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From Haute Couture to Prêt-à-porter

From 1960 onwards, youth movements’ influence reached the fashion world, breaking definitively with the tyranny of haute couture fashion houses, who experienced their final splendour in the post-war years. Youth fashion, which could spring both from the streets and design studios, would take advantage of the improvement in mass-produced dressmaking techniques, expanding extremely fast. Prêt-à-porter (as American ready-to-wear fashion was called in Europe and which the first designer firms had introduced in the interwar period) prevailed, relegating traditional dressmaking to a secondary role in fashion’s development. Young designers took hold of clothing’s evolution and set an accelerated pace in which one style ceaselessly followed another, and not only clothes were renewed, but also habits, attitudes and the way fashion was consumed. It was no longer just about elegance, beauty and decorum, but also extended its language to talk about lifestyles, countercultural messages and concepts that came ever closer to the visual arts field.


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