• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

When we say ‘fleeting’ fashion what do we mean?

Has it ever occurred to you or have you ever won­dered why fashion keeps trending? What influences fashion? What were the fashions like in those days?

Often certain fashion trends are dependent on the tastes of particu­lar groups of people or cliques and are usually associated with social status or cultural preferences like the type of music a person likes, a fa­vourite movie star, popular culture, happenings and events, athletes, royals, books, and the list is endless.

An instance is during World War II, when people were only allowed a certain amount of fabric and forced to create simple outfits that were practical enough for wartime duties. From the 1920s to the 1990s, popular fashions reflected the mood of each decade and showcased changes in society as the styles of clothing and accessories evolved with the times.

One peculiar thing about fashion is that it keeps changing, and as it evolves, people move with it as well, we therefore can say fashion is fleeting.

In the 1960s and 1970s, hippies made bell-bottomed blue jeans popular. In the 1980s, Michael Jackson made parachute pants, all the rage. The clothing of the 1970s placed an emphasis on individual style and expression. After all, fash­ion is a way of expressing oneself. One thing we need to know about this time is that clothing was bolder and more radical than in previous decades.

The hippie style of the late ‘60s continued into the 1970s. Apart from the bell-bottoms or baggy trousers that were common in this decade, flares, platforms, fringe and suedes dominated this age and makeup was light and natural looking. Over-sized glasses were the order of the day too.

After 1975, the disco style began to replace the hippie look. The film ‘Saturday Night Fever’ unleashed the disco era upon the psyche of individuals. John Travolta, the lead actor in the film, was an icon for male fashion. Men wore bell-bot­toms, leisure suits and high-soled shoes or boots. Open-neck shirts with the collar turned up were part of the disco fad, and some men also wore medallions around their necks. Men’s clothing was tight and collars and shirt cuffs were wide. A distinctive disco trend also was the jumpsuit. The jumpsuits of this era had large collars and prominent pockets.

Also, Farrah Fawcett, one of the majors of “Charlie’s Angels”, was a considerable influence on not only the clothing women wore in this age but also the hairstyles they chose. She inspired the use of heated roll­ers or curling irons to attain the flip for which she was famous. The Afro look was also popular, though more in males than females.

As we entered the 1980s, fash­ion evolved once more. Skirts and dresses were once again longer and featured straight lines and more serious design. As more and more women joined the professional work force, business suits became a trend for women with straight conserva­tive skirts, and broad shouldered boxy blazers topped the look.

In the 1990s, skirts and dresses were not as prominent, and more casual looks became acceptable with hip-hop and alternative music- setting the scene for fashion early in the decade. Skirts and dresses were usually short, especially in the latter part of the decade, however, loose and flowing dresses as well as long denim skirts were notable trends also.

The 2000 fashion, apart from bringing its own unique fashion trend, saw a fusion of all the previ­ous styles of all decades, though experiencing minor changes to keep up with the trends.

For men, bow ties, long ties, and pockerchief or pocket square have alternated their turns in the favour of fashion. From time to time, the length, width, fabric, colours and patterns of neckties have varied ac­cording to trends.

Handbags and purses have also al­ways been popular with women, but the styles have changed throughout the decades. At a time, handbags would often be used as vanity bags that featured a built-in mirror and could be used to touch up one’s make-up and hair while out. But an era came, when handbags became more of a fashion statement and would coordinate with the type of occasion one was attending.

Presently, the type of hand­bags women own have become even more of a status symbol than in the past, with designer bags from Coach, Salvatore Ferragamo, Dooney & Bourke, Fendi, Prada, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, and others.

It is amazing to see how the dif­ferent events in history have influ­enced and changed the way people have dressed throughout time. And when we say fashion is up to the minute, this is simply what we mean.