Modern Living: The Retro Look

Call it a revival, mark it down to a turn of fashion's wheel. The mannequins who strode, twirled and postured through Paris' haute couture salons last week in new spring and summer collections looked as if they had just stepped out of a Jean Harlow or Greta Garbo movie. Hemlines had dropped to midcalf; necklines plunged revealingly; clothes were flowingly full again. This evocation of what may have been couture's grandest era—from the mid-1920s to the late '30s—was not simply a salute to nostalgia. The designers seemed to be saying that high fashion...

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