CNN’s American Style shows how the USA drives the world in trends

Don’t miss a special documentary event as CNN’s American Style shows us exactly how American fashion and trends became a thing and conquered the world in popularity.

American Style shows the country’s diverse style by snippets of the decades—from fashion to architecture—all influenced by the powerful “P’s” – politics, personalities, and pop culture.

Mini skirts, bikinis, mid-century designs, and hippie couture are just a few of the phenomenon that CNN will cover with a range of experts.

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The four-part docuseries will have interviews from Tim Gunn, Donna Karan, André Leon Talley, Christie Brinkley, Isaac Mizrahi, Vanessa Williams, Diane von Furstenberg, and more as they share their thoughts on how fashion morphed through time.

This interesting doc shows exactly how pop culture – fueled by musicians and artists – along with the reigning political mood directly affected the style of clothes and how people used fashion to telegraph their feelings about themselves and the USA.

A model wearing red white and blue to depict the impact the U.S. has on style worldwide
CNN brings miniseries American Style to the network, beginning tonight. Pic credit: CNN

The series begins with War Boots to Work Suits (1940s/1950s) followed by Born to be Wild” (1960s/1970s) both airing tonight beginning at 9PM E/P.

The first episode of American Style focuses on the post war years.

More than just clothing too. “Style is how you surround yourself,” explains iconic designer, Diane Von Furstenberg.

The 40s and 50s were all about change and the iconic bikini creation, ‘the biggest thing since the atom bomb’ was scandalous,” says Tim Gunn.

TV fashionista Carson Kressley talked about the economies of the times (after the depression) that left a profound mark on people.

Overwhelmingly Americans sewed, they reused things and they had few clothes of note.

It is noted that before World War Two, Americans had a bit of a chip on their shoulder about their sense of style, and ahead of WWII, “we were a nation of copiers,” says fashion expert Tim Gunn.

But the war changed all that.

Among some changes, men’s suits were dramatically altered and women had to give up stockings for the war effort.

The scarcity of raw materials and things made Americans ultra creative.

Girls turned tablecloths into skirts and the shared hardship across the country created a sense of community that we are sorely lacking today.

Going against the grain became the new American way in fashion.

The icons of this era discussed first included sex bomb Marilyn Monroe and sultry Lauren Bacall. Their styles were a display of the masculine and feminine dichotomy in women’s fashion looks.

Betty Bacall loved pants and Marilyn preferred the sexy waist and bustline accentuating styles that were the rage. Both women were style icons and appealed to American women.

This series is a fascinating look at how each decade impacted our clothes, houses and overall style as a nation. It’s incredible so make sure to watch or record for future viewing, it’s a good one!

New CNN Original Series, American Style premieres Sunday, Jan. 13. This 4-part miniseries airs on CNN at 9 p.m. ET on January 13 and January 20.

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