The 1990s

Fashion became a question of "which designer?" with extremely varied styles. In the early 1990s, the Belgian designers Anne Demeulemeester and Martin Margiela started a new style direction with the advent of the grunge and poor-boy look, making Antwerp, which housed designers Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Walter Van Beirendock as well, the new fashion center. The English designer Vivianne Westwood finally received international recognition for her daring reinterpretations of historical styles. London newcomers John Galliano and Alexander McQueen established themselves as chief designers at, respectively, Christian Dior and Givenchy in Paris. Jean-Paul Gaultier continued to be very successful with his underwear fashions, particularly with Madonna at its center. The fashion palette of the Italian designer Gianni Versace spanned from neo-baroque patterns to bondage style, while the house of Gucci, under the direction of the Texan Tom Ford, combined purism and eroticism. Miuccia Prada caught on, with her "bad taste" style, and a successful re-launching of past styles. Giorgio Armani remained the master of purism, while Dolce & Gabbana celebrated women's eroticism with black lingerie and animal prints. Jill Sanders, of Hamburg, perfected her minimalism to international acclaim. The Austrian designer Helmut Lang established himself in New York; his transparent layer look and his mini-malistic lines gave new stimulus to fashion. Alongside the designers, supermodels, like Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Cindy Crawford, were central to all fashion events.

In everyday fashion, leggings, in all colors and patterns, dominated at the beginning of the decade. Worn under stylishly transparent, calf-length skirts and long blazers in multi-colored blockings, leggings covered the legs discretely. The transparent look appeared somewhat in mainstream fashion, layered over lace bodysuits, bustiers, and bras. Towards the end of the decade, crinkled shirts, ragged hems, and inside-out seams were accepted. The baguette bag, publicized by Fendi, brought the handbag, after two decades of backpacks, into fashion's center stage.

The marketing of brand names became increasingly important: adults favoring Louis Vuitton, Hermes, or Es-cada, and teenagers of both sexes favoring sportswear brands like Diesel, Chiemsee, Burton, Nike, Adidas, or Levis. The Italian fashion manufacturer Benetton stimulated heated controversies over its advertising.

Men's fashion was also increasingly determined by designers with clearly differentiated styles, ranging from Giorgio Armani's loosely cut suits to Hemut Lang's body-conscious, relatively high-necked suits and narrow trousers with a satin band on their outward-facing leg seams. Baggy pants and extra-large shirts remained popular with the younger generation. Cargo pants were introduced in 1999 as sportswear.

See also Armani, Giorgio; Art Noveau and Art Deco; Cardin, Pierre; Chanel, Gabrielle (Coco); Corset; Dior, Christian; Europe and America: History of Dress (400-1900 C.E.); Gaultier, Jean-Paul; Haute Couture; Lagerfeld, Karl; Lang, Helmut; Patou, Jean; Poiret, Paul; Quant, Mary; Saint Laurent, Yves; Suit, Business; Youthquake Fashions.


Baudot, Francois. Fashion of the Century. New York: Universe

Publishing, 1999. Buxbaum, Gerda, ed. Icons of Fashion: The 20th Century. New

York: Prestal, 1999. Fukai, Akiko. Fashion. Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute. A History of the 18th to the 20th Century. Tokyo: Taschen, 2002.

Loschek, Ingrid. Fashion in the 20th Century. A Cultural History of Our Time. Munich: Letzter Preis, 1995. -. Fashion of the Century. Fashion Chronicle from 1900 to Today. Munich: Letzter Preis, 2001. McDowell, Colin. Forties Fashion and the New Look. London:

Bloomsbury, 1997. Remaury, Bruno, ed. Dictionary of 20th Century Fashion. Paris, 1994.

Seeling, Charlotte. Fashion 1900-1999. London-Cologne:

Konemann, 2000. Steele, Valerie. Fifty Years of Fashion: New Look to Now. New

Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2000. Vergani, Guido, ed. Dictionary of Fashion. Milan: Baldini and Castoldi, 1999.

Ingrid Loschek

TWIGGY In 1949 Lesley Hornby, later rechristened "Twiggy," was born in Neasden, an unfashionable suburb in North London, where she grew up. Only sixteen when she began modeling in 1966, she introduced the cult of the "celebrity model" and left an indelible legacy in other, more significant ways. Models in the 1950s, in both America and Britain, were styled and made up to look mature, sophisticated, and "ladylike," to complement the fashionable clothes of the time. In England many were young women from respectable families who had followed a modeling course at Lucie Clayton's Mod eling and Grooming School in Mayfair. In America, such top models as Suzy Parker were also well-groomed girls from middle-class backgrounds. New photographic techniques allowed mass-circulation newspapers and magazines to print high-fashion images, and the models' names soon became familiar to the public.

The social and demographic changes that followed created need for new designs and new models. Mary Quant's clothes for Bazaar were aimed at a young clientele, while the early 1960s saw the opening of innumerable boutiques in London, which, unlike Quant's shop,

Twiggy Early Photos
Twiggy. Unlike the feminine and sophisticated looks of models in the 1950s, Twiggy became the celebrity model who typified the new, young, and boyish style of the 1960s. © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis. Reproduced by permission.

were intended for girls of far more limited means. The first model whose image reflected this climate was Jean Shrimpton. Although she had attended Miss Clayton's school, her success was a result of the partnership she had formed with the working-class photographer David Bailey. The early pictures, which made them both famous, showed off her youth and her tomboy persona.

Lesley Hornby was working as a hairdresser in a salon near her home when an older man recognized the way in which she might personify the new London. Nigel Davies, a former boxer and stallholder, who called himself "Justin de Villeneuve," changed her name and transformed her appearance; it was at his suggestion that she painted on eyelashes under her eyes so as to resemble a porcelain doll and had her hair cut short. The photographer Barry Lategan took a picture for the salon, and, by chance, the fashion editor Deirdre McSharry saw it. In the February 1966 issue of the Daily Express, she used a center spread to portray this "Cockney Kid'' as "the Face of '66." One of the shots showed Twiggy wearing homemade trousers and sweater, which accentuated both her androgynous appearance and her democratic appeal.

She was smaller than most models and invariably posed so as to emphasize her childlike qualities. In 1967 she was photographed for British Vogue by Ronald Traeger, who portrayed her riding a miniature bike in knee-high socks. Cecil Beaton sat her on a high shelf, and Helmut Newton asked her to jump toward the camera with arms outstretched. There followed a shoot with

Richard Avedon and a cover for American Vogue in August of that year. At one point she was on twelve covers simultaneously; as a model, she was used by both traditional "glossies" and new, youth-oriented publications.

Although the syndication of her name to dresses, dolls, and other merchandise meant that she could retire from modeling by 1969 to pursue a career as actress and singer, she had permanently changed magazine culture. Now, to the deification of youth was added the idea of instant fame, the notion that class barriers that could be painlessly transcended, and the problematic pursuit of a pre-pubescent ideal of beauty.

See also Fashion Photography; Fashion Magazines; London Fashion; Quant, Mary.


Aitken, Jonathan. The Young Meteors. New York: Atheneum, 1967.

Green, Jonathon. All Dressed Up: The Sixties and the Counterculture. London: Jonathan Cape, 1998. Levy, Shawn. Ready, Steady, Go! The Smashing Rise and Giddy Fall of Swinging London. New York: Doubleday, 2002.

Melly, George. Revolt into Style: The Pop Arts in Britain. London: Allen Lane, 1970.

Twiggy. Twiggy: An Autobiography. London: Hart-Davis, MacGibbon, 1975.

Pamela Church Gibson

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