Is Fashion Running Out Of Ideas?
Is fashion really any different today than it was over 40 years ago in the swinging 60’s? It must be, surely. So much in this modern, fast, moving world has changed over this period. Today’s laptop computers would have filled a large room 40 years ago; the Internet didn’t even exist. Materials such as Lycra and Spandex were unheard of. It is true that modern materials and techniques have brought today’s fashion designers, manufacturers and retailers greater flexibility and opportunity to experiment than ever before and yet are the clothes they are producing really that much different to way back then?
Just look at this year’s magazines, the high street shops and out there on the streets – polka dots, miniskirts, wedges, big hair, and metallic glam. All things lifted directly from the 60’s. ‘Second skin dresses with a sixties vibe are here to stay.’ Vogue, February 2007. To really answer the question let me take you back to this era, which is generally acknowledged to be the birth of modern young fashion. In the late 40’s and early 50’s the developed world was recovering from a major world war. Money was tight and rationing was prevalent. Fashion tended to be for the rich and famous – brought to us through Hollywood stars in cinemas across the country – no TV, no Internet. The general public wore sensible clothing brought to them by traditional retailers – Marks and Spencer, C&A, Burton, British Home Stores, everyone and everything looked the same. Then at the end of the 50’s and into the 60’s young people with the benefit of increased freedom and improved living standards, started to rebel, to experiment, to dare to be different to their parents. Music changed – Rock n’ Roll, Elvis and with it fashion. The swinging 60’s was brought to us by a heady mixture of exciting new fashion designers, such as Mary Quant, Andre Courreges and Emilio Pucci. Music from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix paved the way for...
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