Mary Quant. By 1966 Mary Quant was
producing short waist skimming mini dresses and skirts that were set 6 or 7
inches above the knee. It would not be right to suggest she invented the mini. In 1965 she took the idea from the 1964 designs by Courrèges and liking the
shorter styles she made them even shorter for her boutique Bazaar. She is rightly credited with
making popular a
style that had not taken off when it made an earlier debut.
The modern version was patented by Louis Reard in
1946. His design was more akin to the skimpy string 1970's bikinis. Bikinis made
news then and as versions have become skimpier they have always attracted
attention. When the Bikini was named its impact was likened to an atomic
explosion. Cotton batik bikini worn by a teenager -
1980s. Bikinis were seen in Crete
thousands of years ago. After that pictorial evidence of 200 A.D., suggests that
bikini clad women were cavorting in Sicily's Piazza Armerina.
Collagen injections for
lips, botox for frown lines and wrinkles.
The smallest female feet to be found in the UK today are in Pontypridd in
South Wales, UK, where women there often have feet UK sized 2 or 3 (35).
Miss Marilyn Monroe had shoe
adjustments so she could sway when she walked. Her swaying hips helped make her appear more
vulnerable, increasing her sexual appeal.
Miss Naomi Campbell was wearing very high platform shoes
during Vivienne Westwood's fashion show.
TV dramas like 'Dynasty' and 'Dallas' brought fashion into
real everyday eighties life. In particular, 'Dynasty' the 1980's television fantasy soap series promoted fashions which enlarged
the shoulder. One of the main characters was played by the naturally broad
shouldered film star Linda Evans. Nolan Miller, the costume designer decided to
go with her big shoulders and give slight emphasis to them. Every other actor
had to be shoulder padded, but with more depth to match her shoulders. In the 1980s 'Dynasty' was watched by a global audience of over 250 million viewers.
Throughout the 80s styles did filter to the mass market in watered down
versions. 1980's fashion favoured applied decoration on suits and
T-shirts and beadwork on clothing which all pandered to the ideals of a
time of conspicuous consumption.
The Clothes Horse
Ambassadress of Fashion was Diana Princess of Wales. By the 1990s she was a world leader of fashion in clothes, accessories, make
up and hair. She became a trendsetter hounded by the press for her latest look,
latest remark or latest romance. High street stores and brand labels eagerly copied her outfits and customers
in the 30-45 age group recognised her as their fashion leader, copying all her
trademarks of style even her fitness fever. She gave new impetus to the
millinery trade with her early passion for hats and once more it became stylish
for everyone to wear hats at weddings. She gained world television coverage
daily to the largest number of people ever. She was easily the most influential
fashion icon of the 20th century exhibiting flair and a dash of
A muslin mock up of a dress. Designers create their initial designs either by using muslin, which drapes
well for flowing designs or by using linen canvas or calico for more structured
garments such as tailored garments. These sample models are called toiles
and save using very expensive fabrics that can cost a £100 or more a metre.
New Romanticism was a manufactured scene within London nightclubs in the
early 1980s. The posers within the group, often the
more creative people who had always been more interested in the sartorial
aspects of dressing up than the anarchic statement of punk anti fashion, looked for
new ideas to draw attention to themselves. The flamboyant, colourful dramatic
look used frills and luscious fabrics associated with historical periods. Adam Ant a new romantic pop star who
epitomised the more beautiful aspects of New Romantiscm.
Doc Martens. In the late 70s young people suddenly adopted Doc Martens sensible laced up
shoes as a fashion accessory to the delight of podiatrists everywhere. Young
girls suddenly took on a different look in their solid Doc Martens footwear and
dainty Laura Ashley fine cotton lawn feminine floral dresses.
Grunge was based on
fashion started by a youth cult in the Pacific North West region of America in
the early 1990s. The
key to the look was that nothing matched, nothing was coordinated and an item was
preferable if old and worn. It is frequently used now to describe
unattractive fashion features or unkempt individuals or uncoordinated unmatched
A Novak is a cult designer limited edition bag designed by Alexander McQueen
John Paul Gaultier.
Donna Karan designs for women on the go. She uses quality jersey with
Lycra and great cutting to produce capsule wardrobe garments that hide real
women's body defects.
Pashminas. By the year 2000 Pashminas were a mass fashion and many moved onto newer ideas. It did not go away however as many
found it so useful. It returned with expensive embroidery or beadwork in
In the late fifties we were called the Affluent Society.
Mr. Harold Macmillan's phrase 'you've never had it so good' echoed throughout the
realm. Despite inflation, those few words have a meaning as true today as
when they were first spoken.
Antique - over 100 years old would be the strict definition. But now often
taken to mean anything from 1920 or earlier when referring to clothing. As
they become rarer these garments and accessories are frequently the type of
items museums like to get their hands on. Museums like to fill gaps in their
collections. They also like to create themes or collections based around an
art movement like Art Deco or Baroque.
Vintage - This is anything from 1920 onward to 1960. After that date
an item is retro.
Jacqueline Kennedy later known as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
House of Gucci.
Ready to wear.
Eau de parfum.
Yuppies - Young Urban Professionals. Yuppie was an acronym for 'Young Upwardly Mobile Professional Person'. The
word was coined by the advertising industry to capture the essence of a
particular type of work hard, play hard, ambitious minded city career person of
either sex. The hectic lifestyle of a yuppie meant that after long hours of
work, rare free time was spent in a self indulgent way frittering away the cash
earned on anything, from expensive make up and perfume, to a bottle of fine
champagne. Conspicuous wastage was part of the attitude.
The Chanel No.5 advert with Nicole Kidman.
fibre is from the Kashmir goat .
The angora goat produces fibre which become mohair.
The angora rabbit produced hair which is made into angora or bunny wool.
The first face lift was
done by Eugene Hollander of Berlin in 1901.
In England Teddy Boys
sported long low thigh or to knee jackets with narrow contrasting lapels and matching contrast
drainpipe trousers. Their hair was slicked back into a style with long
sideburns. They wore crepe soled shoes which helped with the dance movements of
jiving. Their girlfriends wore eye make up and took every fashion to excess.
The Salsa and Lambada.
The use of Lycra in all sorts of clothes increased and
sexy styles based on bandage designs initially worked by Azzedine Alaïa
were especially popular with women with good figures.
Diane Von Furstenberg.
Philip Treacy mainly designs hats and accessories.
He designed the hats for Camilla at her recent wedding to Prince
Gorgeous shoes! In the 1990s status shoes such as those by Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo,
Christian Louboutin and
Italian brands by Prada, Gucci and others took on a new
importance as fashion itself became cleaner and more minimal and pared down.
Punk as a style succeeded even more when Vivienne
Westwood and Malcolm McLaren formerly Malcolm Edwards, publicized the
ideas through their joint design ventures. McLaren launched the
'Sex Pistols' Punk music group. The punk group wore clothes from a shop
called 'Sex' that Vivienne Westwood and her partner McLaren opened on
the Kings Road, London. They sold leather and rubber fetish goods,
especially bondage trousers. Later the shop was renamed
Seditionaries. Not long after, Westwood launched alone renaming the same
shop as 'World's End'. Westwood was soon translating her ideas
into the fresher Pirate and Romantic looks. The collections were
innovative, but were spoken of as unwearable, yet so often other
designers picked up on ideas she had instigated and soon started another
Zandra Rhodes the British dress designer, took elements of the punk style
and used it in her collections making refined and more elegant versions in
bright colours which were more acceptable to the rich and famous. She
used gold safety pins and gold chains to connect and decorate uneven hems
and slashed holes. The carefully placed holes were edged with gold
thread and the hems adorned with exquisite embroidery. She had always
coloured her hair with exotic colours and worn it as a form of plumage. Watered down punk
chic worked its way to the top end of the market. Versace too, also
decorated dresses with large safety pins, most notably a black dress that
Liz Hurley wore to accompany Hugh Grant at the premiere of the film 'Four
Weddings And A Funeral' in about 1992.
Popular hairstyles in the 1950s and 60s were the poodle
cut and the French pleat and later the 60's beehive. After Dusty Springfield's
beehive came the Beatle cut and Vidal Sassoon's five point cut bobbed
style. Mary Quant
sported a sharp Sassoon haircut.
A method popular among Greeks
and Romans 3000 years ago.
Swaddling was practised long ago by
binding arms and legs of young Greek infants in swaddling cloths. This
restricted the movement and kept the limbs straight.
Sixteenth century lady wore bum rolls to support the folds of skirt
fabric surrounding the waist.
David and Elizabeth
Elvis Presley, James Dean, and Marlon Brando sported
jeans in the fifties making them internationally desirable fashion garments.
Are Made For Walking.
Shoes was sung by Elvis Presley
Teeny-Weeny Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini.
skirt Boho look.
following handbag by Chloe.
Op Art was a
term coined in 1964. Optically distorted geometric patterns in black and
white produced a whole range of movements on a surface. When applied to
fabric it created a new bold look in fashion and accessories. Many garments
were split into sections with colour contrasts after the paintings of
Mondrian and this was an important fashion look in the 1960s.
Carothers began to research new polymers in 1927 and eventually discovered
polyamide a product we mostly now call nylon. By 1934 Dupont had the makings
of nylon. By 1938 the Du Pont company was producing commercial nylon and by
1939 making knitted hosiery. Later it was given the commercial name Nylon.
Nylons were eventually available in 15 denier and these were very sought
after particularly in the 2nd World War. Nylon hosiery transformed women
lives. No more bagging and sagging of stockings and a sheer allure which
enhanced their legs. The women of the era must have felt much the same as
women of the sixties did later when tights gave a new freedom.
Hartnell designed both Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding and Coronation Gowns.
America supplied the 10,000 seed pearls for the wedding dress for 1947.
Great care was take that neither Italian or Japanese silkworms were used to
make the satin which was woven in Scotland. Everything was done to avoid a
political faux pas. The remainder of Princess Elizabeth's trousseau was
based on Dior's New Look and made by British designers. She set the tone for
post war fashion in Britain. When the Princess was crowned Queen Elizabeth
II in 1953, Norman Hartnell once again designed her lavish shimmering gown.
is credited with inventing jeans.
golden blonde luxurious hairstyle that rolled under.
On Xmas Day 9000 calories
are consumed by the average UK person.