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The bias cut was one of the revolutions of modern fashion, introduced during the 1930's.

The formal definition states that "pattern pieces are turned vertically so that the warp and weft threads are both on the diagonal'.1 This technique of sewing the fabric at angles creates a natural elasticity. This was a sharp contrast with the 1920's, where fashion was loose and straight.

While many designers sought to conceal a woman's chest, waist, and hips in the 1920's, the bias cut helped reintroduce curves into popular fashion.

Although more curvacious, the bias cut still emphasized the slim figure popular in the 20's. The clinging and revealing draped fabric demanded that a woman be tall and thin, as the typical bias cut dress was tight in the torso, with a slim waist and hips, and a belled skirt. Many bias cut gowns would swoop low in the back with a cowl or halter neckline. They also contributed to the demise of the corset-- these dresses were usually too revealing to fit one underneath.

As war and fascism gained momentum in Europe and Asia, more severe and utilitarian fashions began to take hold.

1 Ellie Laubner, Fashions of the Turbulent 1930's

Another reason that bias cut lost popularity during and after World War II is economic. Cutting clothes on the bias produces more wastage, which was discouraged during fabric rationing.

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