The fashion landscape is changing. For a long time, Paris has been its undisputed capital, but now, as Hamish Bowles says: “American fashion sets the tone for a future never seen before.
The seeds of modern American fashion were planted in the 1940s. In the United States, trends generally followed those established in France. When Paris was occupied during World War II, there was none. This allowed designers like Claire McCardell and Mainbocher to gain recognition. They represented two ends of the spectrum, the first aimed at the elite and the second at women with active lifestyles, through pieces such as “washable and reusable” dresses, which Bowles describes as “the holy grail of modern and accessible fashion. . “
Leading the way in the 1950s and 1960s, the teenage years of American fashion, were talents like Norman Norell and Charles James, whose architectural dresses were admired by people like Christian Dior but who can also be credited, Bowles notes. , for pieces as popular as wrap dresses and sports bras.
A real turning point in the New York-versus-Paris competition was a 1973 charity fashion show known as the Battle of Versailles, in which five representatives of French fashion and as many of American fashion competed for the honors. Stars and stripes prevailed. Modern, easy and unstructured clothes reflected contemporary life.
The 1980s saw the emergence of the Big Three: Ralph, Calvin and Donna. Calvin Klein’s minimalist slip-on dresses became iconic from the waif look of the 1990s, just as Marc Jacobs’ grunge collection for Perry Ellis is the iconic moment when the MTV generation merged with the industry.
At the same time, brands like FUBU and Cross Colors have introduced elements of the street into fashion and have spoken to largely ignored communities. We are talking about a reversal of the situation: streetwear is now one of the engines of profit and prestige. Virgil Abloh combines these two strengths in his work for his own brand, Off-White, and for Louis Vuitton men’s fashion.
Today, a new generation, including Telfar Clemens, Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada and Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, is redefining what American fashion can be by infusing it with emotion and using it to express beliefs. political and moral. As Bowles says, these new talents – and there are many of them – set their own rules and combine comfort and simplicity with a “high level of values”.
Hosted by Hamish Bowles
Director: Andrew B. Myers
Screenwriters: Stef Dag and Lane Williamson
Supervising producer: Jordin Rocchi
Associate producers: Cecilia Sallusti and Michelle Wong
Scenographer: Mike Feswick
Hand model: Brielle Jenkins
Visual effects, editing and sound: Andrew B. Myers
Vice-President, Digital Video Programming and Development, Vogue (English language): Robert Semmer
Content Director, Vogue: Tara Homeri
Production manager: Emily Yates
Post-production manager: Marco Glinbizzi