Fashion History: A-Line Silhouette

Today’s post is a bit different than previous posts. Up until last November, I was enrolled in a Fashion Marketing and Retail Management program with the hope of graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree. Due to unforeseen circumstances, both in my personal life and at the school I was completing the program through, that is currently on hold. My goal is to absolutely complete my degree at some point. I generally loved the program’s course material, specifically the fashion focused courses. On a recent Saturday morning, while drinking my coffee and reading a book about the history of fashion, I realized how much fashion history inspired me and how much I missed researching and learning about the subject. I have always loved learning about the beginnings of fashion, textile, styles, and silhouettes and it occurred to me that perhaps others might want to learn a bit about the subject as well, so here we are.

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Ensemble. 1955. Photograph. Met Museum, New York City.

One of my absolute favorite silhouettes is the A-line. The A-line was popular in the 1970s, but actually arrived on the fashion scene in the 1950s. “A-line” can be descriptive of several garments of clothing, including dresses, skirts, and coats. The shape is narrow and fitted at the top of a garment and then widens out in a straight line to the hem. For example, in a dress, the bust would be narrow and fitted and then flare out toward the bottom of the skirt in a straight line. Or in more condensed terms, the garment appears to form the shape of the capital letter “A”.

In Spring 1955, the A-line silhouette came into the fashion world via Christian Dior in Paris. The designer created collections in the mid-1950s and named them based upon the silhouettes he used, which were A, H, and Y. From this beginning, the A-line became the essential silhouette of the 1960s-70s. As time has passed, hemlines have changed, but the A-line remains.

HOW I WEAR IT:

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Forever 21 top, Loft skirt, Louise et Cie booties

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Target blazer, Dove’s t-shirt, Old Navy skirt, Splendid boots