Fashion History – The Effect of World Events on Design Trends in the 1930’s and 1940’s

The stock market crash of 1929 effected a lot more than bank accounts. The ensuing Great Depression threw the world into a period of change that showed up at the dinner table and at fashion shows. Where a few short years before, the Roaring 20’s was a time of wild exuberance, fashion trends of the 1930’s followed the economy toward a new austerity that ruled fashion designs for the next 20 years.

In the 1930’s, women’s dresses showed a more tailored look than they had in the 1920’s. Where once women wore loose, short dresses adorned with fanciful decoration, they now wore longer skirts and higher waists. Skirts and dresses cut on the bias hugged hips and flared slightly below the knees. The new line was diagonal, a way to add interest to the tailored, simplified silhouette.

The new frugal styles did not end with the decade, however. World War II ushered in a different kind of austerity in ladies’ clothing styles. Fabric was restricted by governmental decree. Wool and nylon were needed by the military as well as the metal used for zippers. Where the 1930’s frugal styles displayed a sleek elegance, the clothing of the 1940’s were utilitarian.

During the war years, women enlisted in the military. They took on jobs formerly performed the men who had gone to war. Work clothing had to be functional. Women began to wear trousers at factory jobs and for casual wear.

In order to save money at the beauty parlor, women let their hair grow long in the 1940’s. The long hair, curled at the ends for a touch of femininity could be caught up in a twist for safety in industrial settings.

Most women knew enlisted men and as the whole country, and the world, marched off to war, fashions followed suit. A military style emerged in women’s clothing. Even dresses took on a military look with padded shoulders and neat, short skirts.

Recycling became necessary for the war effort. Women remade old blankets into jackets and learned to ‘make do’ with the new ‘war wise’ fashions.

Even when World War II ended, supplies were limited and fabric was expensive. When Christina Dior introduced his New Look in 1947, women were shocked at the extravagant use of fabric. The New Look introduced a new silhouette, an hour glass figure with longer hemlines, wide skirts and large, wide brimmed hats.

But, after 20 years of austere clothing design trends, the New look caught on and influenced ladies’ fashions for the next decade.

Fashion History – 1960’s to Present Day

In this article we shall go through the trends and styles that were apparent over the past five decades. Starting from 1960, we take a journey through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s then right up to the modern contemporary looks that we see each and every day.

So the swinging 1960’s begins with a lot of vibrancy and plenty of brightly coloured attire, think Austin Powers with his velvet suits and ruffle neck ties. Men’s clothing was primarily sports jackets, polyester suits and turtle neck sweaters. Shoe wise Chelsea boots and Cuban heels were in along with moccasins a few years after.

The decade of the seventies came by with an ‘anything goes’ kind of attitude. Men wearing pretty much whatever they wanted, it was the time of free spirit and fun. Men were actually adding platform shoes to their outfits, which coincided with the disco theme that was evident during this era.

Shortly after came the turn of the 1980’s and once again styles quickly changed. The power suit was the in thing, mainly the kinds seen on the guys in Miami Vice. Conservative looks were all the rage, along with the power suit came the sophisticated shoe style. Oxfords, brogues and loafers were everywhere. The late 80’s saw a drastic change and everyone was less formal about their clothing choices. Looser styles and casual looks were a lot more opted for among both men and women.

Moving on to the 1990’s, denim was around and there was a lot of it. From jeans to jackets, it was the fabric to be seen in. Men’s clothing was full of flannel shirts, leather jackets and aviator sunglasses. Laid back relaxed looks were the top trends with plenty of baggy styled pieces to go around. The 90’s also saw the beginning of the trainer revolution, as the latest sneakers became popular among young kids and teenagers.

The year 2000 up until the year 2010 has seen so many looks come and go that listing them would take up an entire decade in its self. The turn of the millennium saw a lot more people becoming more fashion conscious and choosing to dress how they wanted to rather than following fashions. Today it seems that the trend is to not follow trends and wear what you want to create a unique look. So it remains to be seen what we will be dressing like over the next ten years.

Cartier, A Brilliant Star Leading the Art Deco in Fashion History

The first industrial revolution during late 18th century to middle 19th century had a great influence on the whole society. With the mechanical production, great changes had taken place all over the world. At the same time, the style of art went up to a new level. Affecting by the machine aesthetic, the decoration style got its day and prevailed suddenly. The obvious character of this style is some creative designs with simple geometry shapes and contrastive brilliant colors. Absolutely unlike the former complicate and marvellous style, there was the very modern feeling.

In fact, from the year 1904, Cartier designers had begun to create some special jewelry, full of modern feeling, however, the art deco style was rising up in later 1925. The designers of Cartier had tried to use some modern elements like lines and geometry shapes into its jewelry. Moreover, colorful precious stones began to appear in the Cartier world. The brooch, made in 1906, brought colorful stones to the single-colored world of platinum and diamonds. The unique crown, created by Cartier designer in 1914, was made from steel, platinum and diamonds.

In 1909, there was another big revolution in the art field. The Ballets Russes got a big success, because of the colorful stage scenery. Also, it gave a big impression on Charles Jacqueau, the Cartier designer. A try for brave color arrangement became possible from that time on, and there were pieces of Cartier jewelry, made of emeralds and blue stones or purple crystal and red stones. Everything seemed right. Where there was the courage, there was innovative arrangement. The necklace from Cartier in the year 1928 was an outstanding art work of this kind. It was a necklace with more than 234 carats diamond at the center. At that time, the most favourite combination was blue and green. Like the pendant from Cartier in 1923, it was made of 121 carats blue stone and hollowed emeralds. The harmony between blue and green, together with the slowly changing details, really made another fascinating art work in Cartier world.

At the same time, Cartier’s designs absorbed various elements from different countries. In the Cartier jewelry shops, you can find the plant pattern of Egypt, middle aged Persian’s fine picture and the classical craft belonging to Indian. In a word, an open gesture for various cultures, together with determine and courage for eternal creation, makes Cartier’s eternal first place in the jewelry world.