This film is part of Free

Fashion Means Business

Style never goes out of fashion! From Dior couture to the mass productions of New York’s Garment District, this issue celebrates the pleasure - and business - of being well-dressed.

Documentary 1947 17 mins


This celebration of an industry which was booming following the austerity of the war years features some delightful cameos from leading designers of the day. We see Hardy Amies fitting a model with a tweed suit, Brooke Cadwallader screen-printing scarves, and leading couturier Jacques Fath modelling one of his own creations. Most notably, the influential style that was about to be named ‘The New Look’, is seen here for the first time in the flowing designs of Christian Dior.

Decidedly upbeat, and, despite some hoary cliches about feminine whims and unpredictable tastes, this issue of The March of Time treats the fashion business with a seriousness that its size and profitability warrants. Outside the elevated realms of couture, but more important than high fashion in business terms, was New York’s Garment District and the film not only shows how mass production turned out affordable clothes but also looks at how industry workers (once notoriously exploited) were protected by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union: an example of how fashion could be a positive force for social change.