A propos women freeing themselves of nineteenth century edicts (whalebone corsets and camisoles), Madeleine Vionnet – the founder of the famous Parisian Maison Vionnet – invents the ‘bias cut’ to create sleeker and softer clothes for the female body. Fabrics were cut so that the grain of the garments hung diagonally instead of straight up or down. Proportion, harmony, perfection. You might be forgiven for thinking classical Greece when looking at the clothes from the outside, but the hidden structure comes from a different matrix: geometry. Vionnet used a reduced sized dummy for her creations. A legend. They have acclaimed her the ‘Architect of Couture’ … and when she announces flatly, ‘I am the best dressmaker in the world and I feel it, too!’ – there are valid reasons for believing her, writes Bruce Chatwin in his 1988 book, ‘What am I Doing Here?’
Together with Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, the American trumpet player, pianist and composer was one of the inventors of bebop and modern jazz in the ’forties.
“Bird was the spirit behind the bebop movement, but Dizzy was the head and hands. He was the one who kept it all together,” said Miles Davis.
It has been claimed that the word ‘nylon’ comes from the acronym ‘Now You Lose Old Nippon’. Why? It all has to do with the material used for parachutes. China banned the import of silk, so Nylon was invented. Created for the first time in the States by Du Pont de Nemours. In 1940, at the beginning of the Second World War, the production of nylon tights was interrupted, but the ladies didn’t lose heart: they started drawing black lines down the back of their legs with eyeliner or other bespoke beauty products created by cosmetics companies!