Timeline: Modern Fashion, 1858-1920

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Part I: 1858-1920

by David Johnson
1858 1906 1913 1914-1918 1920s Next: 1930-1968

Englishman Charles Worth establishes first haute couture fashion house in Paris


Paul Poiret establishes fashion house; creates harem pants; first couturier to launch perfume, "Rosina"


Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel opens boutique in Deauville, France; revolutionizes and democratizes women's fashion with tailored suits, chain-belted jerseys, quilted handbags; the most copied fashion designer in history


World War I prompts women to work in factories, offices; women wear pants; military cut influences clothes


Circa 1920

Women participate in sports, prompting new styles, including the "flapper"

Early 20s

Madeleine Vionnet creates flowing, feminine clothes, including the chiffon handkerchief dress; creates cowl neck, halter top; sets trends in 1930s

Mid 20s

Popularity of rayon causes decline in use of cotton


Knee-length hemlines mark new high

Late 20s

Elsa Schiaparelli opens Paris boutique; pioneers use of zippers, shoulder pads, unusual buttons; favors bright colors, including "shocking pink"

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