Tuesday, 16 May 2023 09:47

The short history of shiny plastic clothing

PVC dresses PVC dresses press materials

From plastic polyvinyl chloride saving American clothing companies, through the 1960s fashion trends, to the movie industry. How PVC plastic clothing was born and bred?

Shiny plastic enters the worldwide scene

PVC vinyl material was originally used in clothing production in the United States in the 1920s. Following the 1929 global financial crisis, garment manufacturers were unable to carry on producing textile coatings from natural rubber. They were compelled to search for lower-cost methods of waterproofing caused by the current economic downturn. Varied vinyl PVC clothing was brought into mainstream society.

Who is the creator of exclusive vinyl PVC as we recognize it nowadays?

BFGoodrich was the first American corporation to look for a less expensive replacement to natural rubber that had become unaffordable. It was feasible to invent vinyl material as we know it today thanks to Waldo Semon—a fabric layer covered with shiny plastic. Waldo Semon plastidized PVC, and not only did the PVC coating begin promptly, but also a shiny black material quickly became a must-have trend.

When did PVC clothing become well-known?

It took fashion designers roughly 40 years to recognize outstanding vinyl PVC as the finest material for the 1960s futuristic clothes line. After Paco Rabanne included vinyl PVC in his work in 1966, almost every fashion house started design futuristic clothes. The most recognized ones we know today are a PVC raincoat by André Courrèges, a vinyl and wool coat, or a PVC coating used on tweed by Pierre Cardin. The first vinyl shoe line was created by Mary Quant. Her „Quant Afoot" was the collection of the season’s must-have trend in a footwear fashion of 1967. Wearing PVC clothes and shoes was a rebellious act against standard fashion trends at the time that regarded PVC.

PVC outfit - is vinyl clothing for everyone?

Nowadays, we're used to celebrities wearing PVC clothing, as it is just part of their style and personality. We see colored PVC garments on singers performing on international stages, top models posing in vinyl clothing during photo sessions for high-fashion magazines, and actresses on red carpets in shiny clothing wearing black PVC dresses or accessories. High-gloss PVC has been taken onto the streets of New York and other fashion capital cities to be shown off not as a vulgar and cheap material but as an outstanding and eye-catching product that makes vinyl and latex clothing relevant to the industry. And as the fashion cycle continues, we can see fashion designers taking inspiration from the 1960s and bringing original shine pieces back to the XXI century. The effortlessly cool look that can be achieved thanks to a PVC outfit makes this material a must-have trend for years and years to come.

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