19451960 in fashion

Fashion in the years following World War II is characterized by the resurgence of haute couture after the austerity of the war years. Square shoulders and short skirts were replaced by the soft femininity of Christian Dior's "New Look" silhouette, with its sweeping longer skirts, fitted waist, and rounded shoulders, which in turn gave way to an unfitted, structural look in the later 1950s. Innovations in textile technology following the war resulted in new synthetic fabrics and easy-care fabric finishes that fitted the suburban lifestyle of the 1950s with its emphasis on casual sportswear for both men and women. For the first time, teenagers became a force in fashion. The return of fashion By 1947, the Paris fashion houses had reopened, and once again Paris resumed its position as the arbiter of high fashion. The "orderly, rhythmic evolution of fashion change"[1] had been disrupted by the war, and a new direction was long overdue. A succession of style trends led by Christian Dior and Cristobal Balenciaga defined the changing silhouette of women's clothes through the 1950s. Television joined fashion magazines and movies in disseminating clothing styles.[1][2] [edit]Casual clothing and teenage style One result of the Post-World War II economic expansion was a flood of synthetic fabrics and easy-care processes. "Drip-dry" nylon, orlon and dacron, which could retain heat-set pleats after washing, became immensely popular.[3] Acrylic, polyester, triacetate and spandex were all introduced in the 1950s.[4] Miss America contestant Yolande Betbeze wears the co-ed's uniform of a short-sleeve sweater and pencil skirt, with high heels, 1950. Social changes went hand-i

-hand with new economic realities, and one result was that many young people who would have become wage-earners early in their teens before the war now remained at home and dependent upon their parents through high school and beyond, establishing the notion of the teenage years as a separate stage of development.[4] Teens and college co-eds adopted skirts and sweaters as a virtual uniform, and the American fashion industry began to target teenagers as a specialized market segment in the 1940s.[5] In the United Kingdom, the Teddy boys of the post-war period created the "first truly independent fashions for young people",[4] favouring an exaggerated version of the Edwardian-flavoured British fashion with skinny ties and narrow, tight trousers worn short enough to show off garish socks.[4] In North America, greasers had a similar social position. Previously, teenagers dressed similarly to their parents, but now a rebellious and different youth style was being developed. Young adults returning to college under the G.I. Bill adopted an unpretentious, functional wardrobe, and continued to wear blue jeans with shirts and pullovers for general informal wear after leaving school.[6] Jack Kerouac introduced the phrase "Beat Generation" in 1948, generalizing from his social circle to characterize the underground, anti-conformist youth gathering in New York at that time. The term "beatnik" was coined by Herb Caen of the San Francisco Chronicle in 1958,[7] and the stereotypical "beat" look of sunglasses, berets, black turtlenecks, and unadorned dark clothing provided another fashion alternative for youths of both sexes, encouraged by the marketing specialists of Madison Avenue.