Gilbert Adrian was an american designer. He designed costumes
for MGM Studios from 1925-1939. In 1941 he opened his own firm, Adrian
Ltd. for couture and top of the line ready to wear. Closed this salon
in 1948. His "look" was sleek and modern. His silhouette is
recognized by the use of wide, padded shoulders which tapered to a small
waist. He was a master of intricate cut. The Historic Costume
and Textiles Collection at the University of Delaware has several of Adrian's
Balenciaga was a Spanish-born designer who practiced in Paris from 1937-1968.
He was a master tailor. He manipulated proportion with his
designs to create the illusion of a long, lithe body. For example,
he used thruse back collars to visually lengthen the neck, bracelet length
sleeves and bolerolike jackets furthered this look. Canted the waistline
(tilted higher in front and lower in back) giving the illusion of a smaller
waist. He used somber colors as well as brights. the volume
in his dressed was generated by the motion of the wearer, rather than stiff
layers of netting or crinoline. He used structural seaming and the
inherrent qualities of the fabric to acheive the desired effect.
on Balenciaga can be found on the Spanish
Influences on Fashion page.
closed her House in 1938 because of the World War II, but re-opened in
1954. Known for
her suits, costume jewelry, and quilted handbags.
Dior was the innovator of the "New Look". The New Look featured a
rounded shoulder and small waist, a very long skirt length with either
a very full skirt or a narrow, pencil skirt. The curve of the hip
was stressed. Dior named each collection or "line" as well as each
dress or ensemble within the line.
designer. Was considered to be one of the most original American
designers. Known for his lavish ball gowns and architectural shapes
Mainbocher - Main Rousseau Bocher was the first American
designer to succeed in Paris. He worked as a fashion illustratorfor
Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, was editor of French Vogue.
Then in 1929 opened his own Paris salon. He closed this
house when WWII broke out, moving to New York opening another in 1939.
He was known for his elegant evening clothes and was greatly influenced
by Vionnet and mastered the bias cut himself.
Claire McCardell - credited with originating the "American
Look." Her design philosophy was that clothes should be clean-lined, functional,
comfortable, and appropriate for the occasion. Her innovative designs
include the "Monastic" a waistless, bias-cut, dartless dress which could
be worn loose or belted and the diaper bathing suit.
had a flare for the theatrical. She used many surrealistic designs
and often worked with Salvador Dali who designed fabrics for her.
She is known for her use of bright colors such as "Shocking pink" and details
to emphasize her 'theme'. These details included such things as embroidery,
buttons, and her accessories, especially her hats. Examples of the
themes she used include the Zodiac, the Circus, and Music. She was
the first couturiere to use zippers.
Vionnet is best know for the bias cut. She was the most sought
after designer of the 1930s. Retired in 1939.
A. (1991). 90 Years of Fashion. New York: Fairchild.
Koda, H. (1987).
Balenciaga - The architect of elegant clothing. Threads Magazine,
P. and Eubanks, K. (1994). Survey of Historic Costume, 2nd
ed. New York: Fairchild.
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Updated: August 5, 1999
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