Golden age of French fashion
A fashion capital is a city that exerts a significant influence on the world in terms of fashion. For several decades, Four Cities, called The ” Big Four “, have shared this title: Paris, London, Milan and New York. The French capital has had the exclusivity of haute couture since its invention in the mid-19th century, the latter retains an obvious primacy.
It is difficult to find a concise and precise definition of this infinite, communitarian, and at the same time very personal universe. But to go fast, one could say that fashion is novelty, originality, sometimes even a provocation against the established order. Breaking with tradition, it is a precious indicator of the evolution of our society.
In the summer of 1945, European women wanted to change, color, and innovation. It was the euphoric period of the postwar period, the beautiful GI’s imported chewing gum and rock’n’roll; the fashion will also actively inspire our American cousins.
The mode becomes “fashion,” and this term alone defines a relay transition. To be fashion is to be different, a little subversive. The bourgeois classes are moving away from this anti-traditional notion, and style is split between the classic collections and the “fashion” collections intended for a very young, numerous and completely emerging clientele on the market. You can feel the first winds of emancipation.
It’s not a fashion show anymore. It’s the haute couture memory album, The One before. Because if there was a golden age in Hollywood, there was a golden age in the haute couture, too. The Galleria Palace in Paris shows as if it were a Portrait Gallery of the 1950s, a collection of dream dresses signed by Christian Dior, Chanel, Balenciaga, Schiaparelli. As well as up to thirty creators who they represent a glorious decade, the Golden Age of fashion is the heyday of sewing.
Under the title ‘Les Années 50’ about thirty dresses are grouped together, arranged according to the moment for which they were designed. There are rooms with designs of day, evening, afternoon, cocktail, evening, prom, gala, because there was time in which it was normal to change outfit six or seven times a day. Christian Dior’s work is the most represented. His legacy dates back to the decade between 1947 and 1957. He was the king, dressed European and American women, “he sold more than half of French fashion exports,” says Saillard. Dior always marked a trend, from his first couture collection in which he made his wide skirts ring in the spacious salons of Paris. The models wore narrow waist dresses, rounded shoulders, enhanced bust and dancer’s skirt.
The women, who had replaced the men who had gone to the front in the factories in particular, returned to the home. No more martial shortages, it’s opulence. After years of bric-et-de-broc attire meetings, she will be feministic. Christian Dior, a young designer then unknown, invents the “New Look” that redraws a size for women. The skirt is made of Corolla or pencil, the lingerie naughty. Paris, amorphous under the occupation, is once again the world capital of fashion.
After the war, it was the Golden Age of Parisian haute couture that imposed its tendencies on the whole world.
Jeans Show up in France
1967 saw the “blue jeans,” a former blue-collar worker who, molded on James Dean’s thighs, found a new vocation that caused a sensation. This resistant fabric is becoming so popular that it will soon be used by young people all over the world, regardless of gender.
The fashion of the 1960S AND 1970S
It is a real frustration that the youth throw in the highly symbolic cobbles of May ‘ 68. The student demonstrations will lead to the emancipation of the woman who is finally allowed to use contraception and the voluntary interruption of pregnancy. Witness to these upheavals of mentalities, the skirt that dares to go up above the knee was born in the 1960s, causing fear among the Guardians of traditions (Chanel will say that a knee is ugly and that it must be hidden).