The decades of 1920s and 1930s marked the initial period of the American fashion recognition. Much owed to the Hollywood, Americans and the rest of the world saw the most recent ideals of beauty and glamour. Exciting dresses and new fashions worn by Hollywood stars mesmerized millions of people around the world, while costumers transformed into acknowledged designers. During and after World War II there was a flourish of American couture design industry. Designers, trained in Paris, promoted purely American styles featured by simplicity, practicality, and casualty so preferred by American women.
The fashion of the 1960s had so many popular trends that many of them are still being used today. In the 1930s many women wore heels, puffy sleeves, and long skirts. Many people already know the style of the 1950s because that was the era of the popular movie “West Side Story”, such as poofy skirts, dresses, leather jackets, and converse. The 1970s was a time of high waisted pants, knee high boots, and many different patterns. Fashion has changed significantly throughout the years but there has been no bigger jump than from the conservative clothing of the 50s to the more flashy style of the late 60s and 70s.
While Movie and television actors and actresses also played a big role in deciding what fashion trends and body images were big. “Screen goddesses like Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly inspired tiny waistlines and full skirts and busts” (Fashion in the 1950s). Television and movies played a big role in teenagers fashion choices. “The influx of American cinema and television brought many new fashion ideas to the masses and prompted many young people to copy the fashion of their favourite movie stars” (Fashion in the 1950s). New materials began to form in the 1950s nylon was a huge thing because it made tights a big deal.
This increased the demand for dresses in particular, with silk and rayon hosiery not far behind.” (1920 's Women’s Fashions and Changing Lifestyles section, para. 3) Fashion became such an icon because it almost gave women empowerment. According to (“514 BROADWAY,” n.d.) “clothing changed with women’s changing roles in modern society, particularly with the idea of freedom for women” (FASHION IN THE 1920s section, para. 2). For the first time in history women did not feel so trapped.
“It was called the atomic age and the fabulous fifties. It was an era where Americans had fun; this joyful mood came in part from the robust post war economy.” Factories increased their output to keep up with the growing consumer demand in America, and satisfy the needs of a post war Europe. The defense industry continued to make military supplies in reaction to the Cold War. America’s economy was the biggest in the world. America was becoming bigger and better, and so was the American Dream.
Men were also presented as reluctant to taking action, until they got pressed by the women’s desire to solve the mystery. Hitchcock presents the basic roles for both men and women in the movie Rear Window. The women are presented as sexually appealing objects. For instance, this is seen in Miss Torso’s dressing, which can be described as scanty and revealing. The movie also stresses the idea of superficial beauty in women, which make them more desirable by men.
With the invention of credit cards many were placing orders on items they could not yet afford. During this time there was also a baby boom and a suburban boom. Soldiers returned home eager to start a family and accomplish their American Dream. By 1954, four million babies were being born each year. Because of this drastic increase, many were in need of a home.
During the 1950´s the economy was booming, and the fruits of this prosperity- new cars, suburban houses, and other consumer goods- were available to more people than ever before (“The 1950’s”). About 4 million babies were born each year during the 1950´s (“The 1950’s”). That’s nearly 36 million babies by 1959.As world war II ended, the G.I Bill subsidized low-cost mortgages for returning soldiers, which meant that it was often cheaper to buy a suburban house than it was to rent an apartment(“The 1950’s”).This provided more homes just outside city limits.During this time, African Americans had been fighting against racial segregation and the struggle against racism and segregation entered the mainstream of American life (“The 1950’s”). In the early 1950’s the lines between R&B, blues, and gospel became blurred (Handyside 8). R&B was revolutionized by adding a gospel sound into it.
(Kremer) The distinctions between male and female dress began to reflect larger cultural shifts in the eighteenth century. Fashion was redefined as feminine and light-hearted, furthermore representing women as unsuitable for education or citizenship and lacking reason by nature. Solely men were considered gifted with rational thought which entitled them to be politically empowered. They expressed this in their clothing, replacing the heeled shoes with the promising three-piece suits, carefully avoiding standing out too much from each other. Expressed in literature: [Find Alexander Pope’s satirical men’s club rules.
Contemporary media had done a very effective job at associating the image of flappers with the 1920s using popular works such as The Great Gatsby. People identify this decade of women very easily. Comparatively, the 1970s idea of women focused on the era of the ‘hippie’ in the style of clothing that was popular at the time and is still the image represented today. Culturally the representation of 70s women is found through the simplicity of bell bottom jeans and flower headbands. Women of the modern era are still working on expanding their roles, but women working as a group have been exceeding the expectation now for just over 100