Who were some notable 1940s fashion designers?

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Vera Maxwell was another very famous designer during this time. She was the first American to use ultra suede in her designs. In 1947 she founded her own company named Vera Maxwell Originals. During her career as a designer she was presented with many awards including the Neiman Marcus Award and the Coty American Fashion Critics Award. In addition, there was also an exhibition in her honor at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. She was most famous for her suit and top coat designs. During the 1940's she designed a coverall which was considered the first jumpsuit made for working women doing war work.

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Christian Dior was one of the most influential designers of the 1940s.  He was born in France in 1905 to a wealthy family.  His family had hopes of him becoming a diplomat but he instead pursued his dream of fashion design. 

"Dior's look employed fabrics lined predominantly with percale, boned, bustier-style bodices, hip padding, wasp-waisted corsets and petticoats that made his dresses flare out from the waist, giving his models a very curvaceous form."

Pierre Balmain was another French born fashion designer.  He was known for his simple tailored suits and grand evening gowns.  He also popularized the stole.

Claire Cardell an American born fashion designer was known for her ready to wear clothing line.  She designed functional and affordable sportswear.


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One of the most well known designers of the 1940s and 50s was a man named Christian Dior, a name pretty well known by most of us now.  He is also considered one of the most important and influential.

Some others were Vera Maxwell, Anne Klein and Tina Leser.  The industry suffered many upheavals because of the war and the occupation of France so many of them re-located to New York.

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