He had a passion for art and interior design, as seen in his impeccably decorated homes, which he shared with his wife, Hollywood movie star Janet Gaynor, and his personal paintings and sketches. The man who created the famous ruby slippers worn in The Wizard of Oz was also the first American designer honored with a retrospective at the Smithsonian Institution, and his influence can still be felt on the runways in New York and Paris today.
This is the first book on the famed Hollywood fashion and costume designer to be published with the cooperation of his family. With a foreword by the designer's son, Robin, as well as a treasure trove of never-before-seen images and anecdotes taken from Adrian's unpublished manuscript, this is the definitive book on the life of the legendary designer. Leonard Stanley is the preeminent collector of sketches by many of Hollywood's most famous costume designers, including Adrian.
A Vieira is a photographer and a writer. Titles By Category. The Venice -based designer Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, was a curious figure, with very few parallels in any age. For his dress designs he conceived a special pleating process and new dyeing techniques.
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He gave the name Delphos to his long clinging sheath dresses that undulated with color. Each garment was made of a single piece of the finest silk, its unique color acquired by repeated immersions in dyes whose shades were suggestive of moonlight or of the watery reflections of the Venetian lagoon. Breton straw, Mexican cochineal, and indigo from the Far East were among the ingredients that Fortuny used. Changes in dress during World War I were dictated more by necessity than fashion. As more and more women were forced to work, they demanded clothes that were better suited to their new activities.
Social events had to be postponed in favor of more pressing engagements and the need to mourn the increasing numbers of dead, visits to the wounded, and the general gravity of the time meant that darker colors became the norm. A new monochrome look emerged that was unfamiliar to young women in comfortable circumstances. By fashionable skirts had risen above the ankle and then later to mid-calf.
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The period between the two World Wars, often considered to be the Golden Age of French fashion, was one of great change and reformation. Haute couture found new clients in the ranks of film actresses, American heiresses, and the wives and daughters of wealthy industrialists [ citation needed ].
Soon after the First World War, a radical change came about in fashion.
Bouffant coiffures gave way to short bobs , dresses with long trains gave way to above-the-knee pinafores. Corsets were abandoned and women borrowed their clothes from the male wardrobe and chose to dress like boys. Although, at first, many couturiers were reluctant to adopt the new androgynous style, they embraced them wholeheartedly from around A bustless, waistless silhouette emerged and aggressive dressing-down was mitigated by feather boas, embroidery, and showy accessories.
The cloche hat was widely worn and sportswear became popular with both men and women during the decade, with designers like Jean Patou and Coco Chanel popularizing the sporty and athletic look. Chanel helped popularize the bob hairstyle, the little black dress, and the use of jersey knit for women's clothing; and also elevated the status of both costume jewelry and knitwear. Jeanne Lanvin, who began her career in fashion as a milliner, made such beautiful outfits for her young daughter Marguerite that people started to ask for copies, and Lanvin was soon making dresses for their mothers. Lanvin's name appears in the fashion yearbook from about onwards.
However, it was in the s that she reached the peak of her popularity and success. The Lanvin style embraced the look of the time, with its skillful use of complex trimmings, dazzling embroideries, and beaded decorations in light, clear, floral colors that eventually became a Lanvin trademark. By Lanvin produced many different products, including sportswear, furs, lingerie, men's fashion, and interior designs.
Her global approach to fashion foreshadowed the schemes that all the large contemporary fashion houses would later adopt in their efforts to diversify. The style of Jean Patou was never mainstream, but full of originality and characterized by a studied simplicity which was to win him fame, particularly in the American markets. Many of his garments, with their clean lines, geometric and Cubist motifs, and mixture of luxury and practicality, were designed to satisfy the new vogue for the outdoor life, and bore a remarkable similarity to modern sportswear.
The most famous advocate of his style was Suzanne Lenglen , the legendary tennis champion. In menswear there was a growing mood of informality, among the Americans especially, which was mirrored in fashions that emphasized youthfulness and relaxation. In the past, there was a special outfit for every event in the well-dressed gentleman's day, but young men in the s, no longer afraid to show their youthfulness, began to wear the same soft wool suit all day long.
Short suit jackets replaced the old long jackets of the past which were now only worn for formal occasions. Men had a variety of sport clothes available to them, including sweaters and short pants, commonly known as knickers. For evening wear a short tuxedo was more fashionable than the tail-coat, which was now seen as somewhat old-fashioned. The London cut, with its slim lines, loose-fitting sleeves, and padded shoulders, perfected by the English tailor Scholte, was very popular.
Fair Isle patterns became very popular for both sexes. Heels, at the time, were often over two inches high and helped popularize the two-tone shoe its one of her trademarks. Many stars of the [silent film]s had a significant impact on fashion during the s, including Louise Brooks , Gloria Swanson , and Colleen Moore. The lighthearted, forward-looking fashions of the s gradually came to halt after the Wall Street Crash of , and succumbed to a more conservative style.
While the flapper look persisted into , it quickly disappeared afterwards, although bell-shaped hats lasted through In the s, as the public began to feel the effects of the Great Depression , many designers found that crises were not the time for experimentation. Fashion became more compromising, aspiring to preserve feminism 's victories while rediscovering a subtle and reassuring elegance and sophistication. Overall, s clothing was somber and modest, reflecting the difficult social and economic situation of the decade.
Women's fashions moved away from the brash, daring style of the s towards a more romantic, feminine silhouette. The waistline was restored, hemlines dropped to nearly ankle-length, there was renewed appreciation of the bust, and backless evening gowns and soft, slim-fitting day dresses became popular. The female body was remodeled into a more neo-classical shape, and slim, toned, and athletic bodies came into vogue.
The fashion for outdoor activities stimulated couturiers to manufacture what would today be referred to as "sportswear.
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In place of the bobbed flapper haircut, the standard women's hairstyle of the s was a modest, short perm. Two of the most prominent and influential fashion designers of the s were Elsa Schiaparelli and Madeleine Vionnet. Elsa Schiaparelli showed her first collection in and was immediately hailed by the press as 'one of the rare innovators' of the day.
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With her exciting and inventive designs, Schiaparelli did not so much revolutionize fashion as shatter its foundations. She consistently turned out notable collections thereafter. Madeleine Vionnet found her inspiration in ancient statues, creating timeless and beautiful gowns that would not look out of place on a Greek frieze. Queen of the bias cut cutting diagonally across the fabric's lengthwise threads , she produced evening dresses that fitted the body without excessive elaboration or dissimulation, employing a flowing and elegant line.
The unparalleled success of Vionnet's cuts guaranteed her reputation right up to her retirement in Mainbocher , the first American designer to live and work in Paris, was also influential, with his plain yet supremely elegant designs, often employing the bias cut pioneered by Vionnet. Toward the end of the decade, women's fashions took on a somewhat more imposing and broad-shouldered silhouette, possibly influenced by Elsa Schiaparelli. Men's fashions continued the informal, practical trend that had dominated since the end of the First World War. A new youth style emerged in the s, changing the focus of fashion.
In the West, the traditional divide between high society and the working class was challenged. In particular, a new young generation wanted to reap the benefits of a booming consumer society. Privilege became less blatantly advertised than in the past and differences were more glossed over. As the ancient European hierarchies were overturned, the external marks of distinction faded.
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By the time the first rockets were launched into space, Europe was more than ready to adopt a quality ready-to-wear garment along American lines—something to occupy the middle ground between off-the-peg and couture. This need was all the more pressing because increases in overheads and raw material costs were beginning to relegate handmade fashion to the sidelines. Meanwhile, rapidly developing new technologies made it increasingly easy to manufacture an ever-improving, high-quality product. Faced with the threat of a factory-made, fashion-based product, Parisian fashion couture mounted its defenses, but to little effect.
While the old world was taking its final bow, the changes in fashion were one of the most visible manifestations of the general shake-up in society. Before long, classes of women hitherto restricted to inferior substitutes to haute couture would enjoy a greatly enlarged freedom of choice. Dealing in far larger quantities, production cycles were longer than those of couture workshops, which meant that stylists planning their lines for the twice-yearly collections had to try to guess more than a year in advance what their customers would want.
A new authority had taken over—that of the street, constituting a further threat to the dictatorship of couture. Several designers, including Mainbocher, permanently relocated to New York. In the enormous moral and intellectual re-education program undertaken by the French state, couture was not spared. In contrast to the stylish, liberated Parisienne, the Vichy regime promoted the model of the wife and mother—a robust, athletic young woman—a figure much more consistent with the new regime's political agenda.
Meanwhile, Germany was taking possession of over half of what France produced, including high fashion, and was considering relocating French haute couture to Berlin and Vienna. The archives of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture were seized, including, most consequentially, the client list. The point of all this was to break up a monopoly that supposedly threatened the dominance of the Third Reich.
Due to difficult times, hemlines crept upward in both evening wear and day wear, the latter of which was made using substitute materials whenever possible. From onward, no more than four meters thirteen feet of cloth was permitted to be used for a coat and a little over one meter three feet for a blouse.
No belt could be over 3 centimetres one and a half inches wide. Despite this, haute couture did its best to keep its flag flying. Humor and frivolity became a popstar way of defying the occupying powers and couture survived. Although some have argued that the reason it endured was due to the patronage of the wives of wealthy Nazis, in actuality, records reveal that, aside from the usual wealthy Parisiennes, it was an eclectic mix of the wives of foreign ambassadors, clients from the black market, and miscellaneous other patrons of the salons among whom German women were but a minority that kept the doors shut open at fashion houses such as Jacques Fath , Maggy Rouff , Marcel Rochas, Jeanne Lafaurie, Nina Ricci , and Madeleine Vramant.
Around the time of world war a huge percentage of the money was being spent on missions, gear for the soldiers and supplies that were needed to win the war. These demands left the fashion industry with little to no material for production. Housewives along with actual designers were left with the reusing of old fabric or creating new styles out of old garments. Permed hairstyles remained standard, although during the '40s, this evolved into a bobbed roll along the lower part of the hairline.
During the Occupation, the only true way for a woman to flaunt her extravagance or add color to a drab outfit was to wear a hat. In this period, hats were often made of scraps of material that would otherwise have been thrown away, including bits of paper and wood shavings. Paris's isolated situation in the s enabled Americans to fully utilize the ingenuity and creativity of their own designers.