Haute Historian: Jumpsuit Fashion And Where It Began

On the spring 2013 runways, jumpsuits were everywhere. They graced the catwalks at Balmain, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Charlotte Ronson, and more. Elegant, easy, and incredibly contemporary, jumpsuits became an instant favorite for eveningwear, dressed up simply with heels and some sparkle with bracelets, earrings or a clutch. They became an instant celebrity favorite, and have been seen on everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Carey Mulligan.
Florentine Thayat created the first jumpsuit in 1919. They were originally intended for professionals in aviation, parachuting, and race car driving. Sportsmen, like skiers and skydivers, would wear them (and still do) for protection from the elements. The jumpsuit also had futuristic connotations – it was liberating and revolutionary in comparison to other garments that were worn during that time and before. Thayat thought the jumpsuit was anti-Bourgeois, a universal item that was easy to make and wear. Yet, they became a major fashion trend throughout the following decades. 
Elsa Schiaparelli designed silk jumpsuits in the 1930s – the first signs of a jumpsuit fashion trend. They became trendy again in the 1950s as part of the pin-up look, and again in the 1960s when former pilot Emilio Pucci created colorful catsuits for skiing. Jumpsuits became a staple of late-1960s and 1970s dressing, impacting the fashion of the psychedelic hippie movement. They also started making appearances on the stage in the 1960s and 1970s – think Elvis, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. Jumpsuits would continue as a trend on stage though the 1980s and beyond with Madonna, Britney Spears, the Spice Girls and more.
Like their cousins – rompers and overalls – the beauty of the jumpsuit is its chic ease. With their one-piece construction of long pants and a top, jumpsuits can be dressed up or down depending on their fabric and design. Since it’s so simple to pull one on and have a complete outfit, could it get any better?
1. Actress Janet Leigh standing in yellow jumpsuit, 1950s
2. Jumpsuit by Enzo, photo by Ugo Mulas, 1966. Appeared in Italian Vogue, August 1966
5.  David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust – striped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour 1973; design by Kansai Yamamoto; photo by Masayoshi Sukita
4. Jumpsuit from Balmain Spring 2013 RTW
5. Jumpsuit from Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2013 RTW
6. Catharine Malandrino jumpsuit for Spring 2013
– Tanisha Wallis
Source: Vogue Italia Encyclopedia, Voguepedia
Image Layout: Second City Style

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