Wearing trousers: Five iconic fashion moments
Throughout the decades, trousers went from practical necessity for the women of the American West at the end of the 19th century when wearing a skirt was more a hindrance than anything else, to a way to assert equality between men and women, without compromising on fashion and undeniable sex appeal. We look at some of the most iconic trousers wearers of all time.
Katharine Hepburn’s classic pantsuits
Her acting talents and classic beauty put aside, hollywoodian legend Katharine Hepburn was also famous for…wearing trousers. In the Old Hollywood days, this was seen as gender-bending and quite remarkable, revolutionary even. In the early 1930’s before World War II, women could be arrested for wearing trousers in public. In 1933, a magazine featured Katharine Hepburn with fellow actresses Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich in an article about stars “who have lined up on the side of trousers for women.” A trend was born.
Audrey Hepburn: The capri pants
Audrey Hepburn is still one of the most revered fashion icons of our time. She’s famous for classic outfits popularised in cult movies like Roman Holidays, with her full skirts, boat neck sweaters and scarves. Her petite figure also allowed her to perfect the tomboy look with inegalable elegance and femininity. One such look is immortalised in Funny Face, that sees her wearing a black polo neck jumper with high waisted cropped pants and ballerina flat shoes, a look that still looks effortlessly chic and modern as of today.
Marilyn Monroe in boyfriend jeans
Marilyn Monroe, one of the most iconic actresses of all time, might be most fondly remembered wearing THAT white dress, but she was in fact also one of the early adopters of the boyfriend jeans trend that is still going on strong in all of the most fashionable high street shops today.
Yves Saint Laurent: Le Smoking
Perhaps still one of the most defining fashion moments of all time, Le Smoking was introduced to the fashion world in july 1966 by iconic French designer Yves Saint Laurent and we haven’t looked back since. Shamelessly borrowed from menswear, it was the first time that trousers were introduced in an Haute Couture fashion show and quite symbolically assert the right for women to act and dress like men, as equals.
Giorgio Armani’s power suit
The power suit is most definitely one of the 1980s most instantly recognisable silhouette: strong shoulders and boxy jackets. Popularised by Giorgio Armani, it symbolises a time when women were entering the corporate world. Supermodel Jerry Hall most famously wore pinstriped powersuits on the runway, with long tailored pants and fitted jacket: powersuits never looked this good! The trend has never gone away since, even if shoulders have softened and looks tend to be narrower.
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Photo: Courtesy of Armani