Cities of The Big Shoulders:
Hollywood, Milan, Paris And “Dallas.”

If you give him, or her, a minute, many a stylist – and designer – will extol the virtues of the expertly padded shoulder. Such a shoulder, they claim, defines the
line – the structure – of a jacket; perfects the way in which fabric falls; endows the wearer with a sense of swagger; a look that simply exudes attitude.


In the 30s and 40s, those idols of the silver screen, Garbo, Dietrich, Hepburn and Crawford seethed with passion, power and fury in the wide-shouldered costumes created by moviedom’s iconic  designers of
the time, Sheila O’Brien and Milo Anderson, among others.


Armani Armani Mugler


Fast forward to the late 70s and early 80s. Women, firmly anchored in corner offices and corporate seats of commerce, embraced the concept of power dressing as envisioned  by the most prescient of designers. Perhaps most identified with that concept were Giorgio Armani, in Italy, and Thierry Mugler, in France, whose immaculately-cut, expertly tailored, broad-shouldered suits became the executive woman’s uniform of choice; a uniform that projected an authoritative, self-confident, commander-in-chief image.


Oh, and let’s not overlook the influence of perhaps the most watched TV soap series of the 80s with their over-the-top, fantastical clothes, that did, in fact, shoulder their way from the sets of Dynasty  and Dallas to the closets of women who, like some of us, still see a certain allure in the hip-slimming, height-enhancing, strut-inducing  attributes of a well padded shoulder



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