Influences on Fashion
Since the 1960s, sources of fashion influence have multiplied. Centers of fashion influence include Paris, Milan, Tokyo, London, New York and Los Angeles. Fashion no longer "trickles down" from couture to the mainstream; fashion directions come from everywhere - various ethnic groups, youth looks from the street, etc. (Gold, 1991).
of the chemise still dominate contemporary silhouettes. Lengths are
very short -
barely covering the thighs. An A-line silhouette is popular. Corsets and girdles become
obsolete. Tights or pantyhose are essential.
begin to wear pantsuits on the street; they become a staple in women's
by the mid-70s. The midi, a mid-calf length skirt, is introduced and rejected.
soft, natural silhouette with a bloused jacket or sweater and a flared
skirt are typical. Skirt
lengths have moved gradually downward to just below the knee.
for Success" - a book by John Molloy advises working women to wear feminine
versions of the male business suit. The suit was complete with a skirt and bow tie on the
blouse. Wearing pants in business situations was advised against, as a result pantsuits
loose favor among many.
to a wider shouldered silhouette; shoulder pads are added to everything.
lengths move gradually shorter. The preppy look and the punk look predominate the
mini is introduced and bombs. Women's suits become more diverse in
1988 Karl Lagerfeld offers an updated version of the Chanel suit. Glamour is big.
over short silhouettes predominate; long shirts or sweaters over leggings,
over short skirts.
goes: long or short skirts, pants, sweats. Typically found
is a more natural
silhouette/shoulder after the wide, boxy looks of the early 80s. Strong influence from the
youth market in casual wear. Casual Fridays at the office.
1963 Hawaiian Influence - "Blue Hawaii" - Elvis film - set in Hawaii
Russian Influences - "Dr. Zhivago" -
film - set during Russian revolution -
overcoats worn by Russian military and by Julie Christie, the female lead, in
the film inspired coat designs
1966-68 Indian Influences - Nehru Suit, Beatles
1972 Chinese Influences - President Nixon visits China; US designers inspired.
Influences - Issey Miyake ,
Hanae Mori ,
Rei Kawakubo, Kenzo, andYohji Yamamoto - all were integral in the
emergence of Japanese designer as a major force in fashion during the 1980s (Tortora
& Eubank, 1994).
Russian Influences - Yves
St. Laurent was inspired
by Russian influences for his Winter 1976-77 line..
In this collection, St. Laurent was inspired elements of European peasant dress
(embroidered folk blouses, milkmaid's tunics, and Cossack [Russian] costume) and
transformed them into fabulous couture garments (Craik, 1994).
Egyptian Influences - King
Tut's treasures visit US; US designers inspired; jewelry, makeup and a
few clothing items inspired by Egypt (Tortora &
Eubank, 1994). Steve
Tut" on Saturday Night Live. To
hear the song
Western Influence on Chinese
Dress - An exhibition of Yves St. Laurent's work is
staged in Beijing. A year later the streets of Beijing are full of YSL knock-offs. The
Chinese who saw the exhibit were inspired by his work, in spite of the fact that they
had never been exposed to European fashion (Craik, 1994).
Hong Kong returns to Chinese rule; Chinese motifs and
silhouettes are strong influence on designers. Many designers incorporate Chinese
elements in their lines 1996-97.
Last Updated: October
Copyright Belinda T. Orzada, University of Delaware, 1998.All rights reserved.