The 20th century influenced the fashion industry in many ways. Here are five unforgettable fashion moments that defined popular culture during their time, and continue to leave a long-lasting legacy in today’s fashion industry.
Coco Chanel’s “Little Black Dress” (1920)
In the early 1920s, iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel created the popularly known “little black dress.” Classically timeless, it has been a staple in every woman’s closet from then until now. Chanel’s ageless concept still resonates in the fashion industry today. Her enduring design has been one of the most successful with mass appeal and securing an immortalised seat in popular fashion.
Christian Dior’s “New Look” (1947)
Christian Dior’s 1947 “New Look” collection revived the Parisian fashion world with its innovative genius. It caused the fashion editor of Vogue during that time to exclaim: “We have witnessed a revolution in fashion at the same time as a revolution in the way of showing fashion.” Featuring a new line of lavish dresses with elegant shape and billowing fabrics, it was a refreshing contrast from the plain uniform-like dresses popularised during World War austerity.
Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch (1955)
Everybody to this day can picture Marilyn Monroe’s alluring attempt to control her swirling white halter-neck dress over a subway grate in the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch. With her plunging neckline and seductive poses, she mesmerised the mass public with her glamorous sexuality. This iconic movie scene defined feminine sex appeal in fashion for years to come.
Twiggy, “The Face of 1966” (1966)
Widely considered as the original supermodel, Twiggy took the fashion world by storm when declared “The Face of 1966” in the Daily Express at the age of 17. She epitomised the youthful and maverick fashion of the 1960s, with her androgynous, boyish look and adolescent physique. Her drastic rise to fame is indicative of the counterculture movement in fashion, rejecting the traditional and fussy look of the past.
Vogue Magazine’s Supermodel Cover (1990)
The 1990 British Vogue cover made history when fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh captured five supermodels together on the same cover. He photographed supermodels Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Tatjana Patitz in his famous black and white print, with minimal make-up and simple clothing. He hoped to inspire beauty in a more natural, minimalistic way, in contrast to the flashy, over-the-top fashion of the 70s and 80s.
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