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They have made an impact on our lives; fashion designers of the 20th century. No matter what the style, all have locked in vivid memories of the sign of the times.

In the 1920's, flapper girls were all the rage with a look that was soft and romantic combined with lots of frills. The 30's signified a glamour girl look with some powerful American icons to serve as role models including Greta Garbo, and Jean Harlow. In the 40's swing was king and there was lots of style to go along with it. The 50's brought us leather jackets, poofy party dresses and cardigan sweaters. The 60's, a more rebellious time, made bell bottoms and tie die hip. On the more conservative side, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy made the pill box hat a chic accessory for its day. In the 1970's, Disco was hot and so was polyester and leisure suits. The 1980's brought us into a new mode of dressing were a more tailored look was in. And as we end a century, in the 1990's some fashion has come full circle. Bell Bottoms are once again in fashion along with the popular platform shoes of the 1960's.

For a retrospective look of an era of vintage dressing, go to http://business.fortunecity.com/bass/434/clothing.htm


Designer Diva's
While trends have come and gone, some of the top designers of the 20th century have remained household names. Below, some highlights of the careers that have brought us fashion chic.

· Nina Ricci: This line is a symbol of feminine Parisian glamour. The House of Ricci was founded in 1932 by Nina Ricci and her son Robert. Since then, her creations have provided an understated chic look for elegant and wealthy society women.

· Chanel No. 1: The name is synamous with shoes, hats pocketbooks, suits, perfume and jewelry to create an entire look. The label behind Coco Chanel was once of prestige, quality and unmistakable style. The French couturiere created basic wardrobes for generations of women: jersey suits and dresses, the draped turban, the chemise, pleated skirts, the cardigan suit, the blazer the little black dress, the strapless dress, and the trench coat. This creative genius lived until the age of 87.

· Calvin Klein: In business for 30 years, Klein has used image, mood, and lifestyle to build his empire. Over the years, stars such as Brooke Shields, Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Michelle Pfeiffer have been used to promote his ever expanding practical line which includes Calvin Klein for Men and Women, underwear, footwear, watches, fragrances and eyewear.
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· Christian Dior: This designer credited his brilliant-but-short career with a roll of the dice. "I would be ungrateful, and certainly incorrect, if I didn't write in all capitals, the word 'LUCK' at the beginning of the adventure that became my career," Dior said in the first line of his autobiography," Christian Dior et Moi."
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· In 1947, Dior became successful with his very first line entitled, "New Look." The line he created delivered women's fashions from the parameters of war and glorified the beauty of human form. "We are leaving a period of war, of uniforms, and of boxed soldier-women," Dior said. His designs, tailored to the female gender, played with the length and girth of skirts and promoted the bustline.
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· Gucci: Founder Guccio Gucci opened his first shop in Florence, Italy in 1920. There his wares consisted of leather goods and equestrian accessories. The success of the designer later led to an expanded line in the United States in 1953. The 50's and 60's saw Gucci at his best as he attracted clients of the rich and famous including Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and Jacqueline Kennedy. Certain accessories became classics including the bamboo-handled handbag, the flowered scarf and the moccasins.

· Tommy Hilfiger: In the 1990's this line has been in vogue, especially among the teenage population. One of his latest creations is the street-savvy Sex Pistol-inspired looks for men which includes red tartan or faux snake skin pants paired with black leather pin-tuck shirts. For women, patchwork leather mini-skirts. Hilfiger also has the classic casuals that include hooded sweatshirts, motorcycle jackets and T-shirts.