Fashion through the years…
With the recent comeback of retro fashion storming the London catwalks of late, it was inevitable for fashionista’s to revisit the retro pieces that are so popular right now.
From high-waisted flares, to prom dresses and printed blouses, vintage style fashion has never been so popular. The traditional saying ‘what goes around, comes back around’ defines what this season’s trends are all about and provide the perfect opportunity for us to step back in time and take inspiration from our favourite era’s of all time.
The fashion icons that are admired much today indefinitely have an effect on the way many of us dress. Idols such as Twiggy, Audrey Hepburn and today’s Kate Moss are often known more for their sense of style than anything else and have often dictated what is fashionable, regardless of what everyone else seems to be wearing at the time. Designer brands such as Chanel, Versace and Vivienne Westwood have been around for years, and still hold a place within our old-school glamour hearts. Here we take a look back into the past at the most exciting trends and designers who have changed the world of fashion.
The decade of glamour, the fifties represents a time where dresses were fabulously feminine and classy. Perhaps the most defining moment of fashion throughout these years, takes place in the infamous movie ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s” where Audrey Hepburn delicately eats her morning croissant outside of jewellery shop Tiffany’s, donned in a sleek, full-length black Givenchy dress, sunglasses and satin gloves. This one moment changed fashion forever and to this day, made it clear that no girl should be without the perfect Little Black Dress (aka the LBD). This timeless Givenchy dress was also nominated best female screen outfit of all time in a poll by Lovefilm last year.
The Designer Breakthrough
In the mid-fifties Coco Chanel introduced sophistication with the Chanel suit. Collarless, tailored and finished with a gold braid, this was the perfect antidote to the new 50s minimalist aesthetic.
Christian Dior was among the string of designers to dominate fashion in this era. Dior created the New Look in 1947. A fitted jacket teamed with a full skirt using large amounts of material, resulted in women embracing this feminine silhouette throughout the decade. In the late fifties, some changes were made predominantly within female fashion. Pristine dresses were no longer required, and Audrey Hepburn and Leslie Caron started a trend for simple sweaters, flat shoes and capri pants which looked super-chic for daytime.
The sixties were all about feminism, hedonism, freedom and peace, and the clothes worn within this era fully embraced this. Mini-skirts and dresses made legs the focus of the 1960s and psychedelic prints represented the music of this generation.
Supermodel Twiggy made boyish frames and shift dresses cool, and Jacqui Kennedy Onassis was well known for her classic style and huge sunnies.
In the late 60s the rise of bands such as the Beatles and The Doors caused a sensation in rock and roll fashion. Men were clad in leather and cord fabrics, and long hair was now acceptable for both sexes.
Biba – the first affordable high fashion store was born in the sixties and has recently made an exciting comeback with new collections available to buy in House of Fraser. Before Topshop even existed, Biba’s brand was made for stylish teenagers and quintessentially captured British fashion at its best.
Pucci was another brand that became recognised throughout this time, most recognised for his trademark psychedelic prints that became so huge in the 60s. Pucci can also be credited for contributing to the headscarf trend which was also worn popularly over the next ten years.
The catwalk has been brimming with seventies inspired designs recently and there’s no surprise why. This decade was all about androgynous hippy style, laid-back bohemian pieces and disco-wear which were often worn by 70s style queen Bianca Jagger.
This is the era where bell-bottoms (flares) were at its peak, worn high on the waist with a pussy-bow blouse tucked in, the 70s had an aura of sophistication about it. Brown, maroon and gold colour palettes were worn with clashing brights for a bold look and thigh high boots were teamed with mini-skirts to showcase a sexy silhouette.
In addition to the mini-skirt of the late sixties, the ‘maxi’ and ‘midi’ were added and ladies had the choice of all three different skirt lengths.
The Disco Effect
Seventies film ‘Saturday Night Fever’ may have something to do with the killer platforms that are favoured by most ladies nowadays. Flat shoes weren’t an option back then – even for men. The popular film starring John Travolta depicted the extravagant fabrics and silhouettes that were worn for eveningwear in this decade. The rise in ‘disco fever’ meant that men and women took much pride in their fashion. The popular look for men’s disco-wear included flashy three-piece suits in Lame’ fabrics worn with wide-collared shirts, whilst women went all out in maxi-dresses, halter-neck catsuits and teensy hotpants.
The Eighties were all about reinvention and attitude – two criteria’s that Madonna could always live up to. Her eccentric and provocative style created a stir in 80s fashion and the Father’s were terrified as their little girls tried to emulate Madonna’s racy style in Basques, stockings and mini-skirts.
Shoulder-pads, leotards and legwarmers are also few of the other eclectic trend items that became fashionable in the eighties.
The Diana Dress
Perhaps one of the most memorable wedding dresses of all time, designers Elizabeth Emanuel created Princess Diana’s fairytale dress in 1981. The stunning meringue dress captured pure romantic style, with its full ivory silk taffeta skirt, lace detailing and 10,000 pearls. The huge success of the dress catapulted the West End designer into stardom and Princess Diana was hailed for her sense of classic style which made her so memorable.
The 1990s is when the grunge got good. Grunge fashion consisted of outdoor-wear such as baggy flannel shirts, ripped jeans and punk leftovers. This look became popular thanks to grunge band Nirvana and lead singer Kurt Cobain’s girlfriend Courtney Love. It was all about the hot mess – looking unkempt meant you were part of the anti-establishment era and the nineties was the time to rebel. Leather and lycra were worn sometimes head to toe by women and crop-tops became popular thanks to British girl group phenomenon The Spice Girls.
Perhaps considered one of the biggest errors in fashion choices today, surprisingly the track and shell-suit became extremely popular throughout the 1990s. Brands such as Adidas and Nike were the designers to be seen in for both men and women during this time. This is one trend we doubt fashion week will be following…
The noughties! A lot has changed in fashion over the past ten years. Trends come and go and this has perhaps been the decade where most have been revisited. Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City is perhaps one of the most popular fashion icons in TV today and celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss are never short of attention in the fashion stakes today. Skinny jeans, bohemian pieces and leggings have made the noughties one of the most exciting and adventurous era’s of style.