Must-watch of the day: This beautiful and mesmerizing compilation will take you on a mind-bending trip through fashion history. It’s a dance video that is currently going viral but originally thought to promote the opening of Europe’s largest mall, Westfield Stratford City in the UK. lappers and punks, rave kids and jitterbugger, mods and hippies — now, more than six million YouTube views later, it’s continuing to dominate social feeds this week. It doesn’t surprise than that it’s such advertising gold, you’ll see once you watch this video enough times and you’ll want to get dressed up, grab a friend and hit the dance floor too. It’s very hard to decide what’s more fascinating: looking into the reasons of the evolution of our style or the evolution of our dance moves! I totally love the dresses, skirts and shoes here are all outstanding…and can we talk about those hats?
So, because we talking about the evolution, let’s look into the history and events from the 1920, hopefully will give us a bit more clear idea of what happened and how those events influenced our style.
1920’s: From women’s vote to prohibition, from increasing prosperity to birth of sportswear. This caused public reactions such as short hair styles, freedom of the body (so dancing!). This was the start of a daring look and behavior as well as when women begin to smoke! Fashion trends like chemise dresses, short skirts(knee-length not bodycons yet!), T-strap shoes, cloche hats, costume looks and long strands of beads. Big designers for this period had been Madeleine Vionnet, Jean Patou, Coco Chanel, Norman Hartnell, Jeanne Lanvin.
1930’s: This is known as depression era, with several effects like unemployment, little money. Probably for this same reason Rayon and acetate fabrics arrived on the market. But there was a good part also, the entertainment growth which brought more power to Hollywood and more influence to stars and designers. Big bands and the swing music arrived! The public reaction had been mainly conservatism, frugality with a ‘make do’ attitude. Fashion trends? Well, we see soft looks and light fabrics by contrast to the economic situation and public reaction. Long hems, bias cuts, big hats and big brims. Fox-fur-collared coats and wraps. Broad shouldered jackets and platforms shoes. Well known designers from those years: Madame Gres, Elsa Schiapparelli, Vera Maxwell, Mainbocher, Jean Dresses.
1940’s: Several government restrictions caused by the World War II. This meant shortage of materials, emergence of american designers and exit France as fashion source. Big hightlights of those years: Dior and the “New Look” in the 1947. Crooners: Crosby, Sinatra, Redio, records. In terms of public reactions, we definitely should mention that women begin to take men’s jobs, there was a strong nationalism and common cause philosophy. How to not mention the Glamour (Vogue) and the pinup girls! Fashion Trends from those years: Mannish suits, tailored and peplum designs (especially jackets), padded shoulders and knee-length straight skirts, soft, shoulder-length hair, three-quarter length sleeves (especially coats), debut of the bikini! About designers, we can’t forget Claire McCardell, Norman Norell, Christian Dior, Cristobal Balenciaga, Bonnie Cashin, Adrian, Pauline Trigere, Nina Ricci.
1950’s: Baby boom! population was increasing those years. There was the Korean war, the move to suburbs and income rising. Also, more imports and improved transportation as well as communication (think about the TV!). How to forget the birth of Rock ‘n’ roll. People begin to buy new homes and appliances. Conformity is a must. The quality of family life definitely improved and the leisure time used for sports and recreation increased. Don’t forget the station wagon! Fashion trends like classics, shirtwaist dress, sweater sets and unisex looks. Sportswear, invy League look like button-down shirts, skinny ties, grey flannel suit. Also, car coats and capri pants. Hubert de Givenchy, Mary Quart, Yves Saint Laurent, James Galanos, Donald Brooks, Gucci and Missoni are the stars of that decade.
1960’s: Rise of shopping centers and boutiques. New technology so stretch fabrics arrived. Branding the designer names, we’ve seen the civil rights movement and Woodstock, the Vietnam war and the antiwar movement. London influenced the world with The Beatles, Twiggy and Mod. The public reactions: new sexual freedom, experimental fashion and anti establishment attitudes, generation gap and divorce arrived. So, more singles which is not necessarily related with drug experimentation and identity seeking. This is the decade of New values. Fashion Trends were jeans, miniskirts, knits and polyesther. Ethnic clothing and crafts. Wild use of color patterns, long hair and wigs. Vinyl, synthetic fabrics, turtlenecks and wide ties. Nehru jackets, golf coordinates. The most important designers we should remember from those years: Pierre Cardin, Emilio Pucci, Valentino and Emanuel Ungaro.
1970’s: Equal Rights and Women’s Lib age! We see the end of Vietnam War, a stabilizing economy and Ecology and conservation as results. Women working outside the home which is not necessarily related with the growth of Consumerism :). Disco dance and clubs welcome! Public reactions like: individualism, back to nature and health foods or natural fibers. Urban renewal and interest in cities and their problems. Equal Rights Amendment, overseas manufacturing. Fashion trends from this decade: Pantsuits for women and leisure suits fro men. Jeans: bell bottoms, straight and tapered leg. T-shirts, tank tops and boots. Classic blazer, shirts and hot pants! Well, we see many romantic looks too. The most important designers deserve to be mentioned: Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Vivienne Westwood and Oscar de la Renta.
1980’s: The main events we should remember from the 80s are the computer explosion (of course!), music videos and yuppies. Two income families that meant a New Baby Boom! Movies like Fame and Flashdance are part of the history, don’t you think? Birth of MTV (I’m a big fan) and Licensing arrangements. The costumes are very fascinating to analyse, especially because we see reactions like the rise of Entrepreneurship and buy home computers. Michael Jackson, a youth hero and again London influenced the world with Punk, Boy George and Culture Club. We also see a proliferation of malls and Graffiti art. My favorite picks of fashion style from the 80s: definitely the Sneakers! Also, punk hairdos and androgynous dressing. Torn clothes fad, Hats return for everyone. Backpacks as fashion and tailored suits and classic dressing. We loved Donna Karan, Christian Lacroix, Gianni Versace and Tommy Hilfiger. But also, we should not forget Issay Miyake, Karl Lagerfeld and Jean-Paul Gaultier.
1990’s? You don’t need me! Just watch Sex and the City! 🙂