French designers popularized a style called retro. Synthetic materials such as Lycra, Spandex, and viscose became widely-used, and fashion, after two decades of looking resolutely to the future, once again turned to the past for inspiration. High heels came in again, and also elegant dresses that had been in vogue during the 30's. Fashion offered a lot of alternatives as long as the result was elegant, chic and had a very feminine style. Silk low-necked blouses revived and were combined with loose skirts and wide belts. Flowery patterns and exotic garments were fashionable again principally for women.
From 1970 to 1980 there were different styles, though no major changes were introduced. Fashion trends went from functionalism to consumism, and later a new free style was introduced. Glamorous dresses were a remarkable success, and signified the complete end of the hippy era and its unstructured silhouette. Later in the same period fashion changed and classical garments made for comfort and simplicity were introduced, reinforced by a subtle palette of colors and fine materials. Designer Claude Montana imposed broad-shouldered designs, often made of leather, and Christian Lacroix introduced flouncy skirts, corselets decorated with embroidery, and polka-dotted crinolines.
In 1985 and 1986 women clothing started being fitter in order to shape women′s body. New miniskirts were introduced, and wasp-waisted clothing was á la mode again. White and black were the most usual colors. Trousers were fit, and shoes were either high or low heeled. One-piece swimsuits were not very popular. On the contrary, people wore Bikinis or went topless. In 1988 ankle-length skirts were introduced again, although miniskirts were still trendy. During the late 20th century a new wave of American sportswear was introduced, made of natural fibers that made them more elegant to the sight.
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