The United States was greatly affected by the events of World War II. America's fashion had been greatly influenced by European tastes including French, German and English styles.

Because of supply shortages brought on by the war, substitute materials often replaced natural cloth. Beginning in 1940s, no more than twelve feet of cloth was permitted to be used for a coat and a little over three feet for a shirt or blouse. No belt could be over 1 1/2 inches wide.

Many fashion houses closed down or moved away during the war andseveral new houses remained open, including Jacques Fath, Maggy Rouff, Marcel Rochas, Jeanne Lafaurie, Nina Ricci, and Madeleine Vramant.

During the war, women added color to a drab outfit by wearing a hat. In this period, hats were often made of scraps of material that would have otherwise been thrown away, sometimes incorporating bits of paper, and wood shavings. Among the most innovative milliners of the time were Pauline Adam, Simone Naudet, Rose Valois, and Le Monnier.

During the war, Vera Maxwell presented co-ordinates in plain, simply cut outfits and also introduced innovations to men's work clothes. Bonnie Cashin transformed boots into a major fashion accessory, and, in 1944, started to produce original and imaginative sportswear. Claire McCardell, Anne Klein, and formed a remarkable trio of women who were to lay the foundations of American sportswear, ensuring that ready-to-wear was not simply thought of as second best, but as an elegant and comfortable way for modern women to dress.

Among young men in the War Years the zoot suit became popular. Many actresses of the time, including Rita Hayworth, Katharine Hepburn, and Marlene Dietrich, had a significant impact on popular fashion.

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Despite being a high fashion designer, American born Mainbocher also designed military and civilian service uniforms. In 1952, he redesigned the Women Marines service uniform combining femininity with functionality. Previous redesigns include uniforms for the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) in 1942, and uniform designs for the Girl Scouts of America and the American Red Cross in 1948.

Dior revived the popularity of girdles and the all-in-one corselettes. In the early 1950s, many couture houses used the interest in \"foundationwear\" to launch their own lines, soon after many lingerie manufacturers began to build their own brands. In 1957, Jane Russell wore the \"Cantilever\" bra that was scientifically designed by Howard Hughes to maximize a voluptuous look. The invention of Lycra (originally called \"Fibre K\") in 1959 revolutionized the underwear industry and was quickly incorporated into every aspect of lingerie.

After the war, the American look (which consisted of broad shoulders, floral ties, straight-legged pants, and shirts with long pointed collars, often worn hanging out rather than tucked in) became very popular among men in Europe. The Italian look, popularized by Caraceni, Brioni, and Cifonelli, was taken up by an entire generation of elegant young lovers, on both sides of the Atlantic. Plaid was very common in 1950s men's fashion, both for shirts and suits, along with the \"ducktail\" haircut, which was often viewed as a symbol of rebellion and banned in schools.

The designers of Hollywood created a particular type of glamour for the stars of American film, and outfits worn by the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, or Grace Kelly were widely copied. Using luxurious appearing materials, such as sequins, chiffon, and fur, the clothes were very simply cut, often including some memorable detail, such as a low-cut back to a dress which was only revealed when the actress turned her back from the camera or some particularly stunning accessory. The most influential and respected designers of Hollywood from the 1930s to the 1950s were Edith Head, Orry-Kelly, William Travilla, Jean Louis, Travis Banton, and Gilbert Adrian. Everyday women's clothing during the decade consisted of long coats, hats with small veils, and leather gloves. Knee-length dresses combined with pearl necklaces, which were made instantly popular by First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. Short, permed hair was the standard women's hairstyle of the period.

By the end of the decade mass-manufactured, off-the-rack clothing had become much more popular than in the past, granting the general public unprecedented access to fashionable styles.

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The 1960's brought dramatic style changes to America. Unlike their mothers, the women of the 1960s adopted a girlish, childlike style, with short skirts and straightened curves, reminiscent of the look of the 1920s. At the start of the decade skirts were knee-length, but steadily became shorter and shorter until the mini-skirt emerged in 1965. By the end of the decade they had shot well above the stocking top, making the transition to tights inevitable.

The center of fashion influence shifted from Paris to London. Many of the radical changes in fashion developed in the streets of London, with such gifted designers as Mary Quant (known for launching the mini skirt) and Barbara Hulanicki (the founder of the legendary boutique Biba). Paris also had its share of new and revolutionary designers, including Pierre Cardin (known for his visionary and skillfully-cut designs), André Courrèges (known for his futuristic outfits and for launching the mini skirt along with Mary Quant), Yves Saint Laurent (known for his revolutionary yet elegant fashions), and Emanuel Ungaro (known for his imaginative use of color and bold baroque contrasts). In the United States, Rudi Gernreich (known for his avant-garde and futuristic designs) and James Galanos (known for his luxurious read-to-wear) were also reaching a young audience.

The basic shape and style of the time was simple, neat, clean cut, and young. Synthetic fabrics were very widely-used during the 1960s. Hats suffered a great decline and by the end of the decade they were relegated to special occasions only. Lower kitten heels were a pretty substitute to stilettos. Pointed toes gave way to chisel shaped toes in 1961 and to an almond toe in 1963. Flat boots also became popular with very short dresses in 1965 and eventually they rose up the leg and reached the knee.

Their was a modest change in menswear in the 1960s with the fabric weight, the choice of materials and the method of manufacture. These changes produced a suit that, because it was lighter in weight, had a totally different look, with a line that was closer to the natural shape of the body, causing men to look at their figures more critically. The spread of jeans served to accelerate a radical change in the male wardrobe. Young men grew their hair down to their collars and added a touch of color, and even floral motifs, to their shirts. The polo neck never succeeded in replacing the tie, but the adoption of the workman's jacket in rough corduroy, and especially the Mao jacket proved to be more than simply a political statement. A few futuristic rumblings were set off by Pierre Cardin and Andre Courrèges, but the three-piece suit still survived intact.

In the early 1960s, many models had a very profound effect on fashion, Twiggy, Veruschka, Jean Shrimpton. Early in the decade, culottes were in style and the bikini finally came into fashion in 1963. The hippie and psychedelic movements late in the decade also had a strong influence on clothing styles, including bell-bottom jeans (designed by the English tailor Tommy Nutter, from his Savoy store), tie-dye and batik fabrics, as well as paisley prints.

The 60's had many famous movie stars and models well known for their fashion and song. Click here to see 60s fashions of famous girls"; $start[]=3;$song[]="1MlsJ2Kcjvw"; $title[]="Oldies Fashion Design from 1970's"; $trivia[]="

The decade began with a continuation of the hippie look of the late 1960s, with afghans, Indian scarves, and floral-print tunics. Jeans remained frayed and bell-bottomed, tie dye was still popular, and the fashion for unisex mushroomed. An immense movement claiming civil rights for blacks combined with the influence of soul music from the USA created a nostalgia for Africa and African culture. A radical chic emerged, influenced by the likes of James Brown, Diana Ross, Angela Davis, and the Black Panthers, in everything from afro hairstyles to platform soles. During the 1970s brands greatly increased their share of the international market. Hems began dropping in 1974 to below the knee, until finally reaching the lower mid calf in 1977 and shoulderlines were dropped.

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In the 80's, Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren were well regarded. A star of the New York social scene, Donna Karan brought a very personal and feminine approach to the severe, sober-colored, casual look that dominated American ready-to-wear. Setting up her own label in 1984, her designs won instant popularity among active urban women who greatly appreciated the understated luxury of her clothes. In 1971 Ralph Lauren opened a boutique for both men and women in Beverly Hills. His aristocratic style at prices the average American could afford created a sensation. For an elite faced with all kinds of avant-garde fashions, it represented a rallying point, endorsing a classic look that had been adopted for an active life. The number one of American ready-to-wear, Lauren was equally successful with his sportswear and jeans, which allowed him to reach the widest possible range of social classes and age groups.

American sportswear had the Perry Ellis label, established in 1978, which used color and natural fibers to great advantage in its elegant variations on the basics. Norma Kamali, with her short skirts made of sweatshirting, leotards, headbands, and leg warmers, made jogging look fashionable. The Adidas sports label influenced the hip hop group Run DMC to release the single 'My Adidas' in 1986. The legendary shoe designer Manolo Blahnik also rose to fame during the 1980s.

Then there was the Madonna look, the Asymmetrical haircuts, the Mullet, nylon pants..remember Abba wearing skin tight white lycra clothes?

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Oldies Fashion Design from the 1940's, 1950's,1960's, 1970's, 1980's - Do you remember...

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