Fashion, 1750-2000


English politics

Princess Charlotte + King George II wedding


Wore stiff-bodied gown with a boned bodice worn with a separate petticoat and train. Usual court wear was a mantua and petticoat.

Mantua had entered fashion informally as a loose gown but had now been shaped by pleating the back and stitching the pleats to fit the upper half of the body. Skirt fell long and full and was lifted and raped at the back. or made a train for court wear.













1847 - 1940

John Redfern of the House of Redfern was a distinguished British tailor offering the finest garments to his clientele, his specialty being suits.

John Redfern (11 November 1820 - 22 November 1895) started out as a tailor in Cowes in 1855. With the support of his sons, Ernest and Charles Poynter Redfern (1853-1929), John Redfern opened a salon in London in 1881, followed by shops in New York and Rhode Island in 1884-85, and by 1891, there were Redfern & Sons branches in Edinburgh and Paris. Ernest ran the London and New York branches, whilst Charles, and later, John Poynter Redfern, ran the Paris salon.From 1892, when Redfern's sons took control of the business, the house became known as Redfern Ltd. Redfern Ltd. eventually closed in 1932, briefly reopened in 1936, and closed again in 1940.

By 1871 Redfern had expanded his tailoring business to include the design and sale of silk dresses and mourning dress. During that decade Redfern & Sons began offering clothing specifically for sport, with tailored garments for women who rode, played tennis, went yachting, and did archery. Although intended for specific sporting pursuits, these clothes were adopted as everyday wear by their clients, making Redfern probably the first sportswear designer. In 1879 the house created a dress in jersey which was worn by Lillie Langtry who became known as the 'Jersey lily' (from her birthplace in Jersey). In 1888, Redfern became Dressmaker By Royal Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen and H.R.H. The Princess of Wales.

Redfern Ltd. is one of the designers credited with helping popularise the high-waisted so-called Grecian style of 1908.[1] At this time, and into the early 1910s, the house's designs were often illustrated in La Gazette du Bon Ton. In 1916 Redfern created the first women's uniform for the Red Cross.[1]

Jacques Doucet

1853 - 1929

Jacques Doucet was first, and foremost, a connoisseur of art. Additionally, his passion for the refined and exquisite overflowed into his dealings with fashion, making him one of the finest French couturiers during the Belle Époque. The House of Doucet began as a family business, specializing in women's lingerie and laces, as well as articles of clothing for men. Founded in 1817, the company rose to fame under the hand of Jacques. The house was known for its luxurious offerings, which were worn and coveted by royalty, members of the elite society in both Europe and America, and actresses of the stage.

Known for his elegant dresses, made with flimsy translucent materials in superimposing pastel colors.
He was born in Paris in 1853 to a prosperous family whose lingerie and linens business, Doucet Lingerie, had flourished in the Rue de la Paix since 1816. In 1871, Doucet opened a salon selling ladies' apparel. An enthusiastic collector of eighteenth-century furniture, objets d'art, paintings and sculptures, many of his gowns were strongly influenced by this opulent era. A designer of taste and discrimination, Doucet valued dignity and luxury above novelty and practicality and therefore gradually went out of popularity during the 1920s. His most original designs were those he created for actresses of the time. Cecile Sorel, Rejane and Sarah Bernhardt (for whom he designed her famous white costume in L'Aiglon) all often wore his outfits, both on and off the stage. For the aforementioned actresses he reserved a particular style, one which consisted of frills, sinuous curving lines and lace ruffles the colors of faded flowers.

A collector of art and literature throughout his life, by the time of his death he had a collection of Post-Impressionist and Cubist paintings (including "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon", which he bought direct from Picasso's studio), as well as two libraries of manuscripts by contemporary writers, both of which he left to the French nation.

1st Paris Exhibition



1858 - 1895

Charles Frederick Worth born in England, apprentices in London drapers. Engaged by the maison Gagelin in Paris in 1845, makes premier commis. Marries Marie Vernet, demoiselle de magasin at Gagelin.

Wins gold medal for MaisonGagelin "India" shawl and gowns by Worth at 1851 Exhibition. Only medal awarded to France.

1855 Exhibition, wins 1st prize for a manteau de cour for Gagelin.

1858 Worth leaves Gagelin, sets up partnership with Otto Bobergh at 7 rue de la Paix.
1860 Worth becomes couturier to the Empress Eugenie and the Court of the 2nd Empire
1867 International Exhibition Worth introduces new silhouette without crinoline
1870-71 Closes house due to war
1895 CF Worth dies, Jean Philippe and Gaston take over until the 1920s. Paul Poiret is hired as associate designer. Perfumes introduced.
1946 Gaston's grandsons sell out interest after WWII

Worth's rise as a designer coincided with the establishment of the Second Empire in France. The restoration of a royal house in 1852, with Napoleon III (1808–1873) as the new emperor, once again made Paris an imperial capital and the setting for numerous state occasions. Napoleon III implemented a grand vision for both Paris and France, initiating changes and modernization that revitalized the French economy and made Paris into a showpiece of Europe. The demand for luxury goods, including textiles and fashionable dress, reached levels that had not been seen since before the French Revolution (1789–99). When Napoleon III married Empress Eugénie (1826–1920), her tastes set the style at court (1978.403; 01.21). The empress's patronage ensured Worth's success as a popular dressmaker from the 1860s onward.

Worth's designs are notable for his use of lavish fabrics and trimmings, his incorporation of elements of historic dress, and his attention to fit. While the designer still created one-of-a-kind pieces for his most important clients, he is especially known for preparing a variety of designs that were shown on live models at the House of Worth. Clients made their selections and had garments tailor-made in Worth's workshop.

Although Worth was not the first or only designer to organize his business in this way, his aggressive self-promotion earned him the titles "father of haute couture" and "the first couturier." By the 1870s, Worth's name frequently appeared in ordinary fashion magazines, spreading his fame to women beyond courtly circles.

Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne


Founded by Worth in 1868.


1879 - 1944

Paul Poiret was the son of a textile distributor with the ambition and creativity to become a fashion designer. Brief employment for Jacques Doucet (1853-1929) and the House of Worth (1858-1956) led him to open his own dressmaking shop near the Place de l'Opèra in 1903 at the age of 24. His first two design albums, "Les Robes de Paul Poiret" drawn by Paul Iribe (1883-1935) in 1908 and "Les Choses de Paul Poiret" created by Georges Lepape (1887-1971) in 1911, not only changed the concept of fashion marketing and illustration, they prophesied the pivotal transition women made from the corseted silhouette of the Victorian age into the natural and sleek un-corseted form of the modern era.

Uncorseted like Lucile, Vionnet.

See Met bio:

Jeanne Paquin

1891 - 1920

Born in Saint-Denis in 1869, Paquin trained as a dressmaker at Rouff and later opened her own fashion house in 1891. The Maison Paquin quickly became known for its Eighteenth century-inspired pastel evening dresses and tailored day dresses, as well as for its numerous publicity stunts, including organizing fashion parades to promote her new models and sending her models to operas and races in order to show off her designs. Paquin also frequently collaborated with the illustrators and architects Leon Bakst, George Barbier, Robert Mallet-Stevens, and Louis Süe for the creation of stage costumes, the publication of dress albums and the decoration of her private residences, reinforcing her reputation as a thoroughly modern designer.

Jeanne Paquin withdrew from the House in 1920, leaving the administration with Henri Joire, and the artistic direction to Madeleine Wallis. The direction of the House later returned to Colette Massignac who was able to adapt the style of the collections to the popular "New Look" of the 1950s. In 1953, the Maison Paquin purchased the French branch of the House of Worth, but financial difficulties forced the House to close down in 1956.

In her time, Paquin had a prestige equal to that of Charles Frederick Worth and Jacques Doucet.

Callot Soeurs

1895 - 1937

Callot Soeurs (French pronunciation: [kalo sœʁ]) was a fashion design house opened in 1895 at 24, rue Taitbout in Paris, France. It was operated by the four Callot sisters: Marie Callot Gerber, Marthe Callot Bertrand, Regina Callot Tennyson-Chantrell and Joséphine Callot Crimont. The eldest sister, Marie, was trained in dressmaking and they were all taught by their mother, a lacemaker. The sisters began working with antique laces and ribbons to enhance blouses and lingerie. Their success led to an expansion into other clothing and in 1914 they moved to larger premises on the Avenue Matignon. Marie, the elder sister was in charge of design, having earlier worked for Raudnitz and Co., prominent Parisian dressmakers.
The couturier Madeleine Vionnet was apprenticed at Callot upon her return to Paris. It was here that she refined her technique in couture.

Callot Soeurs clothing was known for its exotic detail. They were among the first designers to use gold and silver lamé to make dresses. During the 1920s they were one of the leading fashion houses in Paris, catering to an exclusive clientele from across Europe and the United States.

In 1926 the American designer Elizabeth Hawes, while working in Paris, regularly wore Callot Soeurs. Hawes insisted that people should wear what they personally liked, not what was considered fashionable, and despite American buyers at that time considering Callot Soeurs' dresses out of date and unfashionable, she happily wore their "simple clothes with wonderful embroidery" that lasted her for several years.

In 1928 Pierre Gerber, Marie Callot Gerber's son, took over the business but could not survive in the highly competitive market and, in 1937, the House of Callot Soeurs closed and was absorbed into the House of Calvet (Marie-Louise Calvet); under the Callot label. However, World War II made matters difficult in France. Similarly to what happened with the House of Vionnet in 1939, Calvet and the Callot label finally closed in 1952.

In 1988, rights in the Callot label were purchased by the Lummen family known to have relaunched the House of Vionnet in 1995.

Wiener Secession


Klimt, Josef Hoffmann, Olbrich, Koloman Moser, Carl Moll. Influenced by Arts and Crafts movement. Wanted new women's dress.

1903 Wiener Werkstatte (Moser, Hoffman, Warndorfer). Add textile department in 1909 and fashion department in 1911.

Wiener Werkstette


1907 WW starts designing costumes for the Cabaret Fledermaus. 1910 fashion first introduced. 1914 separate factory for fashion production. Loose fitting reform dress (Floge, Klimt, Moser) and re-interpretation as an Empire mode by Poiret.

1902-1903 Wiener Mode magazine: reform dress, new style, Libety style, princess style.

Klimt probably collaborated with Emilie Floge.

Floge wearing dress maybe by Klimt, c. 1907

Moser's gowns hung from the shoulders, freed waist. Simplicity of line, resemble kimono, absence of trimmings. Became head of WW fashion department. Adopted geometric forms.

Meliva Roller, embroidery reform dress.

Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne


Set up to control schedule, copyrights. Paris was establishing a system to maintain its dominance in the world.

Chambre Syndicale Reconstitued


American business so important that the Chambre reconstituted itself to set up the system of regular seasonal showings for the benefit of overseas buyers.


1913 - 1939

Born in 1883, orphanage. Early ambitions on stage in a cafe concert, sang "Qui qu'a vu Coco?" Etienne Balsan was Chanel's first lover. Went to live with him at 25. Preferred simple costumes at Balsan's estate. Favored masculine style to set her apart from Balsan's other mistresses at the house.

1907 Chanel meets Boy Capel (coal-mine and shipping millionaire, polo player). Set up shop in Balsan's apt around 1908-9 to make hats (small, simply trimmed, flat). Opens at 21 rue Cambon in 1910. Financially independent by 1913. Moves to Deauville with Boy and sets up shop. Probably begins designing dresses for private women around this type, but 1917 her sweater dress was a general fashion with versions available in silk and wool.

Chanel flourished not just in spite of the war, but perhaps because of it. Practical, new active lifestyle. Chanel stays in Deauville until 1916, then goes back to Paris, leaving others to run her shop.

1915: opens first fashion house, in Biarritz. American market was her main clientele. By 1916 the combined staff of Paris, Deauville, Biarritz totalled 300. Favorite colors were reds (Bordeaux), embroidered in gold and dull-colored silks, deep blue, marron, and other dark grounds. Chanel loved furs.

By 1917 she was the "House of Jersey." in 1916 purchased an unsold stock of jersey from Jean Rodier (had been intended for sports clothes for men). Overcame stretchy nature by making simple, supple shapes. Radically different from the extravagance of Poiret. By 1917 known on both sides of the Atlantic. Meets Misia Sert in 1917, her only true friend. Boy dies on Xmas eve 1919

Chanel says that 1919 was "the year she woke up famous."

1920s: rivalry with Jean Patou. 1928 installed faceted glass mirrors into her couture salon to create a Modernist impression of endless space. Clutter acceptable in a room, but not on clothes. 1920-4: Chanel's Slav period.

1921 launched No.5. First perfume to bear a couturier's name on the label.

1923 meets Duke of Windsor. His clothes are a huge influence. Inspired by humble menswear.
1926 introduced legendary little black dress. Ford of dresses.
1929 Patou drops hemline and returns waist to natural position, Chanel follows.
Designs for stage: 1922 Cocteau's Antigone, 1924 Le Train Bleu, 1926 Cocteau's Orphee...

Many copied her, she did not mind. In 1932 invited dressmakers and manufacturers to directly copy her models in order to raise funds for the war Service Legion.

1930s: retained lucrative Indian and South American clients. Worked in Hollywood between 1931-2 (earned $2 M), but clothes were not sensational enough. Fashion were luxuriously, dramatic, feminine.

1936 strike after Popular Front gains majority. Continues to design for French film, also theater. 1930s Chanel designs her best jewellry, Bijoux de diaments and baked enamel (designed in collaboration with the Duke of Verdura).

Fashion from 1936-9: in competition with Schiaprelli and Vionnet. Did some surrealist designs, but visual simplicity of bias-cut day and evening wear and fluid garments inspired by classical sources. Dramatic color combinations. Influenced by peasants and gypsies.

Chanel lived at the Ritz during the war, then in Switzerland from 1945-55.

Golden Age Haute Couture

1920 - 1939

Rising names in fashion design (Jean Patou, Edward Molyneux, Lucien Lelong) actively worked alonside the older establishes houses of Paquin, Callot Soeurs. Female designers especially influential: 1920s Chanel and Vionnet.

1930s: Schiaparelli (also Chanel, Vionnet, and Balenciaga--opens in 1937). Adrian in Hollywood.

Association with art: Surrealism, Futurism, Art Deco.
Photography: Man Ray, Adophe de Meyer (1910s), Edward Steichen (1920s), 1930s color photography. Geroge Hoyningen-Huene, Horst P. Horst: modernist photography.


1927 - 1954

C. Balenciaga

1937 - 1968

A true fashion innovator, Cristobal Balenciaga radically altered the fashionable silhouette of women in the mid-twentieth century. With the methodical skill of an expert tailor, he created garments of fluidity and grace. Unlike many couturiers, Balenciaga was able to drape, cut, and fit his own muslin patterns, known as toiles. He was respected throughout the fashion world for both his knowledge of technique and construction, and his unflinching perfectionism.

Balenciaga was born in the small fishing village of Guetaria in the Basque region of Spain on January 21, 1895. From his early years, he spent many hours by his mother's side as she worked as a seamstress. In his teens, the most prominent woman of his town, the Marquesa de Casa Torres, became his patron and client, sending him to Madrid for formal training in tailoring and proudly wearing the results. Balenciaga found early success in his native country. He opened branches of his boutique Eisa in Madrid, Barcelona, and the fashionable seaside resort of San Sebastián. His designs were favored by the Spanish royal family and fashionable members of the aristocracy. When the Spanish Civil War forced the closure of his boutiques, Balenciaga moved his operation to Paris, the acknowledged fashion capital of the world. There the talented designer joined the ranks of Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Mainbocher, among other established couturiers. In August 1937, Balenciaga staged his first runway show at his Avenue George V atelier, showing a collection that was heavily influenced by the Spanish Renaissance. Balenciaga interpreted numerous historical styles throughout his career. His "Infanta" gown was inspired by the costumes of the young Spanish princesses from portraits by Diego Velázquez, while the short, heavily ornamented "jacket of light" traditionally worn by toreadors in the bullfighting ring inspired much of his evening wear.

By 1939, Balenciaga was being praised in the French press as a revolutionizing force in fashion, with buyers and customers fighting to gain access to his collection. During World War II, clients risked travel to Europe for Balenciaga's designs, especially his celebrated square coat—in which the sleeve was cut in one piece with the yoke—and anything shown in his unique color combination of black and brown or black lace over bright pink. In the postwar years, Balenciaga's designs became streamlined and linear. The clothing he created was different than the popular, curvy hourglass shape that Christian Dior promoted with his New Look. Balenciaga favored fluid lines that allowed him to alter the way clothing related to a woman's body. Waistlines were dropped, then raised, independent of the wearer's natural waistline. In 1953, he introduced the balloon jacket, an elegant sphere that encased the upper body and provided a pedestal for the wearer's head. In 1957 came the creation of his high-waisted baby doll dress, the gracefully draped cocoon coat, and the balloon skirt, shown as a single pouf or doubled, one pouf on top of the other. Neither the sack dress, introduced in 1957, nor the chemise of 1958 had a discernible waist, but both were considered universally flattering and were copied by a large number of ready-to-wear manufacturers at every price range. With these design innovations, Balenciaga achieved what is considered to be his most important contribution to the world of fashion: a new silhouette for women.

Throughout the 1960s, Balenciaga continued showing collections of unparalleled technique and beauty. His innovative use of fabric—he liked bold materials, heavy cloths, and ornate embroideries—led him to work with the Swiss fabric house of Abraham. Together they developed silk gazar, a stiffer version of the pliable fabric that Balenciaga used in suits, day dresses, and evening wear. Loyal clients such as the Duchess of Windsor, Pauline de Rothschild, and Gloria Guinness continued to appreciate the discreet but important touches he provided in his clothing: collars that stood away from the collarbone to give a swanlike appearance and the shortened (seven-eighths-length) bracelet sleeve, so called because it enabled the wearer to better flaunt her jewelry. When the Balenciaga salon closed in 1968, the occasion marked the end of the career of a great artist whose influence is still being felt in the twenty-first century. The modern look that he created has been sustained by André Courrèges and Emanuel Ungaro, who both apprenticed at his atelier, and by Hubert de Givenchy, among others. Balenciaga died on March 24, 1972, at home in his beloved Spain. A longtime client offered a fitting epitaph: "Women did not have to be perfect or even beautiful to wear his clothes. His clothes made them beautiful."

Jacques Fath

1937 - 1954

The son of André Fath, an Alsatian-Flemish insurance agent, Fath came from a creative family. His paternal great-grandparents, Caroline and Theodore-Georges Fath, were a fashion illustrator and writer, and his paternal grandfather, Rene-Maurice Fath, was a landscape painter.
Fath presented his first collection in 1937, working out of a two room salon on Rue de la Boetie. The studio was later moved to a second location on Rue Francois Premier in 1940 before settling into a third location at 39 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie in 1944.[1] Among his models was Lucie Daouphars (1921 or 1922–1963), a.k.a. Lucky, a former welder who eventually become the top house model for Christian Dior.[1]
As self-taught designer who learned his craft from studying museum exhibitions and books about fashion, Fath hired a number of young designers as assistants and apprentices, some of which later went on to form their own houses, including Hubert de Givenchy, Guy Laroche,[2] and Valentino Garavani.[3]
A popular and occasionally innovative designer known for dressing "the chic young Parisienne", Fath utilized such materials as hemp sacking and sequins made of walnut and almond shells.[4] His 1950 collection was called Lily, and its skirts were shaped to resemble flowers. For eveningwear, he advocated velvet gowns. During World War II, Fath was known for "wide fluttering skirts" which, The New York Times explained, "he conceived for the benefit of women forced to ride bicycles during gasoline rationing". His clients included Ava Gardner, Greta Garbo, and Rita Hayworth, who wore a Fath dress for her wedding to Prince Aly Khan.

Pierre Balmain

1945 - 1982

The name Pierre Balmain stands for a unique concept of elegance, a clientele of royalty and film stars, and a fashion hallmark recognized throughout the world. Vogue declared that "eventful skirts" were his speciality; they were often embellished with embroidered motifs such as leaves, cherries or scrolls. Balmain’s full-skirted silhouette was part of the new post-war luxury. His dresses were always carefully constructed. Signature details included drapery or a bow across the shoulders and fur hoods, muffs or trims.

Theatre de la Mode


Effort to re-launch Paris Couture business after the war. Miniature mannequins 70 cm high dressed in Couture clothing. Yearlong tour of nine cities around the world.

C. Dior

1947 - 1957

Christian Dior's reputation as one of the most important couturiers of the twentieth century was launched in 1947 with his very first collection, in which he introduced the "New Look." Featuring rounded shoulders, a cinched waist, and very full skirt, the New Look celebrated ultra-femininity and opulence in women's fashion. After years of military and civilian uniforms, sartorial restrictions and shortages, Dior offered not merely a new look but a new outlook.

Born and raised in Normandy, France, Dior moved with his parents to Paris when he was ten. After studying political science, he served in the military. His design career did not begin until 1935, when he returned to Paris and began selling sketches. The designer Robert Piguet hired him in 1938. During World War II, Dior served in the south of France, then returned again to Paris in 1941 and worked for Lucien Lelong at a much larger design house. In 1946, backed by textile manufacturer Marcel Boussac, he opened his own house.

Dior helped to restore a beleaguered postwar Paris as the capital of fashion. Each of his collections throughout this period had a theme. Spring 1947 was "Carolle" or "figure 8," a name that suggested the silhouette of the new look with its prominent shoulders, accentuated hips, and small waist. The spring 1953 collection, dubbed "Tulip," featured an abundance of floaty, flowery prints. Spring 1955's "A-line," with its undefined waist and smooth silhouette that widened over the hips and legs, resembled a capital "A." Some of Dior's designs simulated Second Empire and other historical styles, but he was also creating menswear, trompe-l'oeil detailing, and soft-to-hard juxtapositions, making them part of the modern wardrobe. By his final collections, Dior, feeling the need for a more limber silhouette and lifestyle, was designing chemises, narrow tunics, and sari-like wraps.

Together with his partner Jacques Rouet, Dior pioneered license agreements in the fashion business. By 1948, he had arranged lucrative licensing deals for fur, stockings, and perfumes, which not only generated revenue but also made him a household name. While the House of Dior is still a thriving business today, Dior's untimely death in 1957 left the fashion world without a great dictator of style. Christian Dior designed under his own name for only a decade, but his influence will be felt for many years to come.

Chanel, bis

1953 - 1971

Competition with Dior. Went to work again at age 70 to oppose the new dictators of fashion. Wertheimer said that N5 sales were lagging, house needed to be reopened to revive business. 130 models for first new collection, revealed Feb. 5th 1954. French press thought her too old, world not ready for a revival of simple styles. But the American press loved it. Faithful to a range of colors: red, black, beige, white, blue, jersey tweeds, satins, plain and printed chiffons, brocades, velvet, lames.

By 1957 Chanel was back on top again. Leader of fashion when Dior dies in 1957. The era of the Chanel suit. Her suit was "naked" without jewelry. Wanted royalties from copies. Allowed her clothes to be photographed by the press in 1954. By 1960 Chanel suit was a classic, for work and meetings. First quilted bag appears in 1955.

Dies in 1971.

Chanel (Lagerfeld)

1983 - 2012

House of Chanel at a low following C's death. Associated with an ageing clientele. RTW launched in 1978. Only came back with Lagerfeld.

Incorporated her motifs. Sometimes pays homage, sometimes parodies them.

No longer owns textile factories, but commissions fabric from Linton Tweeds of Carlisle.

Vivienne Westwood

1984 - 2012

Breaks w/ McLaren in 1983, then incredibly prolific. From World's End sheproduced Pirate, Savage, Buffalo, Hobo-Punkature, Witches collections.

1986 mini-crini collection a turning point for Westwood: she makes fewer overt challenges to the status quo, instead began to rework historical dress in modern idiom.

John Galliano

1984 - 2010

1984 graduation collection, Les Incroyables, based on post-revolutionary France, was bought by the London fashion shop Browns where it filled the entire window display.

Designed in own name during the late 1980s and early 90s.
Moved to Paris in 1989.
1995 appointed principal designer at Givenchy (there for 3 seasons, then moved to Dior)
1997 first HC collection for Dior

Alexander McQueen

1992 - 2010

Darkly romantic, harsh vision of history and politics. Bumster, Amazonia female glamor, terror.

1996 replaces Galliano at Givenchy (who goes to Dior).
2001 leaves Givenchy, sells controlling share of his label to Gucci to start a global luxury brand.

Hussein Chalayan

1993 - 2012

Graduated from CSM with collection of used rusted fabric. Spectacular 90s shows.

Unusual fabric, architecture, science, technology, travel, exile. Late 90s starts to show in Paris. London loses Chalayan, Galliano, McQueen to Paris by the late 90s.

Women's fashion


1670 - 1790

The late 1670s saw a new development in the style of women's dress that would have a far-reaching effect throughout the following century. The stiff constricting boned bodice-and-skirt style previously worn by women was now replaced with the mantua, a more loosely draped style of gown.

The mantua was thought to display silk designs to their best advantage, as they were draped rather than cut; as such, it is believed the garment was named after Mantua in Italy, where expensive silks were produced. However, it has also been suggested that the name derives from manteau, the French term for a coat.

The mantua was a coatlike construction, with sleeves cut in one piece with the back and front.

It was pleated at the shoulders and fell to the waist, where it was held in place by a sash.

From there it was folded back into a bustle shape and worn over a matching petticoat.

As the style evolved, the pleats at the front were reduced in number and the bodice was opened, with the torso now covered by a stiffened piece of fabric in the form of an inverted triangle, tapering into a narrow waist. This piece of fabric was known as a stomacher. Early examples are often intricately embroidered.

While these gowns appear quite substantial, they were actually precariously fastened with pins to hold the stomacher in place.

Originally an informal style, and banned for its informality from the French court by Louis XIV, the mantua gradually became acceptable as formal dress and remained a popular choice for court dress in England until the mid-century. Its popularity was such that dressmakers were referred to as mantua-makers.

From about 1710, it became customary to pin up the train. The construction of the mantua was altered so that once the train was pinned up, the exposed reverse of the train showed the proper face of the fabric or embroidery. One of the earliest extant examples of this, dated to 1710–1720, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum's collections.

By the mid-18th century, the mantua had evolved into a formal version principally worn for court dress. The draping of the overskirt became increasingly stylized, with the back panel of the train almost entirely concealed.

VAM, 1740-1745

The final version of the mantua, circa 1780, bore little resemblance to the original mantuas of nearly a century earlier. Instead of earlier elaborate draperies and folds, the train had evolved into a length of fabric attached to the back of the bodice, as illustrated in an example in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

VAM, 1775-1785

Extant examples of the 17th century mantua are extremely scarce. Perhaps the only known extant adult-size example is an embroidered wool mantua and petticoat in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. A pattern taken from this mantua has been published by Norah Waugh.

The Victoria and Albert Museum owns an extremely rare late 17th century fashion doll dressed in a pink silk mantua and petticoat.

Also in the Costume Institute is a mantua and petticoat in salmon pink bizarre silk dated to 1708.

Another early mantua, the silk dated to c. 1708–9 belongs to the Clive House Museum, Shrewsbury, a pattern for this mantua has been taken by Janet Arnold. Most mantuas preserved in museum collections are formal versions from the mid-18th century, intended for court dress.

Robes volantes


By 1720s the mantua had been transformed into the flowing robes volantes made famous in Watteau's paintings (by 1750s become form fitting --> robe a la francaise).

This robe volante is an exceedingly rare example of a well-documented form of dress that marked the transition from the mantua of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries to the robe à la française, the dress style that became ubiquitous in the eighteenth century. The unstructured silhouette of the robe volante, with its unbroken expanses of cloth, made it particularly appropriate for the display of large-scale patterning.

Robe a la francaise

1720 - 1780

Aka: Sack-back, Watteau, sacque, contouche

The robe à la française was derived from the loose negligee sacque dress of the earlier part of the century, which was pleated from the shoulders at the front at the back.

The silhouette, composed of a funnel-shaped bust feeding into wide rectangular skirts, was inspired by Spanish designs of the previous century and allowed for expansive amounts of textiles with delicate Rococo curvilinear decoration.

The wide skirts, which were often open at the front to expose a highly decorated underskirt, were supported by paniers created from padding and hoops of different materials such as cane, baleen or metal. The robes à la française are renowned for the beauty of their textiles, the cut of the back employing box pleats and skirt decorations, known as robings, which showed endless imagination and variety.

MMA, 1770-75


Eleanor Frances Dixie, c. 1753, by Henry Pickering. The sitter is wearing a bergère hat and a brocaded silk sack-back gown.

Anastasia Ivanovna, Countess of Hesse-Homburg, Princess Trubetskaya (1700–1755), painted by Alexander Roslin, wearing a pink silk sack-back gown and petticoat. 1757.

Robe a la polonaise

1770 - 1790

The polonaise gown first came into fashion in the 1770s. It was a style of gown with a close-fitting bodice and the back of the skirt gathered up into three separate puffed sections to reveal the petticoat below. The method of suspending the fabric varied. Most often the dress had rows of little rings sewn inside the skirt through which a cord ran from hem to waist.

In 1772 Poland was divided by three kingdoms, name derives from this political event. When the pleats at the back center of the robe were sewn down all the way to the waist, the style was called robe a l'anglaise.

Alternatively, ribbon ties would be used, with the ribbons forming decorative bows. However, in some instances the skirt was held in place by simple cords sewn to the inner waist of the dress and looped over buttons attached to the outside waistline.

The stays underpinning the bodice of the polonaise were not markedly different from those which supported the robe à la française.

MMA, 1780

MMA, 1780

Robe a l'anglaise

1770 - 1790

Women with coquettish airs were imposing in robes à la française and robes à l'anglaise throughout the period between 1720 and 1780. The robe à l'anglaise developed with a fitted back after the style of dress worn in England.

Growing popularity of simpler, more functional dresses in france was in part due to "Anglomania": first signs of Anglomania in men's costume can be found in the final years of the reign of Louis XIV and then in women's costumes after 1770. (robe retroussee dans les poches --> robe a la polonaise --> robe a l'anglaise).

Although worn in the 1750s, etc. the robe a l'anglaise really becomes popular after 1770. The vogue for the robe a l'anglaise introduced the English version of the mantua to France. Although male tailors as well as female seamstresses could make the mantua and its successors for women, the dress became the special province of the seamstresses (J. Jones).

The robe à l'anglaise was an open robe consisting of a bodice cut in one piece with an overskirt that was parted in front to reveal a matching petticoat. Its fitted bodice did not have the center back pleats, often referred to as the "Watteau back," that typified the equally popular style of the robe à la française.

Sometimes the robe was worn without a pannier, attaining its round shape solely through the drapes of the skirt. Later, during the REvolutionary period, the trend incorporated the stomacher and skirt, and was transformed into a one-piece dress, or round gown.

MMA, 1770 (American)

MMA, 1750-1775

Casaquin or Caraco


During the same period that rococo reached such decorative heights, the aristocracy found itself turning toward the fashion of the commoners for hints on how to dress for a more comfortable lifestyle. THe functional coats and skirts of ordinary people influenced aristocratic women's costumes, which gradually tended toward simpler styles, except on formal occasions.

A practical short coat called a casaquin or a caraco was adopted for everyday wear, and robes were simplified.

The stomacher, for example, once attached to the robe with pins, was no replaced by the relative ease of two flaps of fabric (comperes) that connected the front opening of the robe (Tokyo).

MMA, 2nd half 19th

MMA, 1780

Chemise a la Reine


Neo-classicism, JJ Rousseau's "return to nature", influenced by Anglomania: MA and the Chemise a la Reine. Simple cotton dress, simple, white muslin chemise. Transitional form to the high-waisted dress of the Directory period. Demand for cotton fabric burgeoned in Europe, spur to the Industrial Revolution.

In the Directory the "chemise a la reine" becomes the Chemise dress.


Vigee le Brun, 1781

MA, 1784




MA in redingote, 1780

Madame Élisabeth de France (1764–1794)
Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (French, Paris 1749–1803 Paris)

Redingote, Kyoto, 1790

Robe retrousee dans les poches


Skirts were pulled through the slits for the pockets in the side of the dress and draped over the back in a practical arrangement originally created for working-class women to wear while at work or walking through the town (Anglomania, succeeded by the polonaise).

In accordance with the English custom of walks in the countryside and relaxing in the open air, it became popular to dress up in clothes derived from the work clothes and townwear of ordinary people, who, by their nature, put great importance on freedom of movement. One of these so inspired style is the “retroussée dans les poches”, as seen here. The gown’s hem is pulled out from slits in either side, and draped on the back. The red and white contrasting pekin stripes also heighten the folds’ effect.

“Pekin” stripes are textiles originally made in China of equal-width striped patterns of differing colors and weaving methods. Along with the expansion of interest in chinoiserie, around 1760, Peking striped fabric was even produced in France and became popular. As Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin(1699–1779) painted (“The Morning Toilette”, c.1741, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm) , women of the rich bourgeoisie often wore this kind of striped pattern.

Tokyo, 1780

The Haymakers (Common English dress)


Wrapping bedgown secured by apron. Black hats of 1780s fashion. Men work in wide-brimmed round hats; one has a waistcoat over a full-sleeved shirt.


1785 - 1790

The "pierrot", a short fitted jacket with short tails, was popular from the mid-1780s through the 1790s.
Just prior to the French Revolution, in contrast to extravagant court fashions clothing tended to be simple and comfortable, and stylish jackets began making their appearance. These jackets were worn with skirt of lightweight, white "linon", a woven cloth with a high linen-like quality made of thin and delicate cotton.

Pierrot, Kyoto,

MMA, Pierrot, 1785

Differentiated from the full-fledged Pierrot costume, the Pierrot as a shaped bodice flourished in that gasp of Rococo sensibility and extreme silhouette of about 1780 - 1790. The flared peplum extension of the jacket below the waist and asymmetrically around the back allows for the bulbous billowing skirt of the period. The bodice includes self-fabric ruffles, which would have embellished the skirt as well. The simple low-necked bodice is characteristic of the period, comparable to the "chemise à la reine."

Round gown

1790 - 1810

From elegant silk dress to simple cotton dress, the French Revolution in 1789 brought a clear shift in clothing styles. The popularity of white cotton muslin dresses became a craze at the beginning of the 19th century. The round gown has a high waistline reaching just below the bust, with the bodice and the skirt connected to form a one-piece dress. However, the round gown was soon replaced by the chemise dress, the most popular cotton dress of the early 19th century.

A forerunner of the simple muslin dress was one adopted by Marie-Antoinette. To escape the rigors of court life, the young queen took to dressing in a simple cotton dress and a big straw hat, and played at being a shepherdess at the Petit Trianon in Versailles. Around 1775 she wore a white cotton dress. Her portrait by Marie Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842) ("Marie-Antoinette", c. 1783, National Gallery, Washington) shows the "chemise à la reine". Looking at the materials and structures, we can say that the dress was a forerunner of the high waist dresses of the coming Directory period.

The simple style of white muslin dress first appeared and was popularized in France by Marie Antoinette in the 1780s, when her friend Georgiana, duchess of Devonshire, imported the style into England. These early dresses acquired the title of chemise à la reine, and a wonderful example can be seen worn by Mme Lavoisier in the 1788 portrait of herself and her husband (1977.10).

The French Revolution called for a complete contrast in dress to the elaborate silks that had gone before, and plain white muslin dresses were considered an appropriate style, evoking as they did images of unadorned classical beauty. In the latter years of the century, waistlines rose to extremely high levels and the wide sashes that had previously been worn around the waist disappeared. All ruffles and flounces were renounced in favor of a severe, clean line.

The light, transparent qualities of this style called for a change in undergarments. Corsets, or stays were now replaced by unboned canvas or cotton drill bodices, and for the first time women took to wearing drawers; adapted from male garments, these consisted of two tubular legs open in the center and attached to a waistband.

Until 1806, these dresses retained a small train at the back, supported by pom poms stitched below the waistline. After this date, hemlines began to rise and color was gradually reintroduced, with printed cotton fabrics being a popular choice. Silk was still worn, although it tended to be in plain colors; it was popularly used for the pelisse—a long coatlike garment—or the spencer jacket. This was a small jacket finishing just below the waist with long sleeves reaching to just above the knuckles.

Round gown, Italy, 1795

Round gown, MMA, British, 1798

Round gown, MMA, 1785
This afternoon dress in the form of a round gown steadfastly keeps up appearances and can pass for eighteenth-century opulence, especially in its colors and textile richness. But the high-waisted dress, spencer, corset, and separate sleeves constitute a new anatomy, one that anticipates the century to come. This shape would be renewed in the 1880s and 1890s, as one fin de siècle recapitulated the preceeding fin de siècle.

Directory and Consulate neo-classicism (Chemise Dress)

1794 - 1804

Mme Recamier, JL David, 1800

Francois Gerard, 1805

Chemise dress: high waistline, single-pieced bodice and skirt, clean, tubular silhouette. Neoclassicism blended with Greek and Roman antiquity.

1794: women adopt most extreme forms of “classical” costume in defiance both of Jacobin Puritanism and conventional morality. Very sheer, very light, transparent dress, little underwear. Fake innocence and eroticism (white). Affected and expensive simplicity of this dress (India muslin was very expensive), set off by a fine shawl. These were the élégantes.

Climate not always suitable. But women wore fabrics other than white muslin: plain light colored taffetas, printed cottons, round gown, open robe, douillettes, redingotes. Wore shawls and redingotes and spencers outside to keep warm. (Shawls very expensive at first, spread to general public by 1830, France and England manufacture them by 1840).

Feet: wore sandals or little shoes.

Handbangs needed to contain things that used to be hidden in pockets under voluminous gowns. Reticules.

Jewellery added to classical muslin.

Merveilleuses (neo-classical)


Portrait of a woman, c. 1794-5, circle of David

Muscadins, petits-maitres, incroyables, merveilleuses: dressed in thin and transparent dresses without corsets or panniers.

The Merveilleuses scandalized Paris with dresses and tunics modeled after the ancient Greeks and Romans, cut of light or even transparent linen and gauze. Sometimes so revealing they were termed "woven air", many also displayed cleavage and were too tight to allow pockets. To carry even a handkerchief, these ladies had carry small bags known as reticules. They were fond of wigs, often choosing blonde because the Commune had banned blond wigs, but they also wore them in such colors as black, blue, and green. Enormous hats, short curls like those on Roman busts, and Greek-style sandals were all the rage. These tied above the ankle with crossed ribbons or strings of pearls. Exotic and expensive scents such as fabricated by well-connected perfume houses like Parfums Lubin were worn as both matters of style and indicators of social station. Thérésa Tallien became known for wearing expensive rings on the toes of her bare feet and gold circlets on her legs.

Silk returns, manteau de cour (NB)


After the Revolution, silk was replaced by more favored cotton materials from England, and the silk industry in Lyons, a driving force of the French economy, fell into a serious crisis. NB made an effort to revive the French industry by prohibiting English muslin, imposing duties on imports, ordered that men and women wear silk at formal ceremonies. Velvet and silk used for chemise dresses.

Formal dress, 1805. White silk gauze.

Court dress, mid-1820s. White silk satin with silk tulle embroidered with gold thread. The court train became a standard style in courts all over Europe. This manteau de cour is said to have been worn by the wife of King Fernando VII of Spain.

NB Chemise Dress

1804 - 1820

White gauze, muslin, taffeta, figured silk... Military styles (spencers, Brandenburg piping, coverd buttons, Hussarde). Sleeves puff in the 1815-1820s. Colors return after 1820.

c. 1803, yellow silk taffeta dress

c. 1820. Brown and blue striped silk taffeta; spencer and dress set.

Spencers, Hussarde, Redingote

1810 - 1820

NB's military operations influenced military-inspired fashions: "a la Hussarde", Brandenburg buttons on spencers and redingotes, mameluke sleeves with layers of puffs...

English style spencer, fashionable from 1790s-1820s. Short, tailored jacket with long-tight-fitting sleeves that covered the hands.

Redingote a la Hussarde, 1815. Brandenburg piping and pompons.

Redingote with braid and wrapped buttons in Brandenburg style.

Romantic style


Raised waistlines of the Empire style drop back down to more natural position. Corsets once again necessary, small waists in. Skirts broaden to a bell-like shape, shortened to reveal ankle. Elaborate stockings. Gigot sleeves (apex in 1835). Wide decollete (needed capes and fichus to regulate during daytime).

Hairstyles and hats enlarged to offset and balance voluminous sleeves and necklines.

Influenced by Romanticism, taste for historical and exotic. Legend demanded that women be delicate and melancholic. Active, healthy image was considered vulgar. Pale complexions admired. Borrowed from 15th and 16th court dresses.

c. 1822 day dress

This dress is very simple, but still has a romantic air. This style was sometimes found in the period of transition between the high-waist Empire style dresses of the early 19th century and the popular styles of the following period. The waistline approaches the natural waist position, while flounces and padding at the bottom of the skirt add weight to the thin and soft silk dress to create a beautiful skirt line. In the 1830s skirts came to have perfect bell shapes.

Gigot apex


Gigot sleeves reach their apex in 1835.

c. 1826
This dress is characterized by large sleeves. Fashionable printed fabric is used with skill, and is trimmed by the piping everywhere. Sleeves gradually gained volume from the 1820s, and reached their maximum size in the 1830s. They are called "gigot" or leg-of-mutton sleeves. During the 19th century, when the silhouette changed continuously, large sleeves became fashionable, once again, at the end of the century.


This dress has puffed sleeves and a slender waist. A day dress of chintz, it has a romantic silhouette typical of the 1830s. Indian chintz was introduced to Europe from India in the 17th century, and highly valued under the names of "indienne" (French) and "chintz" (English). The Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century led to growth of a fabric printing industry in the Western world. Printed dresses became widely popular in the mid-1830s, and afterwards, prints continued to be used extensively for clothes and decorations.

1840s transition


Transition between gigot and crinoline. Wide-open decollete, small sleeves which cover round shoulders, pointed waistline to emphasize thin waist, softly puffed-up skirt. All these styles put emphasis on the sensitive, graceful, and feminine features of a woman.

Gigot disappears in 1840s, skirts become larger with layered petticoats, waist lowered and thinner. Horsehair crinolines appear in early 1840s.

1850, India?

The large gigot sleeves that were popular in the 1830s have been replaced by natural-fitting sleeves that continue from gentle shoulder lines. The waist is tighter than before, and the skirt has a larger bulge with several petticoats worn under it. As skirts became increasingly large, the beginning of the 1840s saw the invention of crinoline petticoats, with horse tail hair (crin) woven into a stiff flax fabric (lin). Crinolines were improved and enhanced, morphing into basket-like structures using steel hoops in the late 1850s.

Cage crinoline


In 1840s the term "crinoline" referred to petticoats made of crin (horsehair) interwoven with lin (linen). After the 1850s the term came to mean a petticoat with a cage frame constructed out of steel or whalebone hoops, or any wide skirt that included such a cage. Development of steel wire, advances in the textile industry, and practical use of sewing machines meant that crinolines were enlarged even further. Skirt apex in 1860s.

Crinoline, 1865

Day dress, c. 1855

Evening dress, 1864

American, 1865

An outfit comprising a tailored jacket and a crinoline skirt in which the skirt billows widely at the back, a look that was in vogue during the 1860s. The color black emphasizes the outfit’s sophisticated silhouette from which any excessive decoration has been eliminated. The influence of men’s clothing in the mannish style of the jacket and the choice of black was initially seen in women’s riding wear, but this influence extended to daywear in the latter half of the 19th Century, and went on to develop into the tailored suit. The jacket is decorated with the precious stone jet. Jet, a variant of zinc or coal, had been used for centuries in the West as decoration in a wide range of art and craft products. In the second half of the 19th Century, jet became most notable as a form of personal adornment in conjunction with the trend of wearing black, influenced in part by Queen Victoria's choice to continue wearing black long after the death of her husband, Prince Albert.

Crinoline pushes back

1860 - 1870

(more specifically from 1865-1870).

Monet, Women in the Garden, 1865

Late 1860s.

This light summer dress in the crinoline style easily evokes the type of fashion depicted by Monet in his "Women in the Garden" (1866, Musée d'Orsay). Tarlatan, the type of fabric used here, became fashionable in the 1860s. It is thin plain-weave cotton, dyed or printed and then given a starched glaze. Despite its thinness, its firmness made it suitable for use with the large skirts of the crinoline style. In their outdoor scenes, Impressionist painters from the same period often captured the lightness and beauty of the then popular tarlatan with its airy and partially translucent appearance in the glistening daylight.


1870 - 1890

late 1870s: arrival of tea gown. At first, like a morning roe, but then less like a dressing-gown and more like a fashionable dress. Loose, unboned bodice. Many were princess with Watteau back. Growing severity of tailor-made dresses in the 1880s gave the tea-gown a special place as the most elaborate garment of daytime wear. Especially worn in the 1880s.
Lucile tea dress

1st bustle style

1870 - 1880

The dress of the first bustle period (1870's) is noted for the lightness of it's material and decoration, swathing the lower reaches of a woman's body in numerous ruffles and pleats, often in light colors using the new and vibrant aniline dyes.

The late nineteenth century was an age when men and women had distinct social roles. In accordance, the natural form of the two genders also diverged. To avoid looking “masculine,” women dresses were encouraged to be tight on top and widen below the waist. By the 1870s and 1880s the skirt support and the silhouette created by the bustle became the focus of fashion. Bustles were made in a wide variety of materials and shapes, such as horsehair, metal hoops, and down. By 1686, the “fullness of women’s skirts had moved to the back, and a bustle was needed to support fashionable puffed overskirts and large sashes.” The bustle swelled in size until around 1874 and 1875, when it largely disappeared, leaving the skirts and petticoats to hug the thighs and the line in the back to appear as a natural flow from the waist to the train. The bustle was dramatically revived in the early 1880s and took the form of a shelf-like perpendicular protuberance.

Worth, 1874

A bustle style is a look that emerged immediately after the crinoline. Bright purple became fashionable with the invention of the chemical dye aniline in 1856. The usage of fashionable color and the generous drapery used in this dress are characterized of Maison Worth.
Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895), an Englishman by origins, went on to establish his own maison in Paris in 1858. He set up the basis of the fashion system that would later be known as "Haute Couture" through initiatives such as showing his new designs on living women, developing clients who were fashion leaders in society, and implementing skillful advertising strategies. All of these ideas contributed to establishing Paris as the fashion capital of the late 19th Century.

Dinner dress, late 1870s

Princesse line

1874 - 1880

Bustle moves down the back, until it reaches a train.

This dress is a princess style, Valenciennes lace in three separate plant patterns are set in organdy. The lace used amounts to a length of roughly 50 meters.

The Princess dress was named in honor of Alexandra, Princess of Wales (1844–1925, later Queen of Britain). It had no horizontal seams at the waist, but used vertical seams to fit closely to the waist, emphasizing the bust and hips. It was fashionable around 1880. Jean Béraud (1849–1935) painted this style of dress in "Une soirée" (1878, Musée d'Orsay). Though this style was only for a short time, it can be seen as an example of body conscious in the nineteenth-century.

Tissot, On the Thames, 1874

2nd bustle


Bustle moves down in the early 1880s, then back up to a perpendicular shelf in 1885.

Manet, Sunday @ La Grande Jatte, 1884-6

Pingat, 1883

This dress shows tendency of downsized bustle seen in the later half of the 1880s and simplified dress silhouette. At the rear of the skirt, vestiges of the bustle style remained, but the extreme forms of the bustle style were simplified and toned down. 15 bones line the bodice, make beautiful silhouette.

This textile with a morning glory motif was made in Lyon. Using morning glory motif is caught as a flow of the Japonism at that time. Charles-Frederick Worth (1825–1895) and the Lyon silk manufacturer were paying attention to Japanism as a new design source for the fashion.

Elephant sleeves (+ Japonisme)

1890 - 1895

Bustle lowered in the late 1880s, return of big "gigot" sleeves, now called "elephant" sleeves.

As the 1880s drew to a close, the bustle reduced in size. The lines of skirts were transitioning toward forming a clearer shape. In contrast to this, around 1890 the sleeves began swelling to such sizes that one may say it was the return of "gigot" sleeves. These large sleeves were called "elephant sleeves," and they reached their maximum size around 1895.

The chrysanthemum motif used in this ensemble substantiates the Japonism style of that period. In the middle of the 19th century, chrysanthemums brought from Japan to Europe were popular in the background of Japonism movement, and European countries created "Chrysanthemum Associations." In 1887, Pierre Loti (1850–1923) published his "Madame Chrysanthème", and the image of the chrysanthemum as a symbol of Japan was established.


1890 - 1910

Bodices, or shirtwaists, could be tailored or feminine.

As sports gained popularity amongst women, the blouse and skirt were established as essential items of a woman's wardrobe. This style was favored and drawn by the American illustrator Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944), and, by association, was coined as the "Gibson girl style." Outfits for the modern lady, consisting of a plain skirt and starched blouse, were fresh in a time when over decorative dresses were the mainstream. Though the fashionable silhouette with an extremely thin waist of the time is emphasized by a corset still persisted, the ensemble shown here is a premonition of liberating female images of the 20th century.

Mr and Mrs Phelps, Sargent, 1897.

1893, America

This dress is characterized by a tailored suit-style design. At the end of the 19th century, women's clothes still possessed a shape distorted by the corset, and were heavily decorated with frills and lace. However, as lifestyle was diversified, active wear was demanded for outdoor activities by making a model of rational men's clothing. Tailored jackets in particular, forerunners of twentieth-century unisex fashion, took on an increasing importance for women's fashion.

S-Shaped curve

1900 - 1910

S-shaped silhouette and tailored suit for women emerge at same time. S-shaped embodied ideals of art nouveau. Gibson girl.

Worth, 1900

The flowing S-curve silhouette of this dress is typical of its time. A water's-edge pattern and plant pattern, lined up in a coordinated fashion, is appliquéd and embroidered onto thin silk chiffon and expressed three-dimensionally. The influence of Art Nouveau, a decorative art style popular from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th, is evident.

It seems as if the plant pattern arranged on the skirt is of Japanese iris, blooming on the waterfront. This stylized pattern makes one recall the plants that appear in the sketch collection supervised by the artists Eugène Grasset (1845–1917) and E.A. Séguy (1889-1985) who were affected on Japonism. These stylized designs were first applied to textiles. Wooden furniture, flower vases, lighting, and various other products were later characterized by the Art Nouveau style.



Camilla Clifford, the Gibson girl, c. 1900

Poiret Confucius Coat (Kimono Coat)


First fashion that did not require the use of a corset. Straight cut and ample shape. With few exceptions, since the time of the Renaissance western women's clothing had required a waist-cinching corset as the main shaping element. Poiret rejected the use of a corset in female garments, shifting the supporting point of gravity from the waist to the shoulders. Quest for new form of beauty. Achieved something that even the disapproval of feminist activists and medical doctors during the late 19th c. had failed to do: they liberated women from the corset. Consequently, fashion in the 20th c. evolved from a corseted, artificial form to a more natural shape supported by a brassiere.

Poiret Kimono Coat, 1909. Introduced at same time as Lola Montez and Directoire styles. Influence of Orientalism (publication of 1,001 Nights around this time), Ballet Ruses in Paris, Japan opens doors).

Worth, c. 1910.

This is an interesting example in which a pulled-back collar, a kimono-style overlap, and loose drapes for the lower part of the back resembling the appearance of a kimono are effectively expressed by Western-style three-dimensional cutting.
At the end of the 19th century Worth's was among the first fashion houses to pay attention to the new trend for Japonisme. Later, from around 1907, there was a trend for fashion inspired by Japanese style, including details such as the kimono's loose-fitting style, overlapping, and kimono-type sleeves. Like other fashion houses, Worth followed that fashion trend.

Callot Soeurs were also heavily inspired by orientalism. Exoticism, sensuous beauty of the East. Patterns and colors of fabrics, structure, loosely fitted harem pants and Japanese kimono.

Poiret Hellenic Style (Lola Montez dress)


Inspired by classical greece as well as Orient.


Lola Montez dress, Poiret by LePape (c. 1911)

Lanvin, 1911

These dresses have a high waist silhouette, which is representative of the early 1910s. This silhouette spread among designers, starting from Paul Poiret's "Lola Montez" dress in 1906. Distinctive, vivid colors on delicate materials such as silk chiffon were achieved in this period by use of synthetic dyes. These hues can be also found in the highly exotic, strong colors used in the costume of the Ballets Russes, which first performed in Paris in 1909. Those colors immediately influenced fashion circles, and in the early 1910s, the streets were filled with vivid colors like those seen in these dresses.

Fortuny Delphos


The "Delphos" series, which originated in around 1907, was the signature work of Mariano Fortuny (Spanish), who used Japanese or Chinese silk fabrics to make ancient Greek-style dresses. Pleats flow down from the shoulders to cover the body naturally. This fresh form completely overturned the concept of female clothing. Structural features of the dress, such as the pleats covering the whole dress and the glass beads used as weights, simultaneously serve as decorations.

Because the "Delphos" dresses accentuate the natural curves of the body, not the artificial forms made by corsets, initially they were used as luxury indoor gowns. They are very long, and some of them even have a train.

Fortuny, 1910s

A gorgeous informal, indoor wear. The "tatewaku" (hourglass line) pattern with butterfly and hollyhock motifs was inspired by a Japanese fabric. Mariano Fortuny sought out pattern design sources from diverse periods and regions, including Japan. The textile for this coat has the almost same design as that of Japanese cut silk velvet for kimono sashes. This Japanese textile was described by the journal "Le Japon artistique" (vol. 2, 1888) and later by "Étoffes Japonaises" (1910) (At present, the original sash textile is housed in Les arts decoratifs, Paris.) For this coat, the pattern is produced by stencil printing.
At the end of the 19th century Western people began to wear Japanese kimonos, which are loose-fitting and liberating, as undress. Kimono-style indoor wear and coats were produced in both Europe and the U.S.


1910 - 1920

Evolves from the shirtwaist. Becomes the "uniform" of the war.

Bulloz, 1910

This tailored suit is made of soft materials emphasizing feminine charm, forming a typical example of the early 20th century. Women started wearing tailored suits, with designs that were influenced by men's clothing, in the middle of the 19th century as traveling wear or sportswear. At around 1910 they became a popular wardrobe staple. Tailored suits like this item increasingly appeared in the fashion magazines in those days, among gorgeous feminine dresses with frills and laces.

1,001 Nights Party


These are precious exampled dressed for "La mille et deux nuits," a masquerade party held by Paul Poiret. Although they were made for one night's use only, they are gorgeous. The men's costume was worn by Arthur Acton(1873–1953), an art collector and the father of the English writer Sir Harold Acton.

Poiret was a designer who gave direction to 20th century fashion, and was nicknamed the "Sultan of Mode." The luxurious party "La 1002e nuit" was held in 1911, when Orientalism was popular as a result of the Ballets Russes and other influences. Poiret got the idea for the party from a collection of Arabian folktales, "The Book of One Thousand and One Nights." Poiret disguised himself as a sultan, and all three hundred guests wore ancient Persian style dress to set the mood for the party. The combination of a hoop skirt and a turban worn by Poiret's wife Denise attracted tremendous interest. After this party, Poiret often held Oriental parties and produced Arabian-style fancy dress designs.

War crinoline


Robe tonneau


La Garconne, by Victor Margueritte


Art Deco Fashion

1924 - 1928

V. Mendes says that "leggy, slimsily clad, straight-line heroines" encompass the Paris 1925 Exhibition but last no more than four years (late 1924 to 1928).

1925 Paris Expo + Art Deco

1925 - 1930

Art Deco gets its name from 1925 Exposition Internationale des ARts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes. Short hairstyle, cloche hat, loose-fitting drop-waist dress with knee-length skirt. Surface decocration, boa, bright accessories.

Underwear: brassiere, teddy, natural felsh-tone stockings.
Makeup: red lipstick, white power, blush, kohl, think eyebrows.

Zimmeman, 1922.

The textile of this dress was designed by painter Raoul Dufy (1877–1953) for a famous textile manufacturer Bianchini-Ferrier in Lyon. Zimmermann made up a dress with the textile, utilizing the border part where red roses are depicted. The rose is one of the Dufy's favorite motifs. In this fabric, the roses executed by block print provides an artisanal touch.
Dufy worked with Bianchini-Ferrier between 1912 and 1928, and provided a number of designs. The resulting textiles were often used by Zimmermann, Poiret, and other designers.

Poiret, 1925 (w/ Dufy)

The design of the artist, Raoul Dufy, is depicted on this one, large piece of cloth, realized by the Bianchini-Ferier company. Dufy, who had been working to become an artist, met Paul Poiret and began designing textiles. He left many textile works, and was a pioneer of artist-designed textiles. Aiming for the crossover of art and fashion, Poiret unsparingly offered assistance to young artists and stressed interaction between them.

Limitation of Supplies Order (Paris)


Regulated the quantity of cloth to be used in clothing manufacture (coat could use no more than 4 m). Coupons were necessary to purchase rayon, one of the few materials available.

Utility Clothing Scheme


Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers commissioned by te British Board of Trade to create a range of prototype clothing to meet the requirements of the Utility Clothing scheme. 32 Utility garments created by Edward Molyneux, Hardy Amies, Norman Hartnell were selected and mass-produced.

Dior New Look


Nostalgic style, narrow wasit cinched with a corset and full and long skirt. Used a lot of fabric (scandalous).

Trapeze Dress (YSL for Dior)


This dress, named the "Trapez," is one of the breakthrough works of the young Yves Saint-Laurent, who then worked for Christian Dior. The loose waist and the simple silhouette are remarkable features and probably the starting point toward the next stage known as the A-line. Highly sophisticated techniques of Haute Couture such as precisely calculated darts and ironing, realized this clear form.

This dress is one of the first collections introduced by the young Saint-Laurent, who took over Dior's fashion house after his sudden death. The minimalism in this work, eliminating any decorative factors including flashy colors, patterns and materials, is very interesting as a step towards the simple mini dress in the coming 1960s.

Men's fashion

Habit a la francaise

1715 - 1789

Men's fashion was stable and less garish in the 18th c. than in the 17th (new, colorful, ornate). The habit a la francaise, a typical 18th c French suit consisted of a coat (habit, called justaucorps in the 17th c) which gradually became fitted in shape, a waistcoat, and breeches.

A white shirt, jabot frill, cravat, and pari of silk stockings completed the men's suit.

Brilliant colors, intricate embroidery, decorative buttons, elaborate jabots for neck, chest, cuffs were important. Coast and waistcoats elaborately embroidered.

La garde-robe masculine conserve du règne de Louis XIV, le justaucorps, la veste et la culotte qui prennent le nom d’habit à la française sous le règne de Louis XV. Durant la Régence, le justaucorps se modifie quelque peu par l’élargissement de ses basques par des plis multiples lui donnant une forme juponnée. Les manches ont de grands parements ouverts, arrondis ou droits. D’abord employées pour les vestes, les soieries façonnées à grand rapports de dessin sont progressivement remplacés par des décors brodés. Peu à peu, la perruque masculine perd de son ampleur, change de forme et se simplifie en postiche poudré noué parfois en catogan.

Arts decos, 1730-1740

Pour l’homme, l’habit à la française, composé de l’habit, du gilet et de la culotte, perd de son ampleur vers le milieu du XVIIIe siècle. Les pans de devant de l’habit, prennent une coupe oblique vers 1760 et les parements des manches diminuent et se ferment. Le gilet qui se substitue à la veste, se porte plus court que l’habit. A partir de 1745, la culotte passe par-dessus le bas et est ajustée au-dessous des genoux par des jarretières.

Arts decos, 1760

L’habit à la française, sous Louis XVI, garde sa structure traditionnelle mais prend un caractère plus cérémoniel dans le troisième quart du XVIIIe siècle. Il est alors plus ajusté et les pans de devant glissent vers l’arrière préfigurant l’habit dégagé. Le col est droit et commence à devenir de plus en plus haut. Le gilet adopte quant à lui une forme droite, et perd définitivement ses basques.

Arts decos, 1785-90

Frac (English frock coat)


French version of the English frock coat, or frac. This was a jacket with a turned down collar, generally constructed from a plain-colored fabric. On the even of the Revolution, striped patterns became popular, and the passion for elaborate embroidery on men's suits disappeared. Du to the English taste for simplicity, the frac continued to be a standard item of men's clothing throughout the 19th century, along with the pantaloons that eventually replaced breeches.


AD, 1789-91

Sir Joshua Reynolds. Detail of Henri Fane with His Guardians. 1760-62.
Oil on canvas. 254.6 x 360.7 sm.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.

MMA, 1790



Anglomania, evident in French men's costumes from the late 17th century, continued to be in fashion. For example, the collared English riding-coat (redingote or habit degage) was adopted for town wear as an alternative to the habit a la francaise. (-->then English frock coat, or frac, appears).

MMA, 1796

Habit degage, MMA, 1795

Habit degage, AD, 1795



The Revolution adopted fashion for the purposes of ideological propaganda in the new age, and revolutionaries declared their rebellious spirit by appropriating the clothing of the lower classes.

Those who still wore extravagant and brightly colored silk clothing were considered anti-revolutionary. Instead of the knee breeches and silk stockings that symbolized the nobility, revolutionaries wore long pants called sans-culottes (non-breeches) and a jacket called a carmagnole, a Phrygian cap, tricolor cockade, clogs.

Derived from simple English tastes, this fashion evolved into a style of frock coat and trousers, which was afterward worn by the modern citizen in the 19th century.

But not everything changed: new styles emerged in quick succession during the Revolution, reflecting the changing political situation, but conventional clothing, such as the habit a la francaise, was still worn as the official court costume. New and old fashions intermingled during the Revolutionary period.


Republic costume by David


Mixture of classical, historical, and imagination. Inspired by theater costume of the time. But project was a failure (Talma wears it though). When Jacobin regime overthrown David's experiment comes to an end. St. Sauveur's costume indebted to David, but new emphasis on luxury (Director's costume). Seen as absurb bout outsiders.



Membre du Directoire Executif dans son grand costume, 1795.

Director's costume for formal occasions: blue silk coat (habit-manteau) over a white tunic and pantaloons.

Stylish simplicity


Jean-Baptiste Isabey and his daughter, 1795 by Francois Gerard.

Isabey wears a short coat of black velvet, black silk dobule-breasted waistcoat, greyish-green cloth pantaloons; hair is "antique" style. Stylish simpolicty of masculine costume at this period, the cravat is just a wide band of linen, starched, wound around the neck.

Napoleon Consulate


Brought back ceremonial dress for government, court, official dress. Silk from Lyon. Banned muslin shifts.



Encouraged by the Restoration in 1815, aristocrats who had fled to Britain returned to Paris and the dandies became a feature of the city. Their clothes were in the simple and functional style of English fashion: cut-to-fit, perfect tailoring, superior-quality fabric.

Beau Brummell, Barbey d'Aurevilly (1845 on Beau), Oscar Wilde...

1830s England

The gloss of high quality fabric without decoration accentuates the elaborative tailoring of these tight-fitting clothes. Plain but elaborately tailored in details, simple and functional men's clothes were made on the basis of the esthetic values of the "dandies," who emerged at the beginning of the 19th century. As a result, men's clothes became simpler and more stylized, and their designs established a standard that is still relevant today.


Galleries des modes

1778 - 1787

Also: Cabinet des Modes, Magasin des Modes Nouvelles Francaises et Anglaises (1785-9), Journal de la Mode et du Gout.

Early fashion magazines are full of enthusiasm for the Revolution, a feeling which was to become much more muted as it became obvious that the very concept of fashion, with its aristocratic and frivolous ovetones, was doomed in the increasingly harsh social climate of the new republic.

From the spring of 1793 fashion magazines are silent, return in the summer of 1797 with the return of "society" in a bourgeois republic based on property.

Le Magasin des modes nouvelles francaises et anglaises


Le CAbinet des modes (founded 1785) changes name to Le Magasin des modes nouvelles francaises et anglaises to reflect Anglomania.

Journal des Dames et des Modes

1797 - 1800

Founded by Selleque and La Mesangere. Edited by La Mesangere (inspired the 1912-1914 eponymous magazine).

Lasted 42 years, beginning of the history of fashion magazines. Selleque was a professor of Rhetoric during the Revolution, then bookseller, and journalist. La Mesangere born to a noble family, priest, professor, journalist. Inspired by the old Journal des Dames (1777-8) and Cabinet des Modes (1785-89).

8 pages of text plus fashion prints. Came out every five days. Prints sketched by Debucourt, Vernet, Isabey, Boilly, sometimes La Mesagere. Frequented boutiques, walks, cafes, theaters, salons to get fashion. Writing: reviews of new shows and books, songs, brainteasers, puzzles, poetry, feminine qualities, health.

Problems in first two years: imitation, competition, censorship, taxation. Stable by 1779. Selleque dies in 1801 (33 yrs old). By 1803, 1,300 subscribers. Promoted shops and couturiers for ad money. Offered service where women could buy accessories through journal, receive them at home.

Moniteur de la mode, journal du grand monde

1843 - 1937

La Mode Illustree, journal de la famille

1860 - 1937

For the provinciale. Did the first initiatives (format, periods, price, pagination, sales) that mark the evolution of magazines like the Moniteur de la mode and the others that follow.

La Mode Illustree has beautiful engravings by Anais Toudouze, Heloise Leloir. La Mode Illustree does not talk about society, devoted to feminine virtues. Emmeline Raymond talks about “economie dans l’elegance”.

180 new magazines

1871 - 1908

Feminine press becomes the business of professional publishers: Adolphe Goubaud, Firmin-Didot, Hachette. Money from publicity. More money in the middle class under the bourgeois republic. Magazines fold under each other, are absorbed into others...

Some are specialized for those who work in fashion: La Modiste universelle (1873-1897); Art et la Mode (Parisienne) La Mode illustree (provinciale).

L'Art et la Mode

1880 - 1967

For the Parisienne, femme bourgeoise (like La Revue de la mode, 1872-1913).

Highest price, fashion considered an art done by artists with models. No patrons or supplements like the Goubaud editions, but only colored engravings and many illustrations in the texte.

The revue has no practical goal, but alludes to the luxury and mondain, frivolity of fashion.

Journal de la vie mondaine, eurpeen, feminin, artistique, litteraire.
**ONLY ONE TO HAVE HISTORY OF FASHION FROM THE REVOLUTION TO THE 3RD REPUBLIC. Invites public to visit the "costumes du siecle" shown at the Champ de Mars.

Disassociates fashion from its practical and functional sense. Fashion admired and described as an art object, symbol of elegance and parisian distinction, crown of feminine beauty.

American Vogue


1916 for British Vogue, 1922 for French Vogue. Becomes prominent magazine after WWI.

1930s tried to broaden appeal by talking about budget dressing.

Les Robes de Paul Poiret


Illustrated by Georges Lepape. Poiret is fist to use fashion catalogue as a medium for individual designers to display their work to the world.

Les Choses de Paul Poiret


Gazette du Bon Ton

1912 - 1925

Lucien Vogel, published, persuaded several couture houses to provide financial backing for the new fashion magazine. Engaged Paul Iribe and Geroges Lepape for illustration (also Barbier, Besnard, Marty, Martin, Monvel, Brissaud). Finance provided by Worth, Cheruit, Doeuillet, Lanvin, Poiret, Redfern.

1921 bought by Conde Nast.

1st color Vogue cover (Steichen)


July 1, 1932. Edward Steichen.


1980 - 2012

i-D is a British magazine dedicated to fashion, music, art and youth culture. i-D was founded by designer and former Vogue art director Terry Jones in 1980. The first issue was published in the form of a hand-stapled fanzine with text produced on a typewriter. Over the years the magazine evolved into a mature glossy but it has kept street style and youth central to every issue.

The magazine is known for its innovative photography and typography, and over the years established a reputation as a training ground for fresh talent. Photographers Nick Knight, Wolfgang Tillmans, Juergen Teller, Terry Richardson, Ellen von Unwerth, and Kayt Jones have produced work for i-D. The magazine celebrated its 250th edition at the end of 2004 and its 25th anniversary in 2005. The July Issue of 2009 was the magazines 300th publication, boasting many interesting articles and iconic photography, true to the magazines concept. The content, focused mainly on ideas from past issues and bringing these ideas into 2009. Raquel Zimmerman was the covergirl for this edition.

The magazine pioneered the hybrid style of documentary/fashion photography called The Straight Up. At first, these were of punks and New Wave youth found on English streets and who were simply asked to stand against any nearby blank wall. The resulting pictures—the subjects facing the camera and seen from "top to toe"—are a vivid historical documentary photography archive, and have established the posed "straight up" as a valid style of documentary picture-making.

The Face

1980 - 2004

The Face was a British music, fashion and culture monthly magazine started in May 1980 by Nick Logan.

Logan had previously created the teen pop magazine Smash Hits, and had been an editor at the New Musical Express in the 1970s before launching The Face in 1980.

The magazine was influential in showcasing a number of fashion, music, and style trends of youth culture including New Romantic, and the "Hard Times" look of the mid-1980s.
From 1981 to 1986, Neville Brody was typographer, graphic designer, and art director of the magazine.

Department Stores

Le Petit Saint Thomas


1810 on the rue du Bac. Transformation of windows between 1824 and 1840: larger, clearer. 1835 work is done to make it bigger. 1844 publishes catalogue. First catalogue of a magasin de nouveaute, but not illustrated. Illustrated begins in 1860s. So publicize in fashion magazines. **MAGASINS DE NOUVEAUTES ARE THE ORIGIN OF CONFECTION.

Each textile has its own row: indienne, toiles, draperies, foulard, robes de fantaisie, merinos, cotonnades.

Silk: unie, faconnee, deuil.

Shalws: Indde, hiver, damasses, unis, carres, longs.

Confections. Lingerie. Stockings, gloves. More than 20 departments, including rugs, etc.

Le Louvre


In space built for 1855 Exhibition. In 1865 takes the name Grands Magasins du Louvre

After 1863 Louvre sends out 2x year a catalogue of their models that had appeared in La Mode Illustree.
1866 catalogue: not illustrated (1872 catalogue illustrated on each page).
Collaborates with La Mode Illustree on layettes

Le Printemps


A la Place Clichy


Known for rugs

Le Bon Marche


Construction had to stop in 1871 bc of war. Really flourishes after. Aristide Boucicault.

Liberty Company


1884 Godwin becomes first director of the costume department (Dies in 1886).

Costumes of all historical periods. Study and execution of costumes, modifications of beautiful examples. Women could go study folios of colored manuscript drawings, make up stock examples, work with the assistants. Helped women chose appropriate colors.

Self-reliance, discrimination, regard to individual characteristics.

Fashions that will "never go out of style".

Liberty Paris

1890 - 1932

Also Bristol (1904-1910), Manchester (1905-1912), NY pop-up, Boston pop-up, Chicago pop-up, Toronto pop-up.

Liberty fabrics made an impression at the Paris Exhibitions of 1889 and 1900. After WWI Liberty style was an anachronism. New Art Deco, Liberty not a part of this. Department in Paris was traditional, catalogue in two sections: "Gowns Never Out of Fashion" (Grecian, Empire) and "Gowns of the New SEason" (not like Chanel, simple, free, comfortable).

Selfridges (London)


Largest, most opulent purpose-built store the country had ever seen. Offered the pleasures of fashionable consumption to a socially diverse audience, esp. suburban and provincial middle and lower class women who might have felt alienated by the West End stores.

Mary Quant opens Bazaar



1964 - 1975

Opens on Abingdon Road first; 1973 becomes Big Biba on Kensington road. Fundamental desire to create a new kind of shop, combined with total lack of respect for conventional retailing and business wisdom, refusal to water down designs for mass-market. Tension btw creativity and commerce. London fashion shone brightly in the 60s but could not sustain itself and burn out faster than less innovative enterprises. By early 70s boutique boom largely over.

Granny Takes a Trip


End of King's Road. Entrepreneurial chaos and cool mangement. Sold a mixture of own designs and old clothes to both sexes. Androgynous look. Unisex changing room.

Ossie Clark (Quorum)


Works in Alice Pollock's shop, Quorum. Used Celia Birtwell prints, did bias-cut dresses, slithery satin and crepes, masculine tailoring, lean, snakeskin jackets. Quorum was a social space bringing together pop stars, artists, actors. One of the few London designers who staged fashion shows, excessive and remarkable (like Quant).

Zandra Rhodes


Opens Fulham Road Clothes Shop with Sylvia Ayton. Rhodes' artisanal gowns had floating panels of vividly patterned fuild chiffon and silk.

SEX-Seditionaries-Worlds End

1974 - 1976

Store run by Malcom Mclaren and Vivienne Westwood that defined the punk look. Like Acme (then Boy, then mainstream).

1976: Sex-->Seditionaries; 1980-1984 World's End

SEX sold fetish and bondage wear supplied by existing specialist labels such as Atomage, She-And-Me and London Leatherman as well as designs by McLaren and Westwood. Among customers at SEX were the four original members of The Sex Pistols (the bass-player Glen Matlock was an employee as a sales assistant on Saturdays. The group's name was provided by McLaren in partial promotion of the boutique. In late 1975 when nineteen-year-old John Lydon was persuaded to audition for the group by singing along to Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen" on the jukebox. Other notable patrons included occasional assistant Chrissie Hynde, Adam Ant, Marco Pirroni, Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Severin and the rest of the Bromley Contingent.
The store's designs confronted social and sexual taboos, and included T-shirts bearing images of the Cambridge Rapist's face hood, semi-naked cowboys from a 1969 illustration by the US artist Jim French [2], a trompe-l'œil image of bare breasts from a novelty shirt first produced by Rhode island School Of Art students Janusz and Laura Gottwald in the late 60s ,[3] and pornographic texts from the book School for Wives by the beat author Alexander Trocchi.

Among the designs were clear plastic-pocketed jeans, zippered tops and the Anarchy shirt which used stock from the 60s manufacturer Wemblex. These were bleached and dyed shirts and adorned with silk Karl Marx patches and anarchist slogans.