Discover more than 40 sketches from the Sorelle Fontana Foundation
The Female Silhouette in the 1940s
The appearance of the tulip skirt, and puffed, soft lines with draping and bold prints.
Christian Dior defined the success of French fashion with his "New Look" style: a narrow waist with a bell-shaped or corolla skirt, 30 cm off the floor. The slender waist was achieved using a corset, a rounded bust and sleeves, and gently sloping shoulders ("flower woman"). It saw the use of large quantities of rich, precious fabric in the detail, which gave the textile industry a new economic impetus following the world conflict. It also involved vibrant accessories—gloves, foulards, umbrellas, velvet hats, high-heeled shoes—and the use of starch for support.
Evening dresses were long and generally romantic in style with bare shoulders, tight-waisted bustiers, and large skirts with tulle crinoline petticoats.
The "Hollywood on the Tiber" phenomenon was born: international directors and actresses visit Rome and choose Italian fashion houses.
Marquis Giorgini of Florence invites already famous Italian fashion houses such as
Sorelle Fontana, Schubert, Fabiani, Carosa, etc. to model in front of the specialized press and international buyers for the first time. It was an incredible success and marked the beginning of Italian fashion.
The legendary "plus" size was born, also inspired by cinema.
Short, rolled-up jackets, pleated petticoats, knee-length dresses with underlined waists, stiffened busts with stitching and embroidery, full bodied bodices, the "8-shape," flax fabrics, shantung, mikado, trimmings, lavish embroidery based on various sources of inspiration, and the use of chenille.
Dior, Baleniciaga, Schiaparelli, and others launch new geometric silhouettes such as H-, A-, Y-, tulip-, and balloon-lines, using beautiful Italian fabrics.
Famous celebrities, actors, and singers such as Marlon Brando, Elvis Presley, and James Dean create styles that are imitated by countless fans.
The "USA College" style is born with blouses, poodle skirts, minuscule patterns, and twin-sets.
Italian designers have great success in the United States, spreading "the Italian look."
Editing by Massimo Bevilacqua