Designers & Fashion Eras

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Unit 3: Design & Manufacture Textiles Revision Notes
FASHION ERAS - 1970s-1980s
OLEG CASSINI, 1988
The 1980s brought a shift from the somewhat restrained fashions of the late 1970s
towards far more expensive, ostentatious fashions reflecting the money obsessed
image conscious era.
It became smart to indicate wealth by wearing expensive designer clothes and
accessories, and the right logo was an important part of this showiness.
Finance was big news and the lifestyles and huge salaries of young stockbrokers
were revered; this competitive group of people became known as Yuppies.
Women were entering the workforce in greater numbers and the big-shouldered
power suit became a symbol of their success, indicating efficiency and ambition.
Programmes like Dallas and Dynasty showed women in super-bitch roles
wearing extravagant wide shouldered costumes.
Princess Diana was also considered to be a trendsetter with New Romantic
styles influenced by Vivienne Westwood and historical costume developed as an
alternative to the fairly masculine power dressing styles; corsets and full
skirted styles in extravagant fabrics were popular evening wear fashions.
Produced in 1988 the illustration shown is an example of the power dressing
silhouette, oversized shoulders, the power dressing skirt suit or `power suit'
with a cinched in waist.
Although trousers for women were now accepted in the workplace, skirts
remained the safer option. Masculine influences were also seen in coats.
Other influences were active wear and a very slim body silhouette; casual wear
reflected a wide, layered look.
FASHION ERAS 1960s-1970s
BILL GIBB, 1971
At the start of the 1970s high standards of living and prosperous consumer
societies were firmly established in the developed world, but women's greater
self-confidence and independent attitudes, together with the power of the mass
market were equally important.
The full length maxi and calf length midi skirts, added to the basic silhouette of
the late 60s, were still promoted by designers.
But adding length without introducing new lines and altered proportions did
not have enough impact to make women want to wear the midi length clothes,
and many women carried on wearing minis, leaving clothing manufacturers with
huge stocks of unsold calf-length garments.
Women no longer accepted new designs unless they liked them and felt ready
for a change, and the clothing industry was made to realise that it was the
mass market appeal of new styles that determined their success; the era of
the dictatorial designer was finally over.
With their self-confidence shaken, manufacturers faced 1971 with
determination to give the public what they wanted and variety of choice
seemed to be the safest bet.
Old favourites were revived and several new ideas tried. Front buttoning,
top of calf-length skirts with the buttons left open to the thigh, and worn
over matching or contrasting tightly fitting shorts called hot pants were
introduced and girls with the right figure loved them and caused a sensation
dancing in their satin disco shorts.
Produced in 1970, this fashion design illustration is for a long pleated skirt,
long-sleeved blouse, laced jerkin and cloche hat, shown with fabric samples.

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Unit 3: Design & Manufacture Textiles Revision Notes
The design shows how different wool fabrics are used with contrast colour and pattern, to create mix
and match combinations.
Ethnic and romantic folklore influences are evident.
This continued to be a key look with frills, flounces and embroidery and a
strong exotic influence in evening wear.
Trouser suits became very popular and were an international fashion worn
by stylish young women.…read more

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Unit 3: Design & Manufacture Textiles Revision Notes
Knitted fabrics e.g. as used by Chanel, artificial silks, and long jumpers also became popular.
Masculine influences were seen in suit jackets and day coats.
FASHION ERAS 1910s-1920s
MELANIE VERMOT, 1913
· The first half of the 1910s was extremely fashion conscious with many
new changes appearing.
· The new concepts of dress that had started in the late 1900s, especially
Poiret's ideas, began to take on and be developed further.…read more

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Unit 3: Design & Manufacture Textiles Revision Notes
of pleated material. The shoe length straight or draped skirt with a blouse-like top was a popular
silhouette.
FASHION ERAS 1930s-1940s
ELSA SCHIAPARELLI, 1937
One of the most prominent designers of the 1930s is Italian designer Schiaparelli.
She did much to promote the livelier more varied fashions that most women
were wearing by the mid-1930s, and was one of the first designers to promote
the built-up shoulder line.…read more

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