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The avant-garde and fashion

The First World War ended a way of dressing. European women took jobs and had to shed the bustles and artificial shapes that characterised their dress in the previous century, and began to wear more practical tailored clothing.

The period between the wars witnesssed the eruption of the avant-garde in art -Orphism, Cubism, and Surrealism -wich would have a major impact on styles of dress.

In the 1920s women wore dresses à la garçonne, with straight lines and no waist.

The worldwide economic depression that began with the crash of the U.S. stock market in 1929 ended this fashion, and ushered in a more conservative period, in which women wore more shapely dresses with lower hemlines.

For the first time in history, women gegan to dominate the world of hatute couture, and such names as Madeleine Vionnet, Gabrielle Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin, Alix Grès and Elsa Schiaparelli were known the world over.


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