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L’Histoire de Mode

L’Histoire de Mode~Harem Pants

Harem Pants:

Harem trousers are women’s baggy long pants tapered

at the ankle, with side flaps on the hip that button at the waist area.

Harem pants, which originated in India, are like a cross between

a skirt and a pair of skinny jeans. The legs, from the knees down,

are fitted. The crotch area is loose and baggy as if it were cut to be

a skirt. Traditional harem pants can be extremely large and baggy,

with a very wide and full fit, very roomy, loose fitting, oversized,

puffy, spacious, with elastic in waist and at ankles, and with the

crotch below the knee almost to the ground. Harem pants are

commonly worn with a pleated skirt – a short skirt that covers

the top portion of the harem pants. Both harem pants and pleated

skirts are commonly used in belly dancing. There are resources

that show various forms of pleated skirts and explain how they are created.

They’ve also emerged as a “modern” version of harem pants made

popular in the late 1980s with MC Hammer. They are intended to be made

more fashionable and less fabric requirement. Similar pants are also known

as dimije, tshalvar, schalwar, salwar kameez, kaccha, patiala salwar,

shintijan, sirwal, sharovary, Turkish trousers, aladdin pants, balloon pants,

drop crotch pants, pantaloons, zouave, pluderhose and pumphose.


Also called “diaper pants,” “genie pants” or “Aladdin pants.”


Fall 09 Balmain

L’Histoire de Mode~ Pannier

c. 1720

Pannier Hand Drawn Instructions (click photo to learn to make your own)

Pannier (clothing):

Are also known as side hoops are women’s undergarments

worn in the 18th century to extend the width of the skirts at

the side while leaving the front and back flat. This provided a

flat panel where boldly scaled woven patterns or rich embroidery

could be fully appreciated.The style originated in Spanish

court dress of the 17th century,familiar in portraits by Velázquez.

The fashion spread to France and from there to the rest of

Europe after c. 1718-1719, after some Spanish dresses had been

displayed in Paris. By mid-18th century it had been developed into the

robe à la française, which ensured that a woman took up three times

as much space as a man and always presented an imposing spectacle.

At their most extreme, in the French court of Marie Antoinette,

could extend the skirt several feet at each side. By the 1780s, panniers

were normally worn only to very formal gowns and within court fashion. The name

comes from panniers, a French term for wicker baskets (paniers in current

French) slung on either side of a pack animal. It is also

the name of a GWR 0-6-0 Tank engine with an iconic

rectangular boiler.


Court dress 1779 worn over extremely wide panniers.

Court ladies in a view of Vienna by Canaletto's nephew Bernardo Bellotto, c. 1760

L’Histoire de Mode~”Mother of the Mod Movement”

Mary Quant developed the miniskirt considering it to be practical and liberating by allowing women the ability to run for the bus.

Mary Quant is a British fashion designer who was

instrumental in the mod fashion movement and one of the designers

who took credit for inventing the miniskirt and hot pants.

Born to Welsh parents, Quant went to Blackheath High School

then studied illustration at Goldsmiths College before taking a career

with a couture milliner. She is also famed for her work on pop art in fashion.

In November 1955, she teamed up with her husband, Alexander

Plunkett-Green, and a former solicitor, Archie McNair, to open

a clothes shop on the Kings Road in London called Bazaar.

Bazaar’s best sellers were small white plastic collars to brighten

up black dresses or t-shirts. Black stretch stockings were also popular.

Following the positive reaction to a pair of “mad house pyjamas”

designed for the opening, and dissatisfied with the variety

of clothes available to her, Quant decided to make her

own range of clothing. Initially working solo,

she was soon employing a handful of machinists,

and by 1966 she was working with 18

different manufacturers concurrently.

The miniskirt, which she is arguably most famous for,

became one of the defining fashions of the 1960s.

The miniskirt was developed separately by André Courrèges

and John Bates, and there is disagreement as to who

came up with the idea first. Like most fashion,

the short- and ever-shorter skirt was evolving

already among individual fashion-minded young women:

The designers who adapted it just helped spread the style and,

in Quant’s case, gave it a name. Mary Quant named the

miniskirt after her favorite make of car, the Mini. She

loved the car so much, she had one designed especially for her.

In addition to the miniskirt, Mary Quant is often credited

with inventing the coloured and patterned tights that tended

to accompany the garment, although these are also

attributed to Cristobal Balenciaga or John Bates.



Collage of Mary Quant & her work

L’Histoire de Mode~ “The Father of Haute Couture” pt. II

Much of his work is associated with the movement to

redefine the female fashionable shape, removing

excessive ruffles and frills and using rich fabrics in

simple but flattering outlines.He is credited as the first

designer to put labels onto the clothing he manufactured.

Worth gave his customers luxurious materials and

meticulous fit. Rather than let the customer dictate

the design, as had previously been dressmaking practice,

four times a year he displayed model dresses at fashion

shows. His patronesses would pick a model, which

would then be sewn in fabrics of their choice and

tailored to their figure. Worth became so popular

that he had to turn customers away. He was the

first courturier and considered more of an artist

than an aritsan. Worth and Bobergh shut down

during the Franco-Prussian War and re-opened

in 1871, without Bobergh, as the House of Worth.

He left the business to his sons, one, Gaston, of whom is

the Founder of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.

The House of  Worth eventually closed in 1956 after

taken over by Jeanne Paquin.

His Work:

Edwardian Period

Charles Worth 1898

Charles Worth 1861

Dress for Maria Fyodorovna, 1880-1890, satin, silk

House of Worth, Silk English Dress 1886

Worth is also the creator of the Bustle

House of  Worth also had a

successful line of make-up

and perfumes, some

can be found


L’Histoire de Mode~ “The Father of Haute Couture” pt. I


Charles Frederick Worth

Although I’d love to just write about Mr. Worth to the ends

of Earth, this is afterall a blog & most people are like rats on crack so

I must keep it short. However, the link to the wiki page is connected

to his name. I am just going to sum it up for you right here. I was

obsessed with the man in college because of one of my

instructors, JS (I don’t know if I

have permission to

post her name).



Charles Frederick Worth was born in England, 13 October 1825.

He worked for several London drapery shops prior to moving to

Paris in 1846. His big break came when he was hired by a famous

Parisian drapery house where he met his wife, Marie Vernet, one

of the houses models.  (At this time models were used strictly for

draping shawls, hats, and other accessories of the time.)  He began

making dresses for her & other women began to ask him to make

copies for them. Worth began using his wife as his in house model

in which she would be used for both samples and showings within

the boutique, as result Marie Vernet became the world’s first Super

Model (Take that Janice Dickinson!!). This gained him fame and

he caught the attention of Eugénie de Montijo a.k.a Empress

Eugénie, wife of Napolean III (the French emperor). Eventually

he made the garments for the rest of her court. The next patron

to his talent was Pauline von Metternich, Princess of Austria.

Patrons came from New York and Boston came to see his

work and buy them.