Five Dresses That Changed the World!

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Jersey Flapper Dress 1929

After bobs became the It hairstyles and teensy shift dresses became the uniform of the 20s’ “modern” girl, along came the flapper.

These “flappers” were wearers who were symbolically showing defiance, a go-getting, no-bullshit attitude and strength as well as power in a male dominated world. It was a physical liberation, as well, doing away with the torturous corset. This look was hailed supreme by none other than newly minted style icon. They were made of wearable, comfortable jersey fabrics and enhanced ease of movement which was unheard of at the time for women. The simplicity and sleekness of the dress also resulted in it being vigorously taken up by the masses; something no other trend had earlier managed to achieve.

The Goddess Dress a la Madeleine Vionnet, 1931

After WW1 hit Europe with a boom, there was a series of radical reappraisals of gender and consequently style. The hippie-esque freedom in the air enabled people to really experiment with new horizons. Enter Madeleine Vionnet. Inspired by: Ancient Greece. Mission: to finally liberate women from the tyranny of corsets and padding and mounds of luxe fabric. Her ingenious, first of their kind, bias cut dresses resulted in freely flowing fabric that swirled around the wearer’s body and accentuated the female form; although not molding. Softer femininity was the keyword. Vionnet, now widely credited with having established the bias cut as a stepping stone into modern fashion, paid meticulous attention to detail, especially draping. Designs were actually first worked on miniature dolls before being made up in their full, fabulous forms!

The New Look a la Dior, 1947

The New Look

While India was rejoicing on being free (totally random, I know. But I’m Indian, what to do) and Europe was coping with the post WW2 era and and the inevitable collapse of the French couture market, the New Look was a fresh change that dictated what fashion was going to be for the next decade. Delicately soft shoulders, teensy waspy waist and a voluminous, full skirt. It exemplified Dior’s femme fleur to the hilt. It was, needless to say, a massive success. And with a bang, Paris was back on the fashion map.

Marilyn Monroe’s The Seven Year Itch white halter a la Travilla, 1955

Marilyn

Oh, the glorious cinematic moment when Marilyn’s sleek white halter, with it’s plunging neckline and flouncy skirt flies up over a vent. And, on another note, it was the catalyst that catapulted William Travilla (also knows as just Travilla professionally) to iconic status. Poor bastard’s name will forever be overshadowed by the woman he dressed but he got his few minutes of fame and gave us something priceless in return; epicosity. No, seriously. In a time when everything was still very much closeted and conservative and bound, this was a stunt only one of the hugest, sexiest, most sought after stars in the world could pull off. And pull off, she did.

The LBD

Audrey in the Givenchy LBD

Oh come on! You saw this one coming. No list is complete sans this one. Now a genre in it’s own right, any respectable, well-dressed woman would own one. A garment so chic and versatile that once it came into the world and before womens’ eyes, it was never to be forgotten. Designed by the aristocratic legend, Hubert de Givenchy, this dress inspired millions for generations, and decades to come. Along with some confidence, this dress can be worn any which way in any season, at any time and be repeated severely, provided you’re bang on with your accessorizing. It lends an unrivaled air of demure sophistication and class to it’s wearer and elegantly transforms her into a lady.

Any additions? Classics only, please. You know we love to hear from you!

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