A-Line is the word given to the shape that certain garments give. The word originated from designer Christian Diorin 1955 which at the time described a silhouette that was created by wearing a short flared jacket over a fully pleated in skirt dress. However, the word A-line now refers to a silhouette created by the garment which falls outwards from the top of a garment (from the hips or shoulders) at an angle projecting the outer lines of an A shape. This type of silhouette can be seen in coats, skirts and tops. It may obtain any design features such as pockets, fastenings or darts

This meaning of the word was introduced by Yves Saint Laurent in 1958.  The silhouette continued to be popular, particularly in the 1960s, 1970s and 1990s. In the late 1990’s A-Line again took on a new meaning which defined the silhouette as being simply wider at the hips.

Presently though we see the A-Line return to its original definition showing in Dior Haute Couture S/S 12 in a classic, voluminous dress that nips neatly in at the waist. Alexander McQueen A/W 12 showcases a decadent, high-waisted, embellished A-Line silhouette in a skirt.

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Written by Hollyann Prince

Hollyann Prince, graduating in International Fashion Business at Nottingham Trent University next year, currently writing the Silhouette & Looks and Accessories section of the Dictionary for Catwalk Yourself. A lover of fashion history and everything unique.

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