|Press Release||Opening Party|
The Fashion and Textile History Gallery
Even before the First World War
(1914-1918), society was changing rapidly due to industrialization,
urbanization, and the rise of a mass consumer culture. The unprecedented
carnage of the war further accelerated this process of change by
discrediting traditional values. In fashion terms, the corset had begun to
give way to the brassiere as early as 1908, when the avant-garde fashion
designer Paul Poiret proposed a new “corsetless” silhouette. Equally
significant, however, were social and cultural changes, such as a growing
enthusiasm for sports and a new aesthetic that favored a slim, girlish
figure, rather than the voluptuous curves of the Victorian era.
During the 1920s, fashion played
an important role in the creation of the modern woman. The short skirts and
bobbed hair of 1920s flappers were not simply a reflection of women’s
liberation; rather, they actually contributed to a new perception of women
and thus, increasingly, a new reality. Women designers, most famously Coco
Chanel, were also extremely influential in the 1920s and 1930s. The Second
World War (1939-1945) effectively destroyed what was left of traditional
European society, resulting in the political dominance of the United States.
Yet despite the rise of the “American look” in
This exhibition was made possible in part through the generosity of Elle Magazine and Redken. Additional support was provided by the members of the Couture Council.
All photographs by Irving Solero, courtesy of the Museum at FIT, unless otherwise noted.
Website designed by Mai Vu.