Today I have a guest post for you all. It is about the top fashion icons of the 20th Century.
From models and actresses through to designers and singers, the world of fashion has no end of shortages. As fashion has evolved over the years we still find that many dressmakers, designers and stylish crafters look to previous styles to find inspiration and influence. Here at Sewing Online, we now take a look back at some of the most memorable fashion icons of the 20th century and determine who left lasting impressions that still survive to this day.
Audrey Hepburn is probably one of the most celebrated fashion icons of this century and became famous for her elegant style and fragile beauty which has since become synonymous with 20th century Hollywood glamour fashion.
After coming to prominence after her Best Actress Oscar win for her onscreen role in the film Roman Holiday she went on to define the notorious Little Black Dress (LBD) in her role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s wearing iconic fashions defined by Hurbert De Givenchy which catapulted her to success and saw her being featured on many fashion front pages during the 50s.
Off-screen Hepburn was often seen wearing full, waist cinching skirts, knotted scarves around her neck and ballet pumps, which are wardrobe staples for most women of today.
The actress often kept things simple, and never really followed fashion trends, which is what made her such an iconic figure, although colours were often plain, she was seen in bolder brighter colours – accessories were always subtle.
Tip - To recreate Hepburn’s iconic look consider using ribbon to clinch dresses at the waist for that more feminine look and if working from a dressmaking pattern opt for a dressmakers dummy that will help you create a more accurate finish and help you see how your outfit is progressing as you make it.
There are very few things in fashion that have longevity but Kate Moss is the anomaly having chimed her style with the changing times, since her first appearance on the catwalks in the 1990s. Her image is completely omnipresent from her off-screen paparazzi shots through to her model advertising campaigns for make-up right through to her own self-designed clothing range at Topshop.
Having appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine more than 20 times in her career, a discussion about fashion icons wouldn’t be complete without her. From shorts and wellington boots in her more casual appearances through to sequined slip dresses to showcase her signature party lifestyle.
Tip - Kate Moss is a firm advocate of dressing for her shape and with her great legs, is often seen wearing mini dresses and skirts, don’t be afraid of creating an outfit in black.
Twiggy, also known as Lesley Hornby, was the World’s first supermodel at just 17-years-old, and came to prominence in the late 60’s. Initially known for her skinny build and boyish looks she propelled miniskirts, bee hives and spider eyelashes into 1960s fashion.
Her phases of fashion were brief, bare and daring which made her a trendsetter and all started with ‘the mini’ and ‘shift dress’ looks. Seen in dresses and skirts that hit around six and seven inches above the knee, she provoked scandal which eventually turned into an excellent marketing campaign for fashion designer Mary Quant and saw ‘the mini’ spread.
The shift dress, which she often wore with an exaggerated collar, was designed in pastels and showcased her incredibly slim frame perfectly while letting her legs take centre stage.
Tip – A lot of Twiggy’s looks were block colours so attempt to keep things simple. Add trims where necessary for a little more appeal. Be liberal and brave with your designs.
As much as Princess Diana was known for her public compassion, kindness and demure approach her dress and fashion sense was often watched closely by the press and public. From a young princess first in the limelight her style was romantic and modest but as her confidence grew in the public eye her style developed into a more elegant and thought out fashion. She had the ability to represent the fashion, age and size of her mass following unlike any royal before her.
The Princess embraced everything from the shoulder pads and cinched waists of the 80’s, represented in her feminine suits, right through to ruffled blouses and dress trims of the 90’s and even created her very own version of the LBD. Princess Diana worked with many of Britain’s leading fashion houses to create some of the most iconic styles including Catherine Walker and Bruce Oldfield.
Tip - Diana may have created iconic looks but she did everything in moderation so don’t be too flamboyant. Look to current fashions and trends and see how you can make them different. Take a look at some of our dressmaking patterns.
A silver screen beauty and style icon, Elizabeth Taylor was a picture perfect fashion icon; she redefined the classic Hollywood look in the 40s but remained a close focus for fashion inspirations until her death in 2011.
From diamonds, luxurious fabrics and various hair styles, Taylor was the epitome of risqué with plunging necklines and thin straps ready to slip off her shoulders. While she mainly kept to evolved fashions she always opted for bolder twists opting for luxurious accessories such as fur and velvet wraps.
Tip – Consider diamante accessories or pairing a simple feminine design with lace or faux fur trimming for that more glamorous finish.
From a Spice Girl renowned for her LBD as Posh Spice through to her fashion designer status today, Victoria Beckham has become a household name in fashion and is known for understated elegance both on street and on the catwalk. After setting many trends and experimenting with numerous hairstyles and clothing reinventions, she now favours a more iconic, pristine and body contouring look which adheres more to a classic style status than fashion trends.
However, her looks still make her a fashion chameleon with many of her styles being adopted by people of all ages. Inclusive of the LBD, many of her iconic looks are very feminine and include pencil dresses, short dresses to showcase her legs and minimalistic colours and simplicity.
Tip – If you want to mix colours, think less is more. Opt for haberdashery accessories like gold beading or bolder coloured and bigger buttons.
These are our picks of the top fashion icons of the 20th century, is there any that you think we’ve missed?
Whether you are just starting out in dressmaking or looking to modify some of your existing clothes from your wardrobe then our online store at Sewing Online holds a world of possibilities for creating and customising.
Should you need any help or advice then please contact our team today who will be more than happy to assist.