Questions 46 to 50 are based on the following passage.
Directions: There are 2 passages in this section. Each passage is followed by some questions or unfinished statements. For each of them there are four choices marked A), B), C) and D). You should decide on the best choice and mark the corresponding letter on Answer Sheet 2 with a single line through the centre.
We live today in indebted to McCardell, Cashin, Hawes, Wilkins, and Maxwell, and other women who liberated American fashion from the confines of Parisian design. Independence came in trying, wrapping, storing, harmonizing, and rationalizing that wardrobe. These designers established the modern dress code, letting playsuits and other activewear outfits suffice for casual closing, allowing pants to enter the wardrobe, and prizing rationalism and versatility in dress, in contradiction to dressing for an occasion or allotment of the day. Fashion in America was logical and answerable to the will of women who wore it. Implicitly or explicitly, American fashion addressed a democracy, whereas traditional Paris-based fashion was prescriptive and imposed on women, willing or not.
In an earlier time, American fashion had also followed the dictates of Paris, or even copied and pirated specific French designs. Designer sportswear was not modeled on that of Europe, as “modern art” would later be; it was genuinely invented and developed in America. Its designers were not high-ended with supplementary lines. The design objective and the business commitment were to sportswear, and the distinctive traits were problem-solving ingenuity and realistic lifestyle applications. Ease of care was most important: summer dresses and outfits, in particular, were chiefly cotton, readily capable of being washed and pressed in home. Closings were simple, practical, and accessible, as the modern woman depended on no personal maid to dress her. American designers priced resourcefulness and the freedom of women who wore clothing.
Many have argued that the women designers of this time were able to project their own clothing values into a new style. Of course, much of this argument in the 1930s-40s was advanced because there was little or no experience in justifying apparel（服装）on the basis of utility. If Paris was cast aside, the tradition of beauty was also to some degree slighted. Designer sportswear would have to be verified by a standard other than that of pure beauty; the emulation of a designer’s life in designer sportswear was a crude version of this relationship. The consumer was ultimately to be mentioned as well, especially by the likes of Dorothy Shaver, who could point to the sales figures at Lord&Taylor.
Could utility alone justify the new ideas of American designers? Fashion is often regarded as a pursuit of beauty, and some cherished fashion’s trivial relationship to the fine arts. What the designers of American sportswear proved was that fashion is a genuine design art, answering to the demanding needs of service. Of course these practical, insightful designers have determined the course of late twentieth-century fashion. They were the pioneers of gender equity, in their useful, adaptable clothing, which was both made for the masses and capable of self-expression.