Paris Refashioned, 1957-1968
February 10 - April 15, 2017

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Paris Refashioned, 1957-1968 examines the significant role that Paris played during one of the most fascinating and groundbreaking periods in fashion history. In 1957, twenty-one-year-old Yves Saint Laurent was made creative director of the esteemed couture house of Christian Dior. His first solo collection for Dior included his A-line “trapeze” dresses, ushering in an unmistakable shift toward more relaxed and ultimately more youthful designs — and with it, dramatic changes to the couture fashion industry.

By 1963, a group of young French ready-to-wear designers known as the stylistes had begun to make an impact on fashion both in their home country and abroad. Their of-the-minute fashions, which were favored by style arbiters such as Brigitte Bardot, presented an unexpected challenge to the more staid, costly, and labor-intensive creations of the couturiers. By 1968, some of the best-known couturiers — including Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, and André Courrèges — were presenting ready-to-wear lines in addition to their couture creations. Paris Refashioned examines the shift from the unassailable dominance of the haute couture to the newfound influence of ready-to-wear.

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Paris Refashioned, 1957–1968 by Colleen Hill, Yale University Press, 2017.