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Hollywood Fashion. Hollywood’s ascent in the fashion industry was helped because designers had to create outfits that looked ahead of the trend by the time the movie was released. The fashions were then copied by retailers and American design started to move away from Paris—“historical” couture styles of the 1930s, for example, borrowed from Hollywood costume.


Following the invasion of Paris in June 1940, the rest of Europe and the United States were cut off from French couture for four years. During the previous decade, American fashion designers had begun to develop a distinctive style, focusing on easy-to-wear, modern clothing as opposed to the elaborate and elite confections of Paris. Practicality was one prominent characteristic, and resulted in the use of easy-care fabrics, adaptable styles, and capsule wardrobes with elements that could be interchanged.


The need for simplicity required by mass production was not seen as a hindrance but was used to advantage. The work of New York-based, ready-to-wear designers was promoted as symbolic of American values such as democracy, pioneer spirit, and a pragmatic approach to life. The creations of made-tomeasure designers such as Valentina and Adrian, who continued in the couture tradition, were less aligned with national identity.