Italy is well-known for its extravagant fashion. Big names like Dolce Vita and Valentino reside in the glorious Mediterranean region, known for its fashion and craftsmanship. What is lesser known is how this fashion mecca became the powerhouse that it is today.
In this article, we discuss how Italy evolved to become the fashion center that it is. For a lesson in fashion and history, read on.
New Concepts and Economic Support Grow Italian Fashion
Italy grew its fashion by following in French footsteps and mimicking styles and manufacturing similarly, and then, as a result of World War II. Following the war, economic support allowed Italy to grow as a fashion powerhouse, which it did by using these resources and appealing to Americans. Italy was home to designers who understood the need for women’s fashion to evoke both comfort and tailored design. This unprecedented fashion concept gave Italian designers the ability to beat out the competition and thrive in their home base and in America.
To understand more about Italian fashion, you can take a look at the designs of the long-standing Versace fashion brand.
New Ideas, Feminism, and Hollywood: Versace and Italian/American Fashion
The Italian textile industry was fueled by American aid under the Marshall Plan following the war. The plan allowed businesses to produce more material to create luxury clothing. Italian designers were rooted in the importance of reality, and so their new clothing creations were reflective of this, using comfort and style. The realistic styles were appealing to Americans.
Oversized, flouncy gowns were transformed into shorter, cocktail dresses with breathability, so movements and fashion were maintained. These moves were unprecedented, allowing Italian designers to get ahead in fashion and make a lasting impression on American consumers.
Italy’s focus on female fashion led to feminist movements that further influenced the allure of Italian style globally. Female designer icons like Galitzine and Marcelli created clothing that was cherished. As the movements caught wind, Italian clothing began to thrive in Hollywood as filmmakers showed major stars like Liz Taylor and Audrey Hepburn wearing clothing by Italian designers.
It wasn’t long until everyone wanted to dress like the stars. Today, there is a balance between European and American styles. You can see these trends in Americanized brands such as H&M and Forever 21 and luxury, traditional Italian brands like Versace. Each of these stores blends French, Italian, and American styles for one authentic look.
Italian fashion style-What you need to know.
The most significant thing to know about Italian fashion is that it is, and always has been, tailored and practical. Pleats, lining, and flexible fabrics are hallmarks of Italian clothing designs, making them wearable for everyone. The European build runs petite, and while still appealing to American consumers, it does not divulge so completely from Italian roots that conformity clouds the Italian aesthetic.
Staying true to Italian designs while sparking change in American fashion was the original concept that captured fashion’s interest and sparked social reform. The focus on women’s clothing in Italy and the economic support from America after World War II allowed Italy to bloom into a fashion mastermind.