Paris Fashions: Still In Vogue
Paris maintained its lead for fashion as the middle of the nineteenth century approached. No matter that 1848 was The Year of Revolutions, political change was less influential than the widening pervasiveness of the moralistic social atmosphere of the period. Yet Americans must be the one thanked for that most important of inventions: the sewing machine created by Elias Howe in 1846. Paris, without really realizing it, was also being affected by the growing democracy of this time. Social historians talk about the leveling of classes. More than ever before, people of all economic and social classes began dressing alike. Nevertheless, it was morality, rather than any deeply political strain, that guided what they chose to wear.