Jane McGuire

The 10 dresses that changed fashion

The ten dresses that changed fashion

First published date October 16 2014 Amended date February 22 2016

In the words of Yves Saint Laurent, ‘Fashions fade; style is eternal’. To be a great fashion designer, you need to create something that will last longer than the shop window display, or this month’s Vogue. As fashions come and go, there are some garments that have stood the test of time and to get you inspired, we have taken a trip down memory lane and bring you the ten dresses that changed fashion.


Elizabeth Hurley – the safety pin dress

Every girl should carry a safety pin with them on a night out, but Elizabeth Hurley took this one step further when she stepped out of the limo with Hugh Grant in 1994. Love it or hate it, the Versace safety pin dress made the designer a household name and worldwide success.  

Image via huffpost.com


Pippa Middleton – the bridesmaid

Talk about stealing someone’s thunder, all eyes were on Pippa Middleton when she followed her big sis up the aisle in 2011. Although she will never be queen, this is one dress that the world (and our boyfriends) cannot forget.

Image via jlmcouture.com


Marilyn Monroe – the white halter

Let’s face it, you cannot wear a white halter neck dress without looking like you are going to a fancy dress party as Marilyn. Whether it was the wind, the pose or the dress, this is one Hollywood outfit that has left its mark on fashion. 

Image via fernandoirigoyen.com


Audrey Hepburn – the LBD

The same could be said for the little black dress, pearl necklace combo, seen in the opening scenes of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The Givency gown has gone on to become a classic, the designer said to be best friends with the beautiful actress.

Image via wikipedia.org


Twiggy – the mini dress

Sixties supermodel Twiggy shot to fame with her cropped hair, her endless legs and her A-Line meets tomboy mini dresses. Although she is now the face of Marks and Spencer (with a much lower hemline), the ‘Twiggy effect’ dresses still crop up on the runway today.

Image via retrochick.co.uk


Madonna – the cone bra

Although this may not be a look that everyone rushed to recreate, Madonna’s Jean-Paul Gaultier cone bra has become one of her most remembered looks. In all fairness, wearing your lingerie on the outside of your clothing is still around today – make way for Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. 

Image via theageofintimacy.com


Geri Halliwell – the union jack

Growing up, we all had a favourite spice girl. Although it is Posh who has gone on to create her own line of clothing, it was ginger spice that stole our hearts with her mini union jack number. 

Image via digitalspy.co.uk


Princess Diana – the bride

Up until Kate Middleton, this was probably the most famous wedding dress on the planet. With its 25 foot train, the dress became one of the fashion world’s best kept secrets and shot David and Elizabeth Emanuel into designer stardom. 

Image via tamarindweddings.com


Julia Roberts – the Oscars

A woman who looks effortlessly beautiful whenever she steps on the red carpet, it was wearing her 2001, black and white vintage Valentino gown that propelled the star into dress history. The dress was a 1982 design from the Valentino archives and was said to emulate classic Hollywood; it certainly worked, as Roberts walked away with an Oscar for her role in Erin Brockovich. 

Image via timinc.net


Yves Saint Laurent – the Mondrian

The sack dress was the staple of the 1960s, but YSL took this one step further with the colour blocks of Mondrian. At the time, Harper’s Baazar referred to the design as ‘the dress of tomorrow’; over 50 years later, it is safe to say, it really was. 

Image via telegraph.co.uk


If you think you have what it takes to change the fashion world, why not learn how to make your mark with a fashion course? Who knows where your designs might end up.


Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.

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