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September 02, 1995 - Image 113

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-09-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

In the early 1960s following the inven-
tion of pantyhose, Mary Quant designed
the mini-skirt which took hold immediate-
ly in Europe. However, it was two years
more before there was acceptance in the
United States.
A few years later, the French couturier,
Andre Courreges, created a sensation with
his mid-thigh tunic over pants and tights.
New elastic yarns were beginning to appear
that speeded the evolution of pantyhose
and tights that were part of the Courreges
The next dramatic change came through
the gradually increased influence of street
fashions that were a product of suburban
living in the United States. Blue jeans made
from very durable denim overall fabric took
the country by storm. T-shirts and running
and walking shoes are two more obvious ex-
This popular blue jean fashion replaced
the wool gabardine suit and then the poly-
ester pantsuit that had become successive
"uniforms" after World War II. The most
innovative contemporary designers regu-
larly adapt "street fashions" into their col-
Today, fashions originate everywhere:
The couture designers have now shifted
their innovative skills from porter, one
of a kind designs, to the pret-a-porter,
or ready to wear, at significantly lower
prices, and with no suggestion that
these garments are being sold as one of a
With society changing rapidly and young
designers ready to interpret their ideas to
various segments of society, we have frag-
mentation and the lessened influence of in-
dividual designers.
The greatest fashion leaders today are
Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Lacroix, if one
judges leadership on the basis of followers
or interpretations of their designs. But, even
they are having trouble maintaining their
position of leadership.
For the 21st century we can look to more
fragmentation along with the less and less
obvious leadership of any one or two indi-
vidual designers.
Paris will continue to strengthen in the
21st century as the world center where fash-
ion designs are presented, just as Paris is
currently attracting more and more design-
ers from individual European countries,
from japan, from the UK and from the U.S.
The French government policy of com-

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