Sunday, February 20, 2011

the forgotten, yet notable: part II

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In 1946, Pierre Balmain yearned to bring buyers and clients back to Paris. After World War II, the French fashion scene was at a standstill. This French designer traveled throughout America to re-conquer the hearts of the elite American women, as well as their pocketbooks.

A year prior, Balmain's designs were featured in American Vogue. His designs were ultra feminine and flattered the waistline with a wide tapering skirt. This change was accepted after an era of long, fitted suits with wide shoulders. According to Simone Werle, the author of "50 Fashion Designers You Should Know," the wide, graceful shape of Balmain's clothes was exactly what women wanted--excitingly different, romantic and luxurious. However, it was Christian Dior who became famous for this look in 1947.

Originally Balmain desired to study architecture, but soon found a passion for fashion, which he called the "architecture of movement." Not only did Balmain introduce the wide tapering skirt, he also pioneered dresses and skirts that were fitted until the wearer's knees. In the 1960s, these gowns were popular among the Hollywood starlets.

Also during the 1960s, another French designer created a collection that was unlike any previous creation. According to Werle, Andre Courreges' collections looked as if they had come straight from the moon. Courreges' specialized in geometric cuts, lines and the color white. His creations were paired with goggles, hats and thigh-high boots. Courreges also raised the hemline of the skirt to above-the-knee. This was the first appearance of the miniskirt on a French runway.

In the late 1960s, Courreges launched three collections: "Prototype," "Couture Future" and "Hyperbole." Courreges clothes were as modern as the names of his collections--he created modern clothing for the modern, active woman. He also created form-fitting women's pants with a masculine style. His designs were not restricting and women had the freedom of movement while wearing Courreges' creations.

Eventually, Courreges closed his fashion house to the press and buyers because his designs were frequently being copied. In later years he tried to make several comebacks, but his creations remained low profile.

Because fashion is always about the newest trends or what is upcoming, designers have to evolve with trends. However, as the history of fashion proves, many designers cannot sync their style with these upcoming trends. Thus, they are forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. I really like your writing style. It is easy to read, even for me and I don't know anything about fashion. Just enough detail. I wish I could comment more on the content and the topic, but I have a hard time finding matching socks in the morning. Needless to say, couture is a foreign concept to me. But I do enjoy learning more about it! I like the layout of your blog too by the way.