successful fashion houses such as Coco Channel and Madame Vionnet saw an advantage of mass production. The possibility that all women, regardless of income could be glamourous and fashionable.
  • Control Yourself!

    Control Yourself!
    The corset was still very popular amongst women during the 1920's, with a few exceptional flappers throwing them away in favor of a simple chemise and rolled stockings. The Garconne look could still be achieved with the new cylindrical elasticized corsets which were a lot more easier to wear. Pleasent and bearable. Restriction became ‘control.' Control wear such as girdles, panty girdles and waist clinchers have been with us ever since.
  • Jewel it up!

    Jewel it up!
    Costume jewelry had now become a major style accessory. Jewelery had become to major thanks to Chanel, whose Paris jewellery shop specialized in faux gems. These are designed to decorate and actually enhance a dress rather than just flaunt wealth. Her jewellery was cheap and made from paste. Chanel herself was seen to wear ropes of fake pearl necklaces in the early 1920s and this created a fad which was copied by 'bright young things' the world over.

    By 1923, barbers were offering the big shop for any women who dared. Getting your hair bobbed or cropped was the utmost fashion for any young woman.
  • Little Black Dress

    Little Black Dress
    The 1920's heralded the 'flapper look.' With this idea in mind and Coco Channels favorite colour being black, this led her to invent the 'little black dress.' A simple low back evening dress. From this one simple design, it became truly iconic.
  • Drop the Waist

    Drop the Waist
    Using the knitted jersey, Coco Channel was able to fashion a chic dress from it. It’s difficult to say for certain whether she invented it, but Chanel’s love of the chemise dress and the middy blouse, certainly guided her toward the creation of the dropped waist dress in 1918.
  • Sun Tan

    Sun Tan
    During this time, the House of Shciaparelli (Designer: Elsa Schiaparelli) dominated most of the attention in the USA. This was due to the design of the 'first' backless swimsuit to allow women to get a more even sun tan. Beach pajamas and evening dresses were featured in many Hollywood films.
  • Crash

    After the Wall Street Crash brought the times of the Great Depression. The flapper times were over and even the wealthy had to be a bit more frugal. The gamine look was out the and feminine curves were back.
  • Glamour

    Cloche hats hung around till 1933 when the new French beret stlyes of hats were worn. They were worn at an angle which took the fashion world by storm.
    A more tailor and angled look started to appear in skirts with single front seams. Despite the recession, it was the age of Hollywood glamor and colorful fashion magazines featuring beautiful actresses wearing the ‘latest’ from the catwalk.
  • Big Shoulder

    Big Shoulder
    Elsa had also laid out the foundations of the big shouldered look of the 1940's in 1938. She began adding padding to her evening suits and coat designs. Elsa Schiaparelli’s interest in fasteners led her to her producing many clever alternatives to buttons. This included the elastic skirt hook, nickel clip, and most famously the zip fastener.
  • World War || Ration Fashion

    World War || Ration Fashion
    In the Unit the United Kindom, the Utility scheme was introduced in 1939. With severe restrictions on fabric use, utility clothing bore the label CC41 and allowed affordable glamor to women who had collected a certain amount of coupons. The annual ration for men and women was sixty six coupons. For example – Eleven coupons bought you one long sleeve wool dress.Twelve coupons could buy you six pairs of stockings and you would have to make them last the year.