History Of Twentieth Century Fashion Arts Fashion Essay

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The popularization of the signified a declaration of freedom and self-determination and rebellion of minority groups during the late 1930s and 1940s. Zoot suits are characterized by creative patterns and colorful styles taking on a new twist to suiting. The zoot suit features a high-waisted, wide-legged, tight-cuffed and a long coat with wide lapels and wide padded shoulders. Accessories included felt hats with long feathers and pointy shoes, as well as chains that swung from the side of the waist. The word "Zoot" originated from Mexican-American lingo of "suit" pronunciation. Zoot suits became popular by African Americans, Latino Americans, Italian Americans, and Filipino Americans during the late 1930s and 1940s. Considered as one of the most iconic men's fashions of the 1940's, the zoot suit remains ensconced in today's world of fashion. Below is a photo of five boys wearing the zoot suit in Chicago.

Wikipedia. "Zoot Suit." Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. 9 August 2010. 7 August 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoot_suit. >.

Academy Of Art University, "History of 20th Century Fashion Arts. 7 August 2010, <http://discussion.academyart.edu/sectionContent/54-42754/59638/session_11.html>.

John Galliano, Zoot suit, Spring Collection 2002

Paris, France, October 11, 2001

John Galliano's Spring 2002 collection sported an argyle checkered snakeskin zoot suit with a wide lapel and paired the zoot suit with a cloche hat reflective of the 1920's styles. Galliano references back to historical street trends as well as shows ethnic inspirations in in his design. He successfully brought the street trend of the zoot suit into a eclectic style of modern times.

Emanuel Ungaro,

U.S, Fall/Winter Collection 2008

Ungaro shows contrasting greys with a subtle mish mash of pinstripe and a wide leg silhouette referencing the1940's zoot suit. He paired the look with a modern fitted blazer, grey scarf, wide brim hat and pointy French shoes. Ungaro accomplishes a modern twist in his design, while capturing the classic look at the 1940's Zoot Suit street trend.


The Teddy Boy subculture originated in Britain, spread throughout the United Kingdom and became associated with American rock and roll music of the 1950s. The Teddy Boy look was inspired by styles of the Edwardian period including style drape jacket, high-necked collared shirt with narrow tie, velvet trim collars, suede Gibson shoes, narrow trousers and a bold tie and was accessorized with brightly colored socks. This period reintroduced the look of tailored garments after World War II.

The modern Teddy Boy look highlights Edwardian influences with a bit of spunk.

The look combines drape jackets, a plethora of velvet, waistcoats, skinny ties that show a splash of color, lace up boots and tapered jeans, which show a modern twist on the classic teddy boy street trend.

Wikipedia. "Teddy Boys." Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. 30 July 2010. 7 August 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teddy_Boy. >.

Academy Of Art University, "History of 20th Century Fashion Arts. 7 August 2010,

< http://discussion.academyart.edu/sectionContent/54-42754/59639/session_06.html >.

Topshop Unique Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear

LONDON, September 14, 2008

Topshop definitely hits the spot on an edgy punk inspired look while accomplishing the Edwardian feel of the Teddy Boy style. The high-collared shirt covered with a modern style drape jacket and decorative brightly colored hearts paired with a white tapered pant, givethat edgy look inspired by a hint of rock and roll reflective of the Teddy boy trend.

Junya Watanabe, Spring 2009

PARIS, October 2, 2006

Watanabe definitely shows with a touch of street swagger and his modern day style reflective of the 1950's Teddy Boy street trend. A frothy ruffled shirt, cutaway tailcoat; a hint of fifties Teddy Boy drainpipes paired with pointy, patent lace-ups, subtly touch on the Teddy Boy style of dress, Watanbe's style shows a sense of masculinity and femininity, romanticism yet modernism and a geniously crafted denim that is not only smart, but functional.


The Beatniks were a popular fashion group of the 1950s and 1960 and part of the sociocultural movement that promoted anti-materialistc lifestyle as a result of WWII. The beatnik fashion trend showed turtleneck sweaters, skinny jeans, leotards, thick sweaters with large cowl collars and slim fitting pencil skirts or stirrup slacks. Beatniks were best described to wear berets, a turtleneck sweater, and a long skinny trouser. The trend was also reflected in hairstyles with women starting to have beehives and French pleat their hair and men typically grew facial hair. Beatniks were known for wearing black and reading poetry as well as created a classic style for those who were "artsy". Audrey Hepburn was also famous for her beatnik look in "Funny Face" in 1955. The look of shorter pants known as capris and a flatter rounded shoe became quite popular during this time. Today we see many styles reflective of the Beatnik street trend. Most recently the skinny pant paired with a longer shirt or sweater have repaved the way to some trends of the 21st century.

Wikipedia. "Beatniks." Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. 30 July 2010. 8 August 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatnik. >.

Academy Of Art University, "History of 20th Century Fashion Arts. 8 August 2010, <http://discussion.academyart.edu/sectionContent/54-42754/59639/session_06.html>.

Marc Jacobs' Fall/Winter 2008

Marc Jacobs' Fall/Winter 2008 collection nailed it with a modernized Beatnik approach. Jacobs features a longer dark denim dress with contrast welt pockets paired with a classic black legging. Accessories reflect the classic Beanik style by showing black sunglasses and a beret hat, which bring about a look referencing a poetic and artsy look.

BCBG Max Azria

NEW YORK, February 6, 2006

Through dark color palette and perfectly styled long shirt silhouette and tight pant, Max Azria touches on the classic Beatnik trends. Azria modernized the layered long shirted style through a use of layers inspired by origami and unique fold and paired it with a slick black legging and patent leather tall boot. He accessorizes with the beret style hat, but modernizes the classic style with a hint of fringe.


The Mod trend started in London in the late 1950s and was most popular in the early to mid 1960s. As the young teenagers became older the trend slowly became less popular. This change in interest is thought to be due to the fact that the people grew out of it. The mod style consisted of knee-length skirts and male-style shirts paired with a boxy cut jacket, patent-leather shoes and three-quarter length suede coats. Twiggy popularized the high-fashion mod look, which showed hem-line mini skirts, high boots and bold colored patterns. The modern Mod look is a prominent trend that we still see in the world of high fashion.

Wikipedia. "Mod (subculture)." Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. 19 July 2010. 8 August 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mod_%28subculture%29>.

Academy Of Art University, "History of 20th Century Fashion Arts. 8 August 2010, <http://discussion.academyart.edu/sectionContent/54-42754/59641/session_02.html>.

Missoni Pre Fall 2008

NEW YORK, December 14, 2007

Missoni captures the classic Mod trend through showing an ocher shearling jacket paired with a thigh-high mini and elbow-length gloves. The boxy, modern cut reflects on the 1960's classic Mod look.


NEW YORK, February 3, 2007

Poretzky pulled together a Courrèges-inspired mod look through use of zippers, black patent leather coat and almost considered beret cap. This modernized mod-militant style is also paired with an.mod-themed bags and shoes featuring a dark patent tall boot over a slick black legging. Through a thigh length and A shaped silhouette with a cinched belt at the waistline, Poretzky definitely gives a hint of classic mod style, but pulls off the look with a modern approach..


The 1960s brought on what was called the "summers of love" and Woodstock. This subculture exposed the world a to a new way of life that was based on the idea of peace and free love, psychedelic drug and communal living. The hippie subculture made a statement about protesting the wars through way of dress and lifestyle choices during the 1960's and 1970's. Hippie garb was loose and flowy and made of natural fibers like cotton and hemp. Colors showed vibrancy and a plethora of pattern and design. Most popular styles of dress were peasant blouses and jeans and long flowing dresses. The hippie styles will always be a part of modern fashion. Some of the modern hippie trends are shown through bold and funky patterns, floral prints, tie-dye, gauzy fabrics mixed with slinky jersey and heavier fabrics to create the vintage look. The Hippie era is also known for big leather belts, bold bags and layers of jewelry. Many designers today incorporate these accessories in their lines, which reflect on 1960's hippie styles. Modern hippie fashion can be viewed today as bohemian chic, which has become quite prevalent in recent times. Celebrity Nicole Richie has set the bar for the modern trend of Bohemian Chic referencing 1960's hippie garb.

Wikipedia. "Hippie" Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. 8 August 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mod_%28subculture%29>.

Academy Of Art University, "History of 20th Century Fashion Arts. 8 August 2010, <http://discussion.academyart.edu/sectionContent/54-42754/59641/session_03.html>.

Diane von Furstenberg

NEW YORK, September 7, 2008

Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2009 RTW collection definitely highlights the hippie trend with a plissé wrap gown showing a bold color and lush print. Furstenberg modernizes the classic hippie style by accessorizing with silk flowers and feathers strung from leather cords in flowing hair style, To top it off, Fustenberg completes this look by incorporating crystals and beads. This bold style references many of the classic hippie trends, but also modernizes the look with a touch of glam.

Etro Fall 2010 RTW

MILAN, February 27, 2010

Etro's Fall 2010 RTW definitely brings on a bought of hippie trends through an eclectic-ethnic aesthetic. Verging on bizarre, Etro shows a mish mash of pattern, color and mixed up layering to a successfully modernized hint of the eclectic hippie. The navy caban coats and cropped pants with a subtle spunky pattern combined with cheongsam blouses and kimono gowns brought on a bit of gypsy fashion reflective of hippie trend. Etro accessorizes with Cleopatra-like neckpieces and a unique rope like belt, which successfully compliments the 1960's hippie trends in a unique modern and eclectic approach.


The disco look began in the 1970s, which can be remembered for its hot pant look and funky patterned slinky tops. Staple fabrics of this time referenced stretchy lycra or spandex combined with polyester. Disco garb showed bold patterns, from geometric designs to whacked out patterns never seen before. Men's suits and dance attire featured widely flared pants, which were paired with button down polyester shirts with wide collars and lapels. Dramatic colors definitely matched the flamboyant party scene of the 1970's. The disco street trend paved the way to party at well know clubs such as well-known clubs like Studio 54, which reflected on fashion trends of the disco days. Modern disco garb can be seen in a variety today's trends through bold color and pattern as well as a hint of glitz and shimmer. It's no surprise to see a resurgence of this flashy embellishment, mini disco dresses, bold color, pattern and shape reflecting on the disco era.

Wikipedia. "Disco" Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. 8 August 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mod_%28subculture%29>.

Academy Of Art University, "History of 20th Century Fashion Arts. 8 August 2010, <http://discussion.academyart.edu/sectionContent/54-42754/59642/session_02.html>.

Collette Dinnigan

Fall 2010 RTW

PARIS, March 6, 2010

Ready to hit Studio 54? Dinnigan successfully pulls off a channeling disco goddess frock featuring a bit of glitz and glam and beadlike embellishment. This strapless hour-glass mini frock was paired with a black sleek tight and finished with a 70's inspired wedge heel. Dinnigan tastefully pulled together an elegant and modernized approach to 70's disco glam.

L.A.M.B. Spring 2007 RTW

NEW YORK, September 15, 2006

Stefani's collection shows attitude, use of "global-inspired" prints along with blond-wigged models reflective of the 1970's disco era. Stefani's wrap dress with a low cut front, colors and print are reflective of 1970's disco. Stefani pairs this look with a disco shoe styled shoe and a hand held purse pulling off an elegant and modern hint of disco trend.


Original punk fashions referenced rebellion and being unconventional as early as the 1970's. The punk trend began in London and it transcended over to the America. The punk look evolved quite often which created numerous punk style trends. Mainstream street style punks were known for their torn clothing, rebellious and confrontational T-Shirts design, studded embellishments and dark colors. Dr. Martens, Chuck Taylor All-Stars sneakers and military boots were the trend in footwear. Heavy dark overdone makeup, spiked jewelry and obnoxious hairstyles such as the spiked Mohawk were quite the norm. Modern day punk trends reflect back to original designs of Vivienne Westwood. Vivian Westwood is a pioneer of punk fashion on the runway. Westwood still shows surprising elements such as bondage and neck-ware.

Wikipedia. "Punk (subculture)" Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. 5 August 2010. <http://HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoot_suit"en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punk_subculturek>.

Academy Of Art University, "History of 20th Century Fashion Arts. 8 August 2010, <http://discussion.academyart.edu/sectionContent/54-42754/59643/session_03.html>.

Versus Fall 2004 RTW

MILAN, February 27, 2004

Versace brings about a glimpse of 1970's punk inspired looks reflecting on the idea of rebellion. This line features a bold statement in the combination of print and clash of color and accessorized with a biker like glove and metal hardware. For extra measure, she styles with a classic punk look with a frazzled like hairstyle and heavy punk inspired make-up.

Vivienne Westwood

Spring 2006 RTW

PARIS, October 4, 2005

Westwood definitely makes a statement with her edgy punk inspired looks in this Spring 2006 RTW collection. A unique conglomeration of shorter layered silhouette in front and a longer silhouette on the backside with a ruffled messy drape halter and paired with a modernized Dr, Martin lace up shoe shout rebellion. To sum up the look Westwood shows a short edgy up do and is completed with black lips thus reflecting a punk inspired edge that say rebellion. All in all, this look references back to original punk style, but finished in a tasteful and modern fashion.


Hip Hop began on the streets of New York's African American communities in the 1970s. Over the years Hip Hop has become a huge part of American culture. The hip-hop fashion trends began by incorporating Kangol hats in the early 1980s to prison blues and "wife beaters" in the Mid-90s. The late 90's a new twist in Hip Hop fashion began. The look to showed fur coats, gold accessories and a large bought of bling. While the thug looks is still around today, Jay-Z and Sean Combs keep the trend alive through their modern hip hop apparel line. Currently the hip-hop fashion scene has shows styles similar to the early. This look includes slim fit denim jeans, tighter t-shirts, large ornamental belt buckles, bold colored and patterned zip-up hoodies, and skater inspired apparel.

Wikipedia. "Hip Hop"Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. 5 August 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_hop>

Academy Of Art University, "History of 20th Century Fashion Arts. 8 August 2010, <http://discussion.academyart.edu/sectionContent/54-42754/59643/session_03.html>.

Sweetface Fall 2005

NEW YORK, February 11, 2005

Lopez's first-ever runway show throws a modernized approach to 1980's hip-hop style trends. This sexy, skin bearing, yet luxe assembles definitely touches on hip-hop. From the cap, baggy style jean, slick short bared halter and covered Boleros to the pink bulkier sneaker, this assemble calls out modern hip and a little hop too!

Christian Dior 2001 Fall RTW

PARIS, March 13, 2001

If this doesn't say hip-hop, I am not quite sure what does. Galliano delivered a complete hip-hop get up showing neon and bold print in a baggy silhouette. The style is not quite modern, but hints that hip-hop has progressed into a look at the future. This look shows a glimpse of futuristic style through Galliano's use of accessories. The look was not complete without a rakish hat, boom box and hair styled in a punk like orange with black sunglasses.


Futurism could reflect on a sustainable and recycled fashion trend as well as on technological advances during the 21st century. This concept states that individuals have the freedom to choose what style fits into their world. Whether it means going in a sustainable route or diving deep into the technological advances in today's society, we see both concepts on the streets and in runway.


A trend that has been seen on the streets and on runway contains a mish mash of eclectic and ethnic style. This trend draws inspiration from various Bohemian and hippie influences, Use of different lush textures and ethnic inspiration to create a sense of cultured, yet feminine sophisticated look. Combining a vintage look with a modern approach sees this trend.