famously said, “Fashion is about the way we compose ourselves every
day.”It’s hard not to relish that fashion is a way of projecting an image
and appearance to the rest of the world. It’s a language filled with indigenous
treasures and heavily influenced by pop culture, political attitudes and
inspiring style icons of the time.
Fashion was an act
of liberation for the women of the 1920s, where the movement allowed them to
fight for change, where women are freed from the confines of the corset and
normalizing the idea of trousers. Coco Chanel was one of the many designers that
went on revolutionizing that idea by creating little black dress and silk
garments with masculine-cuts. While designers like Jeanne Lanvin on the other
hand introduce the world to intricate trimmings, lavish embroideries, and
Katherine Hepburn elevated
the androgynous trend even further with her take masculine shirt and loose
fitting trousers, making her the fashion icon of the 1940s. Thanks to the
economic stability; the 1950s welcomed glamour fashion once more with addition of
lace accents and shimmering ruffles to the mix.
Going into the late
fifties and 1960s mini-dresses and maxi-length skirt outfits entered the scene.
Mary Quant was one of the big name of this ‘rebellious’ mod movement, where she
is widely credited for creating the iconic mini-skirt. Mod styled dresses with
short skirts and bold, colorful patterns truly defined the era and designers
like Emilio Pucci became notorious for putting the trend on the map.
dresses flare trousers, and embroideries took centre stage in the late sixties
and seventies. Hippie lifestyle was at its finest, drawing in the free-spirit
and non-conformity to fashion with thought provocative psychedelic ambition (think
Joni Mitchell). In 1973, Diane Von Furstenberg launched her signature wrap
dress, now a classic; it stood the test of time and hardly ever “goes out
of style” as it’s just universally flattering to women of all type.
From disco music to punk rock, at this point looks
were highly influenced by music stars and movies. The 1980s was a time of its
‘own’ unique fashion. It’s a DIY era fuelled by bands like the Sex Pistols, pop
sensation like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, movie star like Molly Ringwald and
designers such as Vivienne Westwood. Then there’s the art of power dressing,
where it’s socially acceptable that women could wear masculine blazers and big
shoulder pads became order of the day.
It’s sometimes hard
to fathom that fashion went through a phenomenal change in such short amount of
time. Less became more in the 1990s, where it gave way to stark minimalism and
later the anti-fashion movement influenced by once again, music with the
introductory of grunge, punk, and hip-hop into the line. Silhouettes became
more subtle in the sense there were more unfussy volumes and simple lines.
Colour palettes were reduced to a basic shades ranging from earth tones and few
touches of color, textiles were innovative in the sense that most produce came
with an environmentalist attitude, resulting in a total urban look.
The constant search for the new acknowledges
that there has never before been a time like this in fashion. The digital world
has changed the way people view fashion. The world is completely different
because of technology and global access to information; social media,
Instagram, Facebook have never been more relevant. Hence, fashion is everywhere
now. We are as much consumed by the
sartorial elegance of others as ever before, seeking style refuge from our
style icons. While many may stay away from trends, intent on maintaining
originality, we still find ourselves going back in time to recycle trends for
decades ago. Why? Because fashion is not a revolution, it’s an evolution.