The Second World War caused Europe and specifically England to lose the leading role in the world, but gave way to the United States and the Soviet Union, which divided the world into two spheres of influence. In Europe we felt intensely the fascination of the American way of life, its high income and its huge consumption. Never before had the U.S. invaded the old fashion world: movies and television proposed a way of dressing, talking, dancing and singing coming from overseas. Protagonists were for the first time the teen-agers who were distinguished from adults for the clothing: jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, leather jackets, for sports, and for men, hair on his head. The fortunes of the jeans was still an important phenomenon that influenced fashion.This garment, used since the mid-nineteenth century as a working uniform, for the strength of its fabric, secured with double stitching and metal rivets, was launched at American universities after the success of The Wild Ones, starring a young Marlon Brando and fascinating to the youth. Even the phenomenon of Elvis Presley with rock ‘n’ roll, his flashy clothes and provocative movements, were greeted with great enthusiasm by young people. In Europe, these ways of dressing and behaving exploded first in youth groups, who found their identity. He began from this moment to be an important phenomenon: the fashion was set by the street people and not only by the great couturiers. For the first time in the history of costume the opinion of the masses prevailed.
In Europe there were the years of reconstruction and the economic miracle, also touted by fashion magazines that were multiplying before our eyes. People were getting rich and demanded access to new technologies, television, refrigerator, cars. Even the fashion world began to be invested by mass consumption. The women got tired of wearing the clothes and turned out of their mothers and fashion models copied by women’s magazines with the help of patterns and providential seamstresses. If Paris was still calling the shots, it was born in Florence in the Italian fashion industry, and in 1952 at the Palazzo Pitti, was held the first of many parades and events. The organization turned to look for new non-tailors in the historic Italian fashion houses, but among the ones that tried to distance himself from Parisian models were Jole Veneziani, Carosa (Princess Joan Caracciolo) Emilio Schuberth, Emilio Pucci, Simonetta Fabiani, the Fontana sisters, Germaine Marucelli.
But still the law dictated Paris: Dior, until his death in 1957, launched two collections a year earlier that made it completely outdated ones. It suffered its impositions, and expectations of the public became frantic, as the news on the hems of skirts filled the pages of fashion magazines. Some of the most important collections of Dior were inspired by the letters of the alphabet, such as the H line in 1954, moved on with their lives hips and torso lengthened and stiffened as in the portraits of Anne Boleyn, wife of Henry VIII Tudor. Then there were the line Y and the line A, while long evening gowns were usually to the foot. In 1957, the year of his death, even Dior revolutionized fashion with lot line, which created quite a stir because it completely hid the waist.
Coco Chanel returned to reopen her fashion house, and staying faithful to her ideas, revived its legendary suits, collarless jacket, the skirt and the simple and straight. Chanel hated Dior and believed that his clothes were stiff, difficult to carry and awkward to store. Instead she let his models be photographed before the parade and was happy to see them multiply, even if it meant limiting her earnings. It was always she who threw the shoe Chanel, without heel and toe with a different color: it was an alternative to high heels that from the mid-fifties battered the feet of many women.
In the same period leisure grew more and more fashionable. On the beaches made the Bikini made its first appearance – a two-piece bathing suit, so nicknamed by the nuclear test on the atoll of Bikini. The pants continued their march to success: were used for summer sports and skiing, with a passing under their feet. Highly suitable for dancing, had particular success with the spread of rock ‘n’ roll, in their mid-calf. The jersey has always been considered poor material and popular, and began to be part of the collections.
With the death of Dior, Yves Saint Laurent became head of the house. His first collection, as anticipated, was a runaway success: the line in harness was fresh, young, and substantially a continuation of the bag by Dior. The enthusiasm for the new couturier, however, lasted until, betraying an agreement with the other tailors to not alter the hem of the skirt, Saint Laurent, raised it to seven centimeters, thus ending with the knees out. Because of the brawl that followed the young tailor collapsed and withdrew from Dior giving way to Marc Bohan. In 1962 he opened an atelier in Paris on his own.