Boutiques and Prêt-à-porter in Santiago de Chile: A Formula for Women’s Modernity (1967–1973)

Josefina Vidal Miranda, Macarena García Osorio, Pedro Álvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the second half of the 1960s, prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) fashion was established in Chile. As an alternative to haute couture (high fashion), prêt-à-porter brought an eagerness for modernisation that was reflected in the setting up of a network of women-led boutiques, which developed strongly between 1967 and 1973. This article first examines the precedents that allowed for the creation of a ‘local fashion system’ that promoted collective work around trades such as knitting and dressmaking. It also analyses the arrangement of a circuit of boutiques in the comuna of Providencia, a strategic sector of Santiago de Chile (the capital city) that fostered the dynamics of social gathering. Later, the article describes the profile of the designer-entrepreneurs whose work was attuned to a female consumer segment that aimed to access a new formula of the modernising bourgeoisie. It also reassesses the rise of a movement called Moda Autóctona, which distanced itself from European fashion and was supported by the government during the socialist regime of Salvador Allende. Lastly, it tackles the eventual dismantling of this network of women’s fashion stores as a result of the installation of a military dictatorship in Chile.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)313
Number of pages328
JournalJournal of Design History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2020


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