Sarah Jessica Parker Narrates the History of ’30s Fashion in Vogue

  |   Fashion

The flapper was a casualty of the stock market crash of 1929. Out of her ashes rose the femme fatale. At night she was a modern Diana in figure-molding bias-cut satins that oozed to the floor. By day, she might play with a Surrealist as served up by Elsa Schiaparelli. Then war came, and removed frivolity from fashion.

Hemlines were lengthening before the Great Crash of 1929; they fell to the floor after that debacle and stayed there for quite a while. There was nothing prim about these sweeping hems, however. The abbreviated silhouette was traded for a long, sculptural one built along classic lines that emphasized the figure within the frock. Madeleine Vionnet’s diagonal bias-cutting technique resulted in dresses that were sensuously molded to the body. Such perfection as not easily come by; “simplicity,” noted Vogue, “is a complex art.”

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