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Revival of Parisian Haute Couture after WWII - Essay Example

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World War II is considered to be the dark years of otherwise richest fashion industry, Paris. Before the war, the whole world looked towards Paris for fashion, accessories, fabrics, and inspiration. On the other hand, Pre-WWII America was merely a Parisian fashion admirer and consumer (Murgia 2013)…
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Revival of Parisian Haute Couture after WWII
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Download file to see previous pages World War II is considered to be the dark years of otherwise richest fashion industry, Paris. Before the war, the whole world looked towards Paris for fashion, accessories, fabrics, and inspiration. On the other hand, Pre-WWII America was merely a Parisian fashion admirer and consumer (Murgia 2013).It is quite interesting to explore how Paris made such remarkable comeback on international scene, despite the unparallel decline in prominence, social life differences between US and Europe, and most significant of all, momentous progress of American fashion industry during the 1940s. No doubt, WWII marked the end of European supremacy in the visual arts, and increasing momentum of New York art scene, however, equivalent enhancement of fashion scene couldn’t take place. Rather, United States’ magazines published articles like “How to buy a Dior Original” that presumed French couture as every American woman’s dream. Despite the time-consuming and expensive process of dressmaking by a French designer, American women found it priceless (Steele 1998). In addition to state efforts, and clever marketing strategies of French couturiers, “the sheer prestige of Pars fashion contributed to its post-war revival,” as Steele (1998) puts it. ...
Hats made their ways into an otherwise politically correct dress. They found a creative outlet in the use of feathers, raffia, and different leftover items (Peterson et al. 2008). America was nearly disconnected with Paris during War years, therefore, most American couture houses and ready-to-wear manufacturers incorporated American designers in their teams. It provided Americans with freedom to create new styles without getting influences by Paris. In that period, American designers like Gilbert Adrian secured the leading position one fashion scene2 (quoted in Murgia 2013). After liberation from German occupation, French designers who showed association with Nazis were ignored. Even though Channel closed her Paris fashion one year before the war, her love affair with a high official of Nazis created unfavourable situations that made it difficult for her to open salon in Paris for many years after the war. Unlike Americans, French designers rejected the war related non-French frugality (due to rationing) and made luxurious use of materials. Such attitudes and emerging American designers’ popularity triggered a shift from Paris as the arbiter of all fashion (Peterson et al. 2008). During 1945, in their efforts to revive French fashion and regain the lost status of Fashion capital, fifty-three French couturiers joined hands to organize a travelling exhibition, called Theatre de la Mode. Some of the prominent names of this group included Cristobal Balenciaga, Jean Patou, Robert Ricci, Jacques Fath, and Elsa Schiaparelli. They revived an old-age exhibitions style of dressing up 200 dolls with complete dress, undergarments, hats, shoes, gloves, jewellery, handbags, and umbrellas ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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