Paris Fashion (1939-2019)

  • France declares war against Germany

    France declares war against Germany
    With WWII becoming a looming shadow over the world, this began to affect the lives of citizens and their styles. There was a lot of chemical warfare, and bombings during this time. This made it necessary for Parisians to carry gas masks with them at all times (Steele, 229). It also inspired many military styled fashion, which had been previously popular during WWI. This included short trousers and flying skirts as chic air raid cloths.
  • Nazi occupation of France

    Nazi occupation of France
    Starting in June 1940, the fashion system was disrupted because of the Nazi occupation. Since there was a great divide, the fashion community in the allied nations was closed off from France. As a result, it limited trade to Germany, Italy, and Spain. This was a bit worrisome, since France was the leader of fashion trends and left the US and Great Britain on their own.
  • New Couture Clients

    Since the occupation closed France off, their target consumers changed as well. Many assumed French fashions were being sold to the Germans, mainly the wives and mistresses of Nazi dignitaries. In reality, French fashion was being centered on French society people. 2,000 wealthy Parisian women were able to get special ration cards that allowed them to buy couture cloths, during this time.
  • Paris Liberated

    Paris Liberated
    The world reacts negatively to French fashions during the occupation. Some examples of the styles are the parachute sleeve, elaborate draped bodices, full skirts, and heavily trimmed hats (Steele, 236). To fix the situation, the French government stopped their sales to the Germans. This gave Paris a chance to catch up with the rest of the world's styles.
  • Period: to

    The Golden Age of the Couture

    During this time, there was a rise in French fashion. The styles that came out made up for the fashions of the Nazi occupation. One of the most prominent designers of this time was Christian Dior. Often called the savior of Paris Fashion, Dior worked in many aspects of the fashion industry, like textiles, lingerie, and accessories. He revolutionized women's fashion with his dresses.
  • Coco Chanel Returns

    Coco Chanel Returns
    Coco Chanel returns from Switzerland, and restarts her business. Some of her designs were a bit old for the current generations, but her tailored suits were a big hit with American consumers. They became one of her timeless looks.
  • Valentino Garavani opens his Couture house

    Valentino Garavani opens his Couture house
    With the rise of Italian fashion, there was a wider variety of styles. This allowed designers, like Garavani, to create their own couture house. His, in specific, was located in Rome. Italian designers brought in innovative styles into the fashion industry.
  • The rise of Andre Courreges

    The rise of Andre Courreges
    After creating his couture house, he became really popular for his Spring/Summer styles. This included "Moon Girl" trousers, white mini-dresses, gogo boots, helmets and sunglasses (Steele, 249). These styles matched up with the values of the younger generations.
  • The Battle of Versailles Fashion Show

    The Battle of Versailles Fashion Show
    A French-American fashion show to raise funds for renovations at the Palace of Versailles. It feature five French designers and five American designers. For example, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Anne Klein, and Oscar de la Renta. The Americans ended up "winning" the show. This was because the simple styles exemplified the culture and times so well.
  • "Body Con" Dress

    "Body Con" Dress
    This dress style was popularized by Azzedine Alaia. He was also known as the "King of Cling." This style showed off the female figure, and had cut outs that exposed the skin.
  • Founding of LVMH

    This Luxury couture house was created from the merger of Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessey. This was done as a response to the desire to bring back the elegance of haute couture. Since these designers were very popular, the merger was able to allow couture to progress in the fashion world. It is now known as one of largest luxury conglomerate in the world.
  • The popularity of Plaid

    The popularity of Plaid
    With more designers, like Coco Chanel and Oscar de la Renta, using this pattern, it became very popular with the consumers. It was especially seen in women's suits. This style also combined well with lots of jewelry. It was also worn a lot by the main character of the movie "Clueless."
  • Paris, Capitale de la Mode

    With many couture house struggling to stay on top, Paris had to find a way to maintain its leadership in the fashion industry. Paris knew how to organize with their many areas of fashion to maintain themselves.So, the Paris city council launched this project. Paris fashion has always been a inspiration for many designers and brands, and they have their own form of creativity.
  • Celebrity Obsession

    Celebrity Obsession
    Celebrities were becoming fashion icons, so they were often used to promote various brands and designers. This was also common with French fashion. They were seen as trend setters, influencing the fashion world in their own way.
  • Over-sized Suits

    Over-sized Suits
    Women's suits have always been a staple of French fashion, but they have evolved into more creative styles. One of the most popular of this time were over-sized suits. This style was promoted by designers, like Celine, and continue to be a modern favorite
  • Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week
    With current generations focusing on individuality and freedom in what they wear, many designers have began to work with this concept more. This has resulted with more unique designs. One of the most common in the 2019 Paris fashion week, was the crotchet style. It has been used to create dresses ans shawls. This style is great for the beach and summer months
  • Works Cited

    “100 Years of French Fashion | Glamour.” Youtube, Glamour, 20 Feb. 2018,
    Li, Michelle. “The Trends From Paris Fashion Week That We Can't Wait to Wear.” Teen Vogue, Teen Vogue, 7 Oct. 2019,
    Steele, Valerie. Paris Fashion : A Cultural History. Vol. 3rd ed, Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2017. EBSCOhost,