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How Did Women's Fashion Create Changes In Society In Australia And The World Between 1901 1945?

1037 words - 4 pages

Between four and a half decades, women's fashion has experienced different social changes and cultural trends. Different events and factors that occurred throughout these years influenced many of these changes. Fashions for women were "influenced by social, economic, and political forces."The first decade of the century, between 1900-1910 was known as the 'Belle Epoque' (the beautiful age), and was a time of great excitement. Fashionable ladies gracefully glided through these years in chiffon and lace. The look of the time was to have a small-hand span waist, shelf-like bosom and large hips.For every occasion, there was a different outfit. This was due to etiquette, so fashionable people changed clothes many times a day. There were garments for morning, afternoon and evenings.The 20th century opened with the tightly-laced corset, which was considered a permanent basic requirement in achieving a fashionable figure, to exaggerate every curve of the female form, for the fashionable S shape. The extreme styles fitted the hips tightly and started to flare out from the thighs to ruffle widely and trail out on the ground to complete the fashionable 'S' shape.In the evenings, necklines were low to show off the bosoms, however skirts were long and full and often had trains. During the day, the body was covered from head to toe. The overall effect was women looked puffed out like pigeons.The second decade of the 20th century was dominated by the horror of World War 1, which went from 1914-1918. People from all walks of life worked side-by side with the result that attitudes and opinions changed forever.By 1914, straighter, flatter corsets designed to narrow the hips rather than shape the bust and waist, were back.The fashions in this year were very soft and feminine, and after the horrors of World War I some men thought women had never looked so lovely. Very girlish dresses with wider, fuller skirts, short enough to show the ankles, were also beginning to be worn.During the war, women had to take over men's jobs, so this new work called for practical clothes. Women's clothing, even when they were off-duty, tended to be simpler. Skirts became fuller and shorter until they settled at around lower calf length at around 1917. Changes in women's roles predictably were reflected in the fashions of the time. For example, the creations of Paul Poiret, a leading influence on fashion during this decade, expressed "the more independent spirit of the times and mirrored decisive changes in attitudes".By the time the war ended, many things had changed in Australia. During the war, many traditional ideas about how women should behave and look was put on one side. All these changes had an effect on dress - women wanted to be free once and for all from tight skirts and uncomfortable corsets. Fashion went through an indecisive phase, were a variety of styles were tried out. Skirts, which had shortened during the war, lengthened again.From 1920-1929, the world was just one...

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